The Blessings of Loneliness

Written by Sabrina Beasley

Loneliness had gripped me. In two years, five of my roommates were married, not to mention countless other friends, and I was tired of being left behind. At times I hurt so badly I would fall on my knees and beg God through tears to take my pain away. What I didn’t know then, was that God was using that pain to bring me to the sweetest love affair of my life, but it wasn’t by bringing me a man to fall in love with; it was by making me more like the Man who already loved me.

“Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride” rang in my ears. Although I was thrilled to stand beside some of the best women I have ever known, I still felt the fear of being left behind. I wondered what was wrong with me; I wondered what I could do to make myself more desirable; I wondered if I would be lonely forever.

Me, me, me…it was all I thought about. I tried to repair my inadequacies by reading Christian self-help books—how to prepare for marriage and motherhood and how to understand men. It was all really good information, but it didn’t fill my void of loneliness.

One night, I got down on my knees and cried out to God that he would take my pain away. I was so tired of being unwanted and without love. As I lay there, crumpled on the floor, He reminded me of 1 John 4:8 that says, “God is love.” I knew in my heart that if I wanted to experience true love, I needed to concentrate on my relationship with Him, not on a relationship of this world.

I turned my reading to the Scriptures, as I wanted to know the very heart of the Lord. As John 1:1 says, “…The Word was with God, and Word was God.” I started at Genesis and read my way through the entire Bible. In it, I found nothing but the love of God for His people and specifically for me. I knew I was imperfect, but I found in Psalms 139:13-16, that He created me, knew me, and loved me just as I was.

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

It was that love that drew me closer to the heart of God. And the closer I got to Him, the more His light revealed the selfishness I was covered with. The Lord didn’t take my pain away, but He used it to refine my life, just as fire purifies gold (Malachi 3:3).

Loneliness became a reminder of the cross, the sacrifice of my own desires for those of the Lord. Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:24-25, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

It wasn’t until I embraced the cross and the death of myself that I finally realized that life wasn’t about my desires, but it was about showing the love of Christ to others. The pain I went through allowed me to identify with others’ pain and to counsel many women through feelings of loneliness, rejection, inadequacy, and the pain of broken relationships.

Loneliness became a tool that enabled me to have the time to make lunch appointments with other women who needed counsel, start Bible studies, memorize scripture, pray for long periods of time, and read, read, read. It was a luxury, not afforded to those in serious relationships or marriages.

As Paul says, “The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:34). I had been given a great gift, and it was given to me at the lowest point in my life.

So many Christians forget that God calls us to the low places. He calls us to be lowly (Psalm 138:6), to be humble (James 4:6), to be meek (Matthew 4:5 KJV). He even calls us to die (Romans 6:3-5). None of these come easily, and they often require pain. But we’ve been promised recognition, grace, inheritance, and everlasting life in return.

The popular Christian music group Caedmon’s Call sings a song called “Valleys Fill First” that points out that when the rain falls, the water flows to the lowest places, filling the valleys first. The blood of Christ was meant to flow to those who are hurting and struggling. Jesus said, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick” (Luke 5:31).

I was one who felt His healing touch in my life. Even though I was lonely, in an earthly sense, the void was more than filled, even overflowing, with satisfaction and a sense of belonging.

My time of hurting lasted about two years, and then God chose to release me. About the time my pain ended, and I was satisfied with my single status, God brought me the man that I would eventually marry.

I am happy where I am, and I’m grateful for the blessing of the man that God has provided—he truly is everything I had ever longed for. But there are days when I miss the blessing of loneliness. Those were days when I was forced to seek my intimacy in the Lord, and they were indeed sweet days.

I pray now for others who are in that place that they, too, would have a life-changing experience caused by the pain of loneliness. My advice to every lonely heart, single or not, is this: love the Lord, seek His face, read His word, and share His love with others. And you will experience the blessing of loneliness.

It’s Not Too Late to Live a Life of Significance.

Taken from www.familylife.com. Copyright © 2004, used by permission.

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311 Responses to “The Blessings of Loneliness”

  • angel says:

    JIM E, I AGREE IT IS HORRIBLE FOR CHRISTIANS TO SAY YOU LACK FAITH. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT PERFECT PEOPLE SAD TO SAY. THEY CAN BE JUST AS INSENSITIVE AS THE WORLD. CONCENTRATE ON PHILLIPIANS CHAPTER 4. GOD BLESS YOU

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Looks like there is a great deal of interaction going on regarding loneliness, being married, and wanting meaningful relationships. One thing I have learned in meeting married people is that many are dissatisfied and feel lonely in their marriages. Only the Lord can truly fill and satisfy the human heart. For those that are single and are searching for relationships, have you give any thought to perhaps starting a singles small group at your local church? I attend a very large church and we function well through small group fellowship. Many lasting, healthy, friendships form from them.

  • Chris says:

    Hello Kathryn-it isn’t that I expect life to be all joy and peace, but that it would be nice to have at least some joy and peace instead of this endless struggle with being autistic and with the aftermath of serious physical illnesses, with having no family at all, with this loneliness.

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    It is indeed sad to be lonely and feel that God will not show you some one with whom you can share the wonders of Christian marriage. I am probably older than most of you who have taken the time to write in and share but I do not believe that God actually promises that life will be all joy and peace. There is so much suffering and unhappiness in the world that we are just one of many experiencing the command to take up the cross to follow Christ. To me, the only certain way to be at peace is to truly be His disciples so that this fills our lives with a peace that passes all understanding. Then truly we will joyfully look forward to the promises which we know await us when we are with Him in glory.

  • Chris says:

    Hello Jim-I feel pretty much the same way as you do when I read in the Bible that God says ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ because like you I am completely alone. When people say that God wants the best for us, how is living in such emptiness and loneliness the ‘best?’ And, yes, some Christians can be arrogant and patronising towards single people, assuming that we have a defect in our faith or our character which is why we are alone, while they of course are perfect because they were lucky enough to meet someone. I am close to giving up on finding any real fulfilement or joy in this life and am thinking it will only come in the next life.

  • samson says:

    i cry reading your struggles and the loneliness you have spent …to be honest such is life..i my self face alot ..we are poor but we still help, but when they get on their feet they dont remember us ….God bless you

  • Chris Chris says:

    jim e….i regret to hear of your struggles. i understand what you are saying, if God says one thing, it would be preposterous to think he would do something else. after walking with christ 40 years and having married myself and received other promises, i have found one thing to be very important, and that is active, determined, dog-with-a-bone type faith that wont let go of God and his promise until he brings its manifestation. we see this in gen 32, Matthew 15, heb 11, mathtew 8, among many other verses. what do i do when my prayer doesnt seem to be being answered? i press in even stronger through fasting and acting my faith to see the answer come forth. forcing Gods hand? no. its the difference james 2 makes about faith with Works vs. faith without Works. as you examine your faith and conscience now, let the holy spirit show you how to enter into a true realm of believing, active and living faith. you will find i believe that jesus will come through for you as you do. blessings!

  • anuli says:

    May I also suggest Jim that you ask St Jude to intercede for your intention. He was one of Jesus’s disciples, and so he witnessed Jesus and his teachings first hand. He spread the Gospel message wide and far. Very little idms known about him hence he is known as the saint of last resort/desperate & hopeless ccauses! I recently visited his shrine for the first time during a 9 day novena I was saying and 2 out of 4 of the intentions i asked him to pray for havecome to pass. Yes pray to God directly and ask everyone, friends, family and the saints in heaven, to pray for your needs too. God hears our prayers, but you need to trust He has a plan for our salvation and that takes precedence over evetything! Be persistent in prayer though, remember Matthew 7:7-11, Matthew 6:7-13… But most of all keep your eyes focused on how can I,in my current life situation, serve God through loving Him and my neighbour… then also look out fkr the opportunities He lays out for you each day to take up. Ask yourself at the start of each day – who has asked me for my help that i havnt yet responded to? Who do i need to take steps to reconcile with, to forgive? What outstanding work have i been neglecting that i now need to complete? What decisions have i been putting off that i now need to confront?

    Start ordering your life through prayer AND actions towards the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth (where love has primacy) and the rest of your life will fall into place :)

    God bless

  • anuli says:

    Did my mesage get posted?

  • anuli says:

    Hi Jim, im sorry you are feeling so discouraged. It sounds like you are in a place I have been in several times snd its not nice. In fact when I read your comment it reminded me of what I had spoken to God this morning, I had questioned God about that same passage of scripture this morning (no joke)! I was drawn to turning to the catechism of the catholic church (if you are not familiar with it, its basically a book that cotains all the octrine of the Catholic faith and this includes explanations of scripture passages). I read about the meaning of Divine Providence and my since then my sou

    l has been relieved of the despair and discouragement i have been experiencing for some time related to having a lack of career direction in life and uncertainty about vocation to marriage or consecrated life. God’s providence is ordered towards fulfilling His plan for salvation of the world and He invites us to participate in His plan.

    CCC 302: Creation. has its own goodness & proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created “in a state of journeying” toward an ultimate perfectionn yet to be attained, tk which God has destined it. We call “divine providence” the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:

    By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, “reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well.” For “all are open and laidbare to his eyes,” even those things which are yet to comme into existence through the free action of creatures.
    God has absolute sovereignty over the course of events: “Our God is in the heabens; je does whgatever he pleases,” (ps 115:3) And so it is with Christ, “who opens & no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.” (Rev 3:7) As the book of Proverns states: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.”.

    And so we see the Holy Spirit, the principle author of Sacred Scriptire, often attributing actions to God without mentioning anysecondary causes.This is not a “primitive mode of speech”, but a profound way of recalling God’s primacy and absolute Lordship over history & the world, and so of educating his people to trust in him. The prayer of the Psalms is the great school of trust (cf. Psalms 22; 32; 103; 138; et al). Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providencce of our heavenly Fathet who takes care of his children’s smallest needs: Mt 6:31-33.

    God is sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures’ cooperation. This use isnot asign of weakness, but rather s token of almighty God’s greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their oen, of being causes and principles for each other, & thus of cooperating ooin the accomplishment of his plan. (CCC 306)

    How awesome is that! God wants you and me to be part of His ultimate an and each of us has a role to play in building His kingdom of love, peace, justice and mercy! Each moment of our day is to contribute to building a culture of love. Seek His kingdom first actively, work for His kingdom and see the rewards. There is a lot for you to contribute to in this world – in giving love you will experience joy. Reflect on what God has given you and done fkr you,& ask Him what He wants you to do with all He has given you and start doing it! Make the most of what you have and you will start experiencing true joy :)

  • jim e says:

    I want to say that when is god going to answer prayers like answer to loneliness. what I hate about christianity is it substitute reality with ‘word’ of god. what will you do if you are hungry; you eat. likewise if you are hurting from loneliness what do you do. many times all i experience from christianity is this endless HOPE that something will happen. while other people are moving on, you are stuck trying to figure out a verse. anyway, i wonder what happened to ‘unconditional’ love & god says ‘it is NOT good for man (or woman) to be alone. you do all those ‘christian’ things at church like ‘seek ye first the kingdom of god & all these things will be added unto to. well, what a waste of time. and adding insult to injury, you will hear other arrogant christians accuse you of lack of faith. what is the purpose of christianity?most of the time it is just a waste of time.

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