The Gift of Loneliness

I had a dream the other night—the very dream that inspired this blog post. I was spending the night at a friend’s house. In the dream, my friend told me she was going to meet up with her other friends, and she would be back later. I felt this overwhelming sense of loneliness I haven’t felt in a long time. I remembered the times I had been abandoned by the man I believed at the time I was in love with. I had not felt that deep sense of loneliness and pain since that period of my life. It wasn’t just the loneliness I felt during that time (as well as in the dream) that made it so painful, but the realization that I did not know who I was.

I had to let him go. I had to let him go, and realize he wasn’t coming back—and even if he did, it wouldn’t matter. When I stopped desiring him and started desiring Him, I woke up and discovered who I really am and more importantly, who my Father is.

In the dream, I responded in a way which very much reflected the way I responded to the man that left me behind. I decided I wasn’t going to wait for my friend to return back to her house so we could pick up where we left off; I decided I was going to go home. On my way home, I remembered who I am and who my Father is—the one who will never abandon me. It was at this point in the dream I began fighting the spirit of loneliness head on by reciting Scripture. That’s when I woke up.

When was the last time you felt lonely? Maybe you are wishing for a romantic relationship, friendship, or maybe you already have those things and still feel lonely. Loneliness as well as pain serves a purpose; it is designed to move us into action—into communion with God and fellowship with others.

Physical pain is a gift—it signals to the person experiencing it there is a threat to the body, and something needs to be done. Spiritual pain is no different; spiritual pain is a cry for help.

It was the pain I felt deep in my soul that moved me closer to God.

Once I began to walk closely with the Lord, my loneliness subsided. However, I knew a part of me, an important part of God’s plan for my life had not come to fruition yet. Fellowship was something God wanted for me, and it’s something He wants for you too.

Fellowship and friendship are not exactly one in the same. Friendship is a natural consequence of fellowship but friendship does not always lead to fellowship. As a believer, we can become very lonely if we are not surrounding ourselves with people who share (what should be) our goal of growing deeper in our relationship with the Lord. I like to think of fellowship as intentional and purposeful friendship.

I think an important thing for us as Christians to remember is that fellowship should take precedence over “best friend-ship”. It’s great to have someone or several someones you’re able to walk closely with, but this need for someone to assign a title of “best friend” was something God had to deliver me from. It was during a season of loneliness and lack of any genuine friendships that I realized God is my best friend. He’s the one I talk to all day, the one I run everything by; He’s the one I always seek advice from, and the one who wants the best for me. Ultimately, He is the one I belong to and the only one who will never fail me nor let me down.

I think we have all wondered why God allows us to feel loneliness, to feel pain. What I cannot deny though is this: it was the darkness that moved me to search for light and my loneliness which brought me to Him.

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