Sunday, January 23, 2011

Loneliness and its good friend Fear

Just sit there right now.
Don't do a thing.
Just rest.
For your separation from God
Is the hardest work in this world.

It seems that my deepest times of loneliness are times when I separate myself from God. Something I do to myself.

That may not be your experience, but it is most often mine. And during these times I find that my loneliness quickly finds its long lost friend, fear. My fearful nature takes over. I become continually distracted by all my fears... and that fear controls me.

I know what I should do in the moment. I need to run straight for the Word of God to cast out that fear. But more often than not, I curl up in a ball, hide under the covers, and cradle that fear. How sad is that?!? I could cast these cares on the Father, but that means I have to get up and go straight to Him. Why is that so hard?

Community is the answer, I think. I know that I will find comfort in the Word. And I know that I will find solace in a Christ following friend. But I have to be vulnerable enough to ask for help!

I can share a story of this playing out in my life just this week. I had a not-so-great Monday morning... dealing with personal issues and brokenness. I knew I was in trouble. I was crying often. I was struggling through some pretty horrific fears - usually revolving around the safety of my family - and I was not reaching out for community. I finally did drag myself to the Father - and the Psalms. I find so much comfort in the words of David. He suffered loneliness, bitterness, and anguish - sometimes of his own doing and sometimes not. Psalm 40 is my favorite chapter so that was where I went. I didn't have the energy to sit down and hunt out verses I thought would be appropriate. I just jumped in where I could find comfort. And I prayed. I asked for redemption of awful situations. I asked for someone to pray for me. And I hid myself - not being willing to reach out in community for someone to share my burden. In reality I was asking God for a miracle - to send someone my way because I wasn't willing to go looking for the help.

A friend of mine was having her own struggles on this day. Beginning around the same time that I cried out to God for help, she began experiencing some pretty debilitating anxiety of her own. She couldn't pinpoint the purpose or cause and asked God for direction. Her husband told her to call me. And she did! We began to talk about her anxiety and she chose to be vulnerable and share her struggles. Immediately it became clear that God sent her straight to my door to help me carry my burden and to drag me back to community! We both cried at the goodness of God. He used her anxious spirit to get her to my house and He used her vulnerability to share her struggles to bring my struggles right out in the open. I am grateful to God for her and grateful that my burden is lighter. Isn't our God good and gracious?

Now, not every situation in my life plays out like this. There are times when God leaves me alone with my worry and fear and loneliness.While I am hiding He calls my name. But I continue to hide. He draws me to Himself. And that sometimes is a long process for me - I stubbornly fight for my right to keep my fear and loneliness protected from God.

God knows where you are. He knows the loneliness that you struggle with. He has felt it. He has walked with it. And He has been victorious over it. He is more than enough to meet your needs. He is waiting to meet you right where you are. Maybe the first step for you is the Word of God. Or maybe the first step for you is to be vulnerable and run for Christ centered community to help you carry those burdens!

1 comment:

Sarah Guild said...

Praying that God continues to touch your fears and calm them.