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  • Writer's pictureA Friend of Jesus


Learning to be Alone But Not Lonely

"Why do you think you have to have someone in your life?" The question hit me weird. It was a few years ago when I was struggling in a relationship that was difficult and growing more so every day. It was a question put to me by someone I love and respect so it gave me pause. "I don't think I have to have someone in my life. It's just nice not to always be alone." That is the cold hard truth of it.

I've made a right mess of everything since I was young. I've always been messy. My room was messy as a kid and as an adult my crafting area was horrific! Some of us are just born to be cluttered. The good news is, we also do occasionally learn from those blunders. One thing I learned from my many errors is that they might seem like mistakes but God uses them to teach us who we are, but more importantly who HE is.

There is a song by Garth Brooks called The Dance. The chorus goes like this:

And now I'm glad I didn't know

The way it all would end, the way it all would go

Our lives are better left to chance

I could have missed the pain

But I'd have had to miss the dance

Life isn't left to chance. We make decisions that influence the direction of our life. However, the last two lines "I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance," have always made me think. There are many things I wish I hadn't done. I bet you are the same. However, each and every trial we go through is as much part of the dance as the carefree, fun, and flawless moments. The entire dance of our life may not be an elegant ballet, but it is all important to telling the story of us.

I am learning for the first time in my life that I can be alone and not be lonely. There are days when I walk my evening walk and I tell God, "I really want to go out with someone to a nice dinner. I want to talk, laugh and feel beautiful." I don't ever get a response to that statement. I'm not sure why. Probably because He knows when I will be ready to have moments like that and not end up compromised. I'm not there yet, I guess. It could also be that he is preparing someone else to be in that same situation. It is a mystery.

The first step towards living this life only for God is to clear away everything else you are living for. I had been living my life pleasing the man in my life, and failing. He became my idol. I realized that during a sermon one Sunday. It was right there staring me in the face. I was more focused on who my man wanted me to be, than who God designed me to be. I was losing myself and in the process falling away from God. This relationship ended 2 years ago, but there isn't a day that I regret having met him. My only regret is that I lost myself in the process. I was never going to please him, no matter how hard I tried or how much I changed.

Oddly enough, this is how I have lived my entire life. I want people to like me. Who doesn't? I didn't have many friends in grade school, none in fact that I can recall. Junior high wasn't much better. In high school I had a few friends, but none of them stuck with me after. In my twenties and thirties I had a few good friends, but it was the same with them. I was always just trying to please everyone, that I lost myself in the process. I always felt awkward around people, like I was just an odd bird with a crooked beak, funny shaped body, and strange sense of humor. There are days when I feel this way even now. The difference is, I know my cleverness is a gift. It is okay that I am not stunningly beautiful. It is also okay that I have a messy desk! I'm no longer trying to please anyone but God. My focus is not on who likes me, but on the God who loves me.

Imagine Jesus saying, "I don't want you to be someone that you are not. I know who I created you to be. Just be her. When you stop trying to please everyone and just please me by being you, the struggle ends."

I am alone, but because I Imagine Jesus every day, I am no longer lonely. The dance is getting better. I'm not stumbling around like an elephant in high heels. This awkward bird is finally learning to fly. Someday, hopefully soon, I will get to go out and enjoy an evening with someone equally alone but not lonely. We will talk, laugh and enjoy each other's company. I will Imagine Jesus there and smiling because he will be, when I'm ready.

Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me."

Matthew 4:10 "Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Romans 9:20 "But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”

Genesis 2:18 "The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

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