What makes you lonely?

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Our guest speaker Dannah Gresh asked us this question yesterday. It’s one I ask myself all the time.

I feel lonely. Why? I am surrounded by people.

I long for companionship and the close intimacy with someone that I had before I once again became a single almost-20-something. I find myself missing what used to be and longing for it to return. But then I am reminded of the fact that that is impossible. History often repeats itself because we are foolish enough not to study it and learn from it.

Sometimes we like to bury our histories in the graveyards of our hearts. There lie the bones of lost friendships, embarrassing encounters, regrettable actions, scraps of insults. Sometimes we need to let bygones be bygones and continue on, not as if it didn’t happen but as best as we can considering the fact that it did. Other times, we need to properly put them to rest so that they can’t haunt us later.

In the moments of loneliness I am challenged to face my demons. My history is rising from the ground like a zombie- if you will. It tempts me to want to run to it, only to discover too late that I’m being buried with it all over again.

Because I’m a Christian, when I became aware of my wrongdoing, I repented of it to my Savior, who saved me from myself and my sin- once again. So why is it still making me feel isolated? Why does it still insist on making me feel lonely? I have been forgiven by my God. But maybe not by myself. God has said “it’s okay.” But I’m not sure that I can affirm that to myself and actually believe it.

I know that the only way to put this to rest properly is to work through it and really heal, instead of burying it away. In the process, there are setbacks, there are moments of hopelessness, rejoicing, despair, encouragement…loneliness.

So what makes me lonely? I do.

If you’re struggling with a skeleton in your closet, or you haven’t fully released yourself from the sin that Jesus already freely pardoned, I would encourage you to meditate on the promises of His word. Dig down deep into the hurt, and surrender it to Him as fully as you can. That’s what is really comforting me right now. Eventually, reading His promises and affirming them to yourself (even out loud if you have to) I believe that you will be able to fully accept and believe them. You will be freed from your loneliness at last.

P.S. It wouldn’t hurt to ask forgiveness from the person you hurt along the way (especially if that person is yourself).

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