• Heidi J. Smith

Struggling with Loneliness

Photo credit to Gabriela Palai from Pexels

Have you struggled with loneliness?

Maybe you recently moved to a new area and long for a friend. Or someone you loved graduated and moved out, served in another country, or died, and the house remains quiet. Maybe you feel isolated after being quarantined for months and wonder if anyone missed you.

I have struggled with loneliness, especially during the last few months when people social distanced and connected via technology. Social media is nice, but there is something about having a face-to-face conversation or receiving a hug from a friend.

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday on Sunday and my mom's passing on Monday. Even though she died two years ago, I miss her very much. We talked almost everyday and her absence left a void. I can mask the heartache most days, but sometimes the pain overwhelms me.

How do we handle the pain of loneliness?

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! Psalm 42:5, 11 NLT

The Psalmist craved fellowship (42:1-2). He remembered worshipping God with a group of people (42:4) and knew the Lord loved Him (42:8). Yet, he felt down and reflected on the oppression of his enemies (42:10).

He poured his feelings out to the Lord and then refocused on God's truth. God is hope and he will praise again.

The same is true for us. When we struggle with loneliness, we need to:

  1. Write down our thoughts or tell someone.

  2. Shift our gaze off of ourselves and onto the Lord.

  3. Encourage someone else

Loneliness hurts and affects many people, but there is comfort in knowing that God's hope extends to everyone. He promises to "heal the brokenhearted and bandage their wounds" (Psalm 147:3).

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Heidi J. Smith