I recently did a survey of my readers. I’d never done one before and thought it might help me to know a little more about them.
I was surprised with the results.
A couple nights ago, I got ready for bed and shared the results with my husband, “One of the questions I asked is, ‘What are you struggling with…faith in God, marriage, parenting, loneliness, your job, in laws?‘ Do you know what the number one answer was?”
He answered quickly, “Parenting.”
“Wrong.” I smiled, secretly happy he wasn’t right. He’s always right.
“Faith in God.” He answered.
“Then, I have no idea…”
“Really? Wow…that surprises me.” he said.
I climbed under the covers. “It’s ironic, they’re feeling alone and they’re the majority of women. Which makes them NOT alone, right? They don’t even know it.”
Paul said, “If you think about it, It makes sense. I mean, social media is where everyone spends their time these days and it’s a far cry from being in a relationship.”
Social media is definitely a BIG reason for a lot of our loneliness but there’s a few other things in play, too.
Women who struggle with feeling alone are the majority of women — which doesn’t make them alone at all. – Joanne Kraft
When loneliness leads to depression — that’s not good.
Arguing with your husband? That can be a lonely time. Especially, if we’re too embarrassed to seek counsel from our friends, or our pastor. Our heart can feel terribly alone. If we head to Facebook we see dozens of women shouting praises about their amazingly godlike husband’s and posting photos of their perfectly happy lives.
Don’t be fooled.
Have a child that’s making terrible choices? That can be a lonely time. We feel like a failure as a parent and believe the lies that no one in the world is having these kinds of problems. This is not the time to look at social media. You’ll be tricked to believe everyone else’s kids are amazing and wonderful.
Don’t be fooled.
Feeling alone in a situation is a tender place to be. It’s so easy to throw a daily pity-party. Don’t do it! These insecurities are a gateway emotion to keeping us in a low and lonely place.
Whatever we are insecure about becomes anxiety and whatever anxiety we nurse becomes fear. – Joanne Kraft
Lonely people suffer from fear. They honor their anxiety. Instead of moving out to find and love others, even though this means tolerating some anxiety, they move away from others so they don’t feel anxious about rejection or slights. By opting for temporary comfort instead of putting up with risk and anxiety, they keep themselves hurting from the infinitely greater pain of loneliness. – Candace Backus
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:1
When loneliness makes you draw near to God — that’s a good thing. – Joanne Kraft
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
Jesus stepped away from the crowds numerous times for a little solitude. He got up while it was still dark to have alone time with God. But, that alone time when it’s ours to dictate is a much different thing than feeling alone. The good that comes from a place of loneliness is that we seek God while we’re there.
Don’t nurse your loneliness. Don’t let fear keep you in a heavy-hearted place. – Joanne Kraft
The right thing to do is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Reach up.
Be that person who reaches up when you’re reaching down. I tell my kids all the time, “The right thing to do is sometimes the hardest thing to do.”
- Take a break from your iPhone, Facebook, Instagram or anything else with fake friendships you follow. Remember, a friend is someone you talk to–not someone you “Like” with a button.
- Pray for a good friend. Ask God to bring to mind someone. We were made to be in relationship with others. It’s selfish to stay away from others. It’s prideful to think no one is worth investing in. Don’t be afraid. Step out anyway. Relationships take time, what are you waiting for?
- Don’t make excuses. I’m not feeling well. Nobody likes me. I have nothing in common with her. I don’t have time. My kids won’t behave if I do hang out with her. All of these are excuses! Stop using them.
- Face to Face time. Not to be confused with “Face-Time” on your iPhone. Set up a time for some IN PERSON face to face conversation. Or, how about this crazy idea–Make a call. I’m old fashioned. I hate texting. Hit dial on your phone and invite a friend into a little conversation. Connect with someone.
- Leave your home for a little while. If you’re a mom of littles this can be harder–but it can be done! Meet a friend at the library and point your kids to the children’s books. Go out for coffee after work or while the kids are in school. Or, if your babies are tiny, pick up a girlfriend and let the kids take their naps in their carseats–then hit the Starbucks Drive-thru together! Drive around and talk. It’s the perfect mom date.
Loneliness is a place you don’t want to stay for long. God made us to be in relationship with one another. Isolation is a dangerous place. It’s where you can easily fall prey to depression. This is an even harder pit to get out of. Help yourself today and reach up and out to a friend. I promise there’s someone who feels the same way you do.
Be that person who reaches up when you’re feeling down. Then watch and see what God can do.