I've learnt over the years that when the same thing comes up in conversation regularly in a short space of time God is often speaking. I've had numerous conversations over the past couple of weeks with people who've talked about feeling lonely. Married people, single people, older and younger; It's come up time and time again.
Personally I've had to battle recently with feelings of incredible loneliness. Feeling unprotected, isolated, misunderstood and basically on my own. When I take a step back and assess my situation all of these feelings are rooted in stinking lies! I have the most amazing friends who love me unconditionally and champion me, I have an amazing family and I have incredible leaders in the church covering me. More than all of that I have my perfect heavenly Father who never leaves me or forsakes me. And yet, the feelings are there and feel very real. What's going on?
I'm still processing and getting to the bottom of things but here are a few of my immediate thoughts:
1) I think what I've been feeling over the last few weeks is at least on one level prophetic. I think God is revealing that there are actually many in the church who are feeling lonely at the moment - not to mention the many who aren't yet in the relationship with God they've been created for. There are many in this nation who are living in a state of constant loneliness
2) I think that there is a fresh invitation for us in this season to press into relationship with God - relationship being the crucial word here. It's so easy for those of us who've been Christians for a while to do life simply going through the motions rather than really connecting. Ask yourself this question - do I actually have a relationship with God? I feel like I'm learning afresh what a relationship with Him actually looks like.
My top tip for this at the moment - Be really honest with God in your times with Him about how you're doing - out loud! He already knows anyway! I've realised that if I'm not honest with Him when I'm with Him - particularly about the stuff I'm finding hard - I won't be able to experience Him really loving me in that place. When I experience Him loving me in my place of weakness and in my struggles, I receive His comfort and relationship is deepened.
3) I feel like there's a fresh focus in this season on our hearts getting connected with His. Do you know that God is so protective of your heart? Do you trust Him with your heart? I'm increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of connection I experience in my heart when it comes to the things of God. I want to be fully connected to Him. To know the love He has for me in a deeper way and to increasingly connect with His heart for those around me. It's likely to be more painful at times, but I'd much rather that than feel dead on the inside. How do we get more connected? Two things I'm trying at the moment - pray in tongues often (it seems to stir stuff up on the inside) Pray one line prayers asking God to connect your heart to His whenever you think about it.
The song 'Closer' by Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger is really helping me in this season:
Pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I wanna know your heart, I wanna know your heart
Your love is so much sweeter
Than anything I've tasted
I wanna know your heart, I wanna know your heart.
The truth, if you're a Christian, is that loneliness is a lie because we're never alone. Why don't you join me in a journey of rediscovering what it looks like to really connect with the one we've been made to be in intimate, life giving relationship with. Happy reconnecting!