Lonely.

6 Apr

I think there may be no greater danger in life than the place of loneliness.

Whenever Satan can convince us that we’re alone, unseen, unloved, undesired, unknown, unwanted, unproductive – it’s there, in the middle of the loneliness, that his lies sound like truth.

When we’re surrounded by strong Christians, good friends who are holding us accountable and REALLY know us, and a marriage that is flourishing, we’re less likely to fall apart.

That doesn’t mean temptations don’t come, or that we can never stumble.  Of course we can, but we are much less likely to feel defeated when we feel loved.

I believe this is the very reason for the promise “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jesus’ constant reminder that WE ARE NOT ALONE, even if we are tempted to feel like we are, is meant to be security against Satan’s attacks. He knew that promise mattered.  Which is why He promised it.  Because if we feel alone, we feel defeated… and defeat doesn’t press on toward the prize.  Defeat paralyzes.  It lies to us and cripples us from using God’s power in us to face whatever is coming at us.

This is important, please don’t miss this….EVEN IF there is nothing “significantly pressing” going on like illness or persecution…. loneliness is a threat we cannot take lightly.

I’ve seen people who seemingly had EVERYTHING.  They weren’t facing any major catastrophes in their life at all… and yet, because they were lonely, they completely fell apart.

My friend often says this saying “Once we’re aware of something, we no longer have any excuses against it.”  What she means is, if you “know” you have an addiction to sweets, it’s no longer something you can spend hours justifying or crying over if you’re not going to address it.

I’m very aware of loneliness.

I spent a good three straight years incredibly lonely.  Yes, I had “friends” during that time.  But I was “unknown” at the same time.  My Christian friends didn’t know everything that was going on… like the problems in my marriage.  And my non-Christian friends never filled that void in me for deep fellowship because sin was always so present in their advice and invitations.

Once I realized the loneliness problem – I decided I would never allow myself to be “lonely” again.

I’m aware of the danger.  I’m aware that Jesus makes it very obvious that fellowship is essential to our faith.  It’s why belonging to a local Church is vital, for the body to come together.  It’s why the disciples never ministered alone,  they always had someone with them (unless they were in prison.) And again, it’s why Jesus promised us He’d always be with us.

It’s been a hard year… one I’m willing reluctantly admitting has been constantly tempting to feel lonely.

Understand, loneliness isn’t a temptation because you’re locked in a cellar with no one in sight.

Loneliness is a temptation when something feels like it’s missing.

This year has been A LOT of changes for us.

Since leaving our church home of ten years, two years ago… it’s been incredibly lonely.  Once you’ve had a very active church family, it’s so hard to walk into a building and not know anyone’s name nor does anyone know who you are either.

I miss being known.  I miss being accountable to my church family.  I miss knowing what is going on with the body of believers I worship with – knowing what to pray for them and ask them about the following week.  I miss sharing prayer requests with someone I know is really going to pray, and ask me how my week was when I see them on Sunday.

Today, I looked around me during service and felt so out of place.  It doesn’t feel like home at all.  It feels lonely.

Yes, I know Jesus is all I need.

Yes, my marriage is strong.

Yes, I have friends I can call on.

Yes,  the temptation for loneliness is still heavy and pushing at me to entertain the defeat.

When something feels out of whack, it tests us in every area. Even areas we know we’re strong.

Questions like “Are my friends really my true friends?  Is my husband really able to be my “best friend” when we’re so different? Does my blog ministry even matter, is it effective or reaching anyone? What’s the point of church if we don’t know anyone anyway? What are those people saying about us when we leave?”

I know all the answers to those questions… and there’s nothing really to be tempted over.

Practical Application:

Call out the loneliness.

Once we’re aware what is going on, we can recognize the lies and tempting thoughts so much easier, instead of believing them or wrestling with them for so long.

Write the truth down. Say the truth out loud.  Meditate on the truth. Purposely talk about the truth.

Don’t settle for defeat.

Advertisements

10 Responses to “Lonely.”

  1. Elisha April 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Thank you for this! I needed it today. I fave been in a “funk” lately and it just might be loneliness I feel :/

    • Kayla Gulick April 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      Anytime 🙂 If it is… you’re so not alone. I’m here! Fighting the same Satan and loving the same Jesus!!

  2. Elizabeth April 6, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    Kayla,

    I wish I could give you a big hug! Partially to provide comfort and assurance that I’m here for you, and also in thanks for so perfectly articulating how I feel, too! What a wonderful, wonderful post. Over the years I’ve felt this way so much. . . most recently because I lost my teaching position to a budget cut last summer, then moved to a tiny town in Iowa–to be closer to my daughters and grandchildren and improve our quality of life–where I have not yet been hired permanently. I’ve caught myself wondering if I’m “all washed up” because “no one wants to hire a teacher in her fifties”–but then I stop myself and remind myself that the economy and politics are often in control, not whether or not a teacher has personal or professional worth. I am substituting one or two days a week, but nobody really knows me or my history as I teacher.

    I’ve often felt lonely spiritually, too! I was raised in a cult-like religion I didn’t have the courage to leave until I was forty, and then my entire body of friends and birth family (all in the church) completely shunned me. None of them have spoken to me for over 15 years! To start completely over making a new life was lonely, but God blessed me with true friends and spiritual clarity. I was too “shell shocked” to trust another church for many years after that, I just prayed on my own but really missed fellowship and having a place “where everybody knows your name” (the old theme song to Cheers 🙂 The good news is, my husband and I found a church here where we feel God’s spirit and love and have been attending regularly. I finally found the courage, with God’s help, to trust again. We are part of an extended spiritual family here, a “home” where we feel safe, loved, and can love, encourage, and help others. So even though my experience hasn’t been exactly the same, I think I understand how you feel, perhaps much as I did all those years without fellowship. We could have such an extended conversation about this! During the “lonely years” my husband was very sick for eight years before he died, and after this I dated briefly, but felt so lost and lonely. Finally, I met my husband three years later, and he was a truly spiritual man. Together, we have created a new life here and begun attending church again.

    I’ll send another post with the rest of my thoughts, for some friends just called to say they’d like to drop in. May I have your email address? I can’t seem to find it on this site. With love, Elizabeth

    • Kayla Gulick April 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

      Wow. That sounds like a road that could EASILY be filled with heavy temptation to feel lonely. I’m so glad God walked right beside you and blessed you with amazing friends and broke down the walls of distrust. What a testimony!

      Absolutely, you can email anytime! gulickfamily@hotmail.com

  3. differentpearls April 6, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Wow…this blog hit home in too many ways to count. I currently belong to a church where I’m very active in ministry, everyone pretty much knows my name and yet sometimes, I still feel lonely. Like no one really understands me. But lately, my pastor has been preaching on humility and pride and it’s been transforming my heart. This blog was literally on time. Thank you so much for your transparency.

    • Kayla Gulick April 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

      I wish I could tell you how much your comment just meant to me. Thank you so much for sharing that!!

  4. deliwife April 7, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Oh Kayla,
    I awoke crying this morning. I feel so lonely too. Thank you for this very timely post. It was so needed just now n this very moment.

    • Kayla Gulick April 7, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      You’re welcome Deliwife. I’m praying for you right now. You’re not alone. Call out those lies. And if you need a friend to talk to, shoot me an email. gulickfamily@hotmail.com

  5. WHY April 8, 2014 at 3:55 am #

    Kayla, i just wanted to let you know i enjoy reading your post. I am currently separated from my husband and how i relate to this post.

    • Kayla Gulick April 8, 2014 at 6:22 am #

      Oh no. I’m really sorry to hear that. I imagine that feels like a brutally lonely place. Remember the truth — your feelings can’t always be trusted. You’re not alone! Thank you for being brave enough to post here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: