BY JEFF SCHREVE
When I was 10, my parents separated. My dad moved out, got an apartment, and eventually relocated to another state. My parents remained apart for two and a half years, and my mom hated every day of it.
Crushed by feelings of loneliness and abandonment, she cried often. One day, while we were riding in the car, Gilbert O’Sullivan’s hit, “Alone Again (Naturally),” came on the radio. I remember my mom singing along, with tears streaming down her face:
If [God] really does exist
Why did He desert me
In my hour of need?
I truly am indeed,
Alone again, naturally.
Those lyrics aren’t exactly what a person needs when they’re already sad. But the song was a Billboard hit, probably because there are so many lonely people in this world. If you feel this way, you’re not alone or crazy. People from all walks of life share your pain. Nonetheless, it’s time to pick yourself up and change the way you see your situation.
It’s a State of Mind
Mother Teresa once said, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” This painful feeling can cause people to cling to unhealthy (and dead-end) relationships – because they’re desperately trying to medicate their agony. The strange part is that loneliness has little to do with your proximity to people. You can be lonely around friends and family, yet feel utter contentment when not a soul is around. Why? Because loneliness is a state of mind. It’s an overwhelming sense that no one is there for you, no one cares for you, or no one wants to be around you. However, this feeling is either based on a terrible misunderstanding or dangerous lie.
God is always there for you. Even when you can’t see or feel Him, He cares for you, and wants to be around you. Furthermore, God gave you a desire for companionship, and He is willing to satisfy that emotional need. That’s why Psalm 68:6 states, “God provides homes for those who are lonely” (Easy-to-Read Version). Whether you have a house full of people or live alone, your emotional state is based on your closeness to God. It’s not based on your closeness to people.