Tuesday, July 26, 2011

unfrequented by human beings

in other words....

It's such a sad word.
And when I read it, it fills me with a saturated emotion.
Because it's all too familiar.

That may shock some of you who know me.
Considering I'm the text-book definition of an extrovert.  
One could assume I am easily surrounded by friends, people and happiness.

But if you knew me.  Like really knew me, you would know the truth of my life is not that way.

I am lonely most days.  And have felt alone most of my life.

Psalm 38:9-11
O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.  My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes - it is also gone from me.  My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my nearest kin stand far off.

This does not mean I don't have friends!  I do.  But friendships do not automatically equal fun-filled days bursting at the brim with fellowship!

I don't want to take up your time by giving you example, after example, of the loneliness I've experienced over the course of 31 years.  But trust me.  It exists.  Even today.  Like.  Right. Now.

But let me change gears from a sad-whoa-is-me-type-of-post into an extremely encouraging one.  
Taught to me, ironically, by one of my friends.

Her name is Charis.
Her hubby just graduated from the seminary this past spring.
Prior to graduation from BBS, for any M. Div. student, is a year-long internship.
This means, you move.  {Most times} to a place you have never even heard of.  To live.  For an entire year.  To serve in a church full of people you don't know.  Away from family.  Friends.  And your favorite coffee shop.

Meaning?  You are bound to be lonely.

Which she was.  
Charis was lonely.

She shared her story with me after their internship had been completed.  Here's the basic lesson:

*** ***
During her internship, she had an eye-opening phone conversation with her mother.
Charis was explaining how alone she had been feeling lately.
Which had recently caused her to make phone calls to various women in the church.
Only to discover that those women had deep, great, and immense needs.
Charis felt blessed to be able to help these women out.
Which in turn, helped to ease some of the loneliness.
Theirs AND hers.
{Here's the kicker:}
Her mother pointed out that had she been content and comfortable with a group of close-knit friends surrounding her - she never would have felt the intense need to reach out and meet some very real needs in the lives of others.

The Lord used her feeling of loneliness {that sad and depressing feeling} as a tool.
A tool with which to accomplish His purposes,
for His glory, during that year.

 *** ***

That truth almost knocked me off my chair.
And I cried.
Because I instantly saw that truth displayed in my life.
It was as if a movie-reel began playing in my head.
Of my life in the past.
And I could see the hand of God using my loneliness as His tool throughout my life.

Sometimes the one thing we despise the most about our lives {or feel the most uncomfortable with - or the most unhappy with} is the one tool God uses in our lives to accomplish His will and way for His glory!

Philippians 2:13
...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

This does NOT mean it makes the loneliness feel better.
Or that you'll never feel lonely again.
Because you will.
But what this truth DOES do, is give you a proper perspective on the things that make your life miserable.
It helps you realize that the misery is not the end-result of what ails you.
The purpose is that God wants to use YOUR life for His glory!
What a rush!

The loneliness may still sting.
But the sweetness of His truth will calm the burn.

Who will you be a blessing to today?

I'm linked up today at these great blogs!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your openness and honesty, Michelle! A great post with great truth.


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown