Written by Megan Burns. Media by Taylor Harpster.
The word lonely has become such a taboo word in our culture. If someone states he is lonely, he starts to get labeled as antisocial or depressed. This is so far from the truth. It is okay to feel alone as everyone does from time to time. But, what if I told you there’s a way to not feel so lonely?
Loneliness is not always a bad thing, although it often gets labeled that way. It teaches us to become more comfortable with ourselves and helps us learn things we would otherwise not if we were constantly surrounded by people. Oprah once said, “Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world, so I can hear my own.” Alone time is critical for one’s emotional health and it is not a bad thing to take advantage of that time you are given. Some people have an easier time grasping this concept than others. For example, an introvert may latch onto this because they know their energy comes from being alone. Extroverts, on the other hand, would be panicking at the idea of being alone. Regardless of your personality type or how you like to spend your time, being alone every once and awhile is still necessary.
It can be hard to sit alone, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook for the fifth time, seeing constant updates of people out with others. The thing with social media though, is that people can fake anything. Individuals get to choose exactly what they want to post, what they want to say, and when they want to post it. He or she may be sitting alone in their bed, feeling lonely, and trying to cover it up with all the likes that will come flowing in. It is even possible that the one snapshot posted on Instagram was the only good moment of the evening.
Sometimes the people that show up in our newsfeeds the most are the loneliest ones. Without the power to read minds, it makes it difficult to ever know how someone is feeling on the inside. There is a saying that goes something like, “feeling alone in a crowded room.” Even when surrounded by people, the feeling of being alone does not always go away.
Matthew 4 shares a story of Jesus being alone. Even Jesus, the King of Kings, spent time alone. In this instance, He spent 40 days and 40 nights in solitude. Another example of loneliness being good is recorded in Mark 14:32; “ They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’” Jesus knew that He needed to spend time alone, so He told his disciples to sit and wait, while He went into the garden to be alone in prayer. On an incredibly difficult night of Jesus’ life, he desired to be alone. This is something to consider when we are having particularly difficult days or nights. Perhaps, instead of filling our lives with people that only exist to make us feel less lonely, rather actual connections, we should revel in the loneliness and understand that even Jesus needed this. He needed time to shut out distractions and come before his Father in the quiet. Often, we try so hard to stay away from the lulls in life, when that may be where the answers to healing lie.
The cure for loneliness is to enjoy it. While it is tempting to try to cover up our loneliness, it is time to start embracing it. “The cure to a lonely heart is to be alone with Jesus.” Sometimes, more alone time is what we need to heal our hearts. What better way to be alone than to be alone with Jesus, your never-failing friend? 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Jesus desires to be with us and listen to us. We do not ever have to worry about not having anyone to turn to. Until we lean on Him and fill our loneliness with Him, that feeling of longing for something else will never go away.