I believe what held me in my broken relationship longer than I should have stayed was the fear of having to do life by myself. I knew I had the children and I had a supportive family but it’s not the same. The pain of being alone is hard and learning to become comfortable with the loneliness is difficult.
I remember walking into church with the kids by myself, as a new single Mom, and how hard it was. It was depressing. Before, I looked forward to church because as a stay at home Mom, I could connect with others and feel that community. However, I didn’t feel the same way when I was alone. I felt awkward and lonely. Most people had known my ex and I as a couple. On top of that, I couldn’t explain the circumstances that brought me to this place in my life. I was trying to protect everyone from exposing the abuse our family had lived with. It was really hard to go, but I kept going despite how I felt.
My one son and I were talking just recently about the subject of loneliness and he made an amazing point. There is a difference between being alone and learning to live with that, developing and establishing that being alone is healthy and okay. However, loneliness is different. It’s a feeling we can have even in a crowd. It’s the craving for relationship.
I had a pretty amazing support network, I had relationships, family and people to help. I was blessed. However, I had to learn to be okay with being alone. Not having the deep intimate relationship of a spouse anymore. When others were no longer around, I had to learn how to handle the loneliness.
There are times in life when others want to help, but the feelings you have to conquer cannot be conquered by others. It’s a battle only you can fight and no one can fight it for you. The victory has to be yours. It’s a healing only you can find. In saying that, I believe God wants to fight that battle with you. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “ The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)
I also love The Passion Translation of Psalm 23:4, “ Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.” Let him be your peace in the loneliness, and trust Him when he says that he is near to you. Have faith in Him to give you the strength and courage to be okay when you are alone and to recognize when you need to reach out to others when you feel lonely. I also want to encourage others to reach out to the lonely. You can’t fight the battle for them, but you can help them feel like they have an ally.