4 Reasons Why You Feel LONELY

COMMUNITY. Ahh, the word that gets tossed around but not truly explained, this mythical, inconvenient concept of having people around who love you, being in consistent relationship. It’s messy, you have to share things, it’s obnoxious and yet it’s so needed. We feel lonely without it.

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not the most accurate depiction, maybe

My views on community are my own. You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to change the way you do life. All I’d like to point out is that only you know the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction you have right now with your ‘community’ and if you feel LONELY, there’s a problem.

If you feel like you DON’T FIT IN or that you DON’T BELONG or that you are UNLOVED, or that you lack DEPTH in your relationships, or that REJECTION is one engagement or baby bump or move away… there’s a problem. There’s a big problem. It needs to get addressed. You shouldn’t continue on into life feeling like that.

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sometimes Goosebumps don’t cut it

I’d like to share a little bit about what my community looks like first

I choose to call my community my “FAMILY” and that includes about 6 people, of various ages, relationship statuses, and geographical locations, some blood-related, and some that I choose to love as such. Some of them weigh into my life spiritually, some do not. That’s okay.

I pursue depth with those people.

They are my family and my best friends. I consider them my blood. I try to keep a few close to me that will have fun and encourage my faith, so sometimes this circle ebbs and flows, because the gospel drives them to different nations and states. It’s a fun family. It’s spread out.

There’s a high level of trust and loyalty. There’s been time invested. I’ve showed them over time that I love them and their love is returned.

What that looks like is that I call them {and they call me} to see how life is going.
I tell them about my life, my struggles, and my walk with the Lord.
I tell them things, and they tell me things.
We ask each other hard questions.
It’s not uncommon that sometimes we cry on the phone with each other.
We encourage each other deeply with big matters.

Sometimes my brother will say something that is exactly what I needed to hear, and he doesn’t sugarcoat things. I get to hear about when depression is on the horizon, and when someone is frustrated, or when there’s been a fight, or a conflict. I get to hear about financial, spiritual, and emotional struggles, and I also get to hear about the good grade on the hard test, roommates, and funny stories. I keep in communication with my “family.” I open that channel and I keep it wide open.

I see a correlation between my vulnerable, constant pursuit of my ‘community’ with my feelings of being loved by them.

Do they ever let me down? Yep.
Do they ever make me mad? Yep.
Do I stop calling or answering the calls? Nope.
We don’t walk away when things are difficult, or when one offends the other.
Families fight.
Oh well.
That’s life.
We still love each other.

In Psalm 68, it says that God puts the lonely in families.

It doesn’t say that He gives them conditional besties.
Doesn’t say that He rearranges their social calendar.
Doesn’t say that He makes sure they have more money to offset their loneliness.
Nah… He puts them in FAMILIES.

I think we focus too much on COMMUNITY and we forget that FAMILY is the key.

Looking at it from a family’s perspective, here are 4 reasons why you might feel lonely…

1) PHYSICAL DISTANCE – with families, some members are distant but some are right with you. You come home to family, right? You do life with them. You share meals, and share stuff, and you’re fun together and boring together. You clean up after each other. You help each other. You’re present with each other. You go to the store, and church, and you also know that there’s a constancy about that presence. You might feel lonely because you don’t live with “family” and that doesn’t necessarily mean you should move back in with your blood-related family. That just might mean that you appreciate your roommates, that you do life with people and enjoy the gift of their company. Live with people.

2) EMOTIONAL DISTANCE – You might live with someone, but you might feel lonely because their hearts are far away. You might have so many walls up that all you do is talk about the weather and sports. There’s an emotional vulnerability and openness to family. You can tell them how your day really went, and your frustrations, and your fears. You can tell them, and they want to hear it. And they tell you, and you want to hear it. The only way to kill emotional distance is to approach someone and tell them “hey, can I tell you about my day?” and to be honest. Give them the chance to get to that level with you. Thank them and tell them that you’re there for them. The way I know I’ve built emotional closeness with someone is that they react to my news in a way that ministers to my heart. If I’m sad, they have compassion. If I’m overjoyed, they jump with me. They rejoice and mourn with me, it’s really quite Biblical. But someone has to take the first step.

3) REJECTION – families shouldn’t walk away from each other because of hardship. In a perfect world, you’d see that played out more. Unfortunately, lots of people bail when things get tough, and we now have generations who are scarred by rejection, and terrified of it. The Lord does not reject you. You have the ability to trust people, and trust is a gift. You might feel lonely because you are afraid of loving someone and not being loved back.

awkwardhugsYou don’t want to invite someone over because they might say no. You don’t want to initiate because you fear the response. And so you become that person who doesn’t reach out, and you tape your arms to your sides, and it’s harder to hug that way. Even when someone approaches you, you can’t embrace them back. You think it’s the world rejecting you, but really at the root of it, there’s a fear living in your heart. It’s a legitimate fear. It’s awful to be rejected. I pray you see the risk as worth it, though. I pray you free your arms to reach out, regardless of the outcome. You just might find that someone says yes, that someone does want to spend time with you and get to know your heart. Ask the Lord to give you a friend. When He does, be bold about loving that friend well.

4) SAMESIESYou might feel lonely if you think that your friends need to be LIFE TWINS with you. Life is a constant change. People get engaged, they have babies, they age, they move to Houston, and what do you do? Now your circle of friends is UTTERLY RUINED because you saw your friendship through conditional lenses. Because you live together, or because you’re both single ladies, or because you work together, or whatever SAMESIES you met through should not, then, kill the friendship when life changes.

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not all your friends should wear this

If you only ate one kind of food, your nutrition would be LACKING.
It’s the same with your community, if it is made up only of people your age/status/location.
That community is DEFICIENT.
It’s deficient of AGE, and WISDOM, and DIVERSITY, and CHALLENGE.
It’s a community of ice-cream for dinner, and that’s not going to sustain you for long.

You need friends who are in high school, and friends who are in college, friends who are married, friends with kids, friends old enough to be your parents, and grandparents.
You need variety in your life, otherwise you’re stuck.

Engagements, babies, and moving should not ruin your community… they should enhance it.

Families are not all made up of people of the same age, from the same place, at the same status.
It should be the same with your friendships, if we can mature unto fullness and realize that we ourselves will change, and will not know anything about what’s next if we don’t choose to surround ourselves with those who walk ahead of us, and those who walk behind us.

Community is not just a two-way street,
but a maddening highway of multiple lanes, bridges, and intersections.
If you’re feeling lonely today, friend, I pray that the road of your heart gets a little more traffic.

What will you do about your loneliness?

Do you struggle with any of these things?

Feel free to comment, and I’d love to be praying for you.

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4 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why You Feel LONELY

  1. I may have to read this blog over and over to let it soak in. I wanted to hear what you wrote about community and I didn’t want to hear it also. I disliked community living and having friends so much that after doing it for several months I now live with my parents. I didn’t tell anybody I moved back in with my parents because I have no friends to tell. I’m that girl with no texting feature on her phone because I don’t even need to turn my phone on, I know it won’t ring. Sadly I want it this way, yet I know it’s not what Jesus wants. I fight the wonder if I’m supposed to start over and make friends, or join a church, but yet I don’t want to make the decision again to have no friends and then I will hurt this people when I have to run away. Loneliness is wonderful until the tears fall on my pillow.

    • Dawn,
      I am so glad you read my blogs. It’s an honor to have you as a reader. It breaks my heart to hear that you’re lonely, and I know that God has an alternative to that. It does take a ton of courage to make that decision to start over, or to make yourself available to new friends, a new church. I pray and hope that you will open your heart to a few new people, that you’ll enjoy their presence and that they enjoy yours. I pray that you won’t feel like crying at night, that Jesus will fill you with joy and with ‘family.’ When you do cry, know Jesus is right with you. His word says that He holds your hand. And I’m here too, anytime. Feel free to email me at heyhelena87@gmail.com :]
      Blessings to ya, dear.
      -Helena

  2. Maybe it’s just a perception I picked up on the WR but there seems to be this unspoken rule that guys and girls can’t/shouldn’t have the deep community type relationships that you’re talking about. That makes it really hard to find that kind community since 90% of the people I’m around on a daily basis are women.
    Do you think that’s valid or just a lie I’ve let myself believe?

    • Chad,
      I know what you mean about the unspoken rule… I think that has more to do with emotional intimacy than it does with community, but since we don’t know how to separate those well, we push off the opposite sex. Ask the Lord how to be a friend to women, how to honor their hearts and protect them, and what healthy boundaries look like. I think there’s more depth to friendships with women than you’ve been experiencing, and the Lord will show you how to make steps toward a healthy co-ed community. You’re a great friend to me, but our schedules are crazy haha I hope that you get more depth and direction from the Lord. He’s the one with the good answers 🙂

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