I used to be that person. The person who ever so noticeably avoided the candy aisle around mid-February, and who sometimes ate drive through tacos alone on Fridays.
I was the girl who talked herself into going on bad dates because I was afraid of dying alone. I dreaded any functions that required me to bring a plus one, or that required me to arrive alone. (In fact, I wrote a whole article about that here.)
I would often look forward to the day that I was in a healthy, loving relationship, and I would no longer suffer from wretched loneliness.
I’m now three months away from marrying the man of my dreams, and I’m realizing so clearly now what married couples have told me for as long as I can remember—you don’t have to be single to be lonely. And you’re not necessarily lonely when you’re single.
Loneliness transcends time, situation and relationship status. It strikes in both full and empty rooms; in the dead of night and when the sun is shining. Loneliness knows no strangers. It is likely that we have all, at some point in our lives, been initiated into the club of lonely hearts.
Consider this my 2-cent-speech to the members of the Lonely Hearts Club.
1. It’s okay to cry a little. Or, a lot. Even in the good times, life can be hard. It would be a bit concerning if you didn’t have a little break down every now and again.
2. You’re allowed to have a bad day. Or, a bad week. Or, a bad season. Just remember: a bad time doesn’t equal a bad life. It won’t always be this way, because nothing but God ever lasts “always.”
3. Loneliness isn’t necessarily a lack of faith. Believe it or not, strong believing Christians can feel lonely too.
4. It isn’t a sin to feel alone in the body of Christ. Feeling alone isn’t the same as being alone. And, feeling alone doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t people around you to console or care.
5. The state of the human heart isn’t solely dependent on the care of community. Sometimes, emotions run deeper than other people can reach. In these times, we must admonish our own hearts. “Why are you downcast, o my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” Or, “Listen here, heart. Don’t you know that God is greater than you?”
Despite all of my naive, girlish, hopes and dreams, I still experience moments of loneliness. Homesickness and heartsickness regularly pay me house visits. And, that’s okay.
I’m okay. And you’re okay. And it’s okay if you’re not okay today. Cause, one day you will be.
Just keep on.