For my whole life, Loneliness has been my nemesis. For the most part, I'm pretty good at avoiding contact with him. As a textbook extrovert who draws energy and joy from the presence of other people, I stay busy and connected. But lately, I've been engaged in battle with the sworn enemy, and I'm losing. I was easy to engage because Loneliness found me defenseless. I'd laid all my armor down along the way and didn't even realize it.
I talk a lot of smack about being independent and free and strong. And all of that is true, but what's also true is that I'm a girl who needs to be deeply cherished and taken care of and passionately desired. What happened to the girl, who last summer, was fulfilled and content and joyfully free? When did she become needy and lonely and woefully confined? Where was the breakdown?
A year ago, I was dating Jesus. He was all I needed. I made room for him and he filled my empty spaces and I THRIVED in his presence. At some point, I decided it wasn't enough and I blew him off. I decided I was ready to date, that I was ready to love and be loved, that I needed a companion and passion and someone in whose arms I could fall asleep. I began seeking The One. I sought strong embraces and lingering kisses and innocent hand-holding and passionate caresses. I came dangerously close to settling for someone I knew was ultimately very wrong for me, all because Loneliness was stalking me.
Loneliness is a bully and a liar. When too many hours pass without a text from whichever man I'm seeing, when no one reaches out to make plans with me, when I crawl into bed and stare at the ceiling while sleep evades me, he convinces me that I'm not worthy. He whispers, "You're not beautiful enough. You're not lovable after all. You don't matter; you're expendable." In my weaker moments, I believe him. I know that his lies are designed to pull me under and drown me, and yet I cling to them as though they're buoys in the raging sea. I didn't use to feel this way, a mere twelve months ago.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to love and be loved. It's a God-created need. I believe with my whole heart that He desires that for me. The breakdown is that I've made an idol of The One - of the very idea of him, of the search for him. I worship him and adore him and sacrifice for him, and in the process, I've shoved God out of the way to make more room for him. I cannot be content this way, ever. I cannot be fulfilled or joyful or healthy or productive because the reality is that all idol worship eventually destroys the worshipper.
I need to date Jesus again. I need to turn away from idolizing and romanticizing the idea of The One. I'm recommitting to praying for the man God has chosen to love me and cherish me and protect me and care for me. I know that God is preparing me for the most beautiful, perfect, amazing love. He promises that he knows the plans He has for me - plans to give me hope and a future. That plan has never included Loneliness, even during this time of aloneness. I need to be still and know that He will be faithful to that promise. My willfull, impatient self wants to see it done in MY time. Be still and know.... why is that so hard for me?