Some things are easier than others for a while then it all switches up.
It has been rather easy to write but as my desk got fuller it became harder to consolidate my thoughts. Oh, how I wanted to just sit and tap out an article, but it isn’t always that way. The vibes around me are stilted because anxiety and loneliness have sneaked in while we were all looking the other way. I will not dwell on anxiety because I have harped on about that for a while and I think you all need a break.
Loneliness…that is another animal all together.
It has come up in so more conversations than I thought possible. It is in homes, relationships, workplaces and anywhere there is a human heart. It has come up now we have had time to sit, think through and process our situations as we are less engaged and more sedentary. It has arisen because we are home and our phones aren’t ringing, we cannot go to the place the usually distract us, many are watching negative news all the time, the WhatsApp chats are disheartening and we are hanging out with little people we are not used to being around for so long. Sigh.
One man who has lost his job talked about no one calling him anymore, not even his siblings. A teenager said he had always felt unimportant and it is getting worse with the school closure. A mother struggling to keep a happy atmosphere at home shared how alone she felt. A father unused to being so sedentary and missing his boys expressed frustration and anger. Yet the thread I found woven into every story was loneliness from the disruption of our usual activities.
We are wired for community, yet it is less than ideal right now.
Many of us are caught up in unsettled feelings that if we took time to assess, we would actually see a deep sense of loneliness within us, grounded in being alone in spaces we are not used to and therefore very sad. We are alone because our usual activities are impossible to carry out as we do not have the ability to do much financially or socially. Many are sad because we cannot be with our tribe or do what makes us happy and this makes me wonder if we are focused on the right things.
I dislike being lonely because it allows my mind to wonder and create scenarios. I find that the more I focus on what I do not have, the less I see what I have and the more miserable I become. It makes me feel broken and that I do not like that. On one of those occasions I was reflecting I came across a podcast by my brother Irewolede Phillips, Broken but Mended. You need to listen to it.
There are so many things in there, but a few things really caught my attention and got me thinking:
Focus on what we have: It is so easy to sit and whine about what we do not have totally forgetting that there are things in life that are good and bring hope. This focus on what we lack, changes our ability to see God at work in us and clouds our perspectives completely. When we learn to look inward and see the blessings we have, however small they seem, and celebrate them our eyes lift from the ground to the mastery of God above.
Know the process is valuable: In the plan of God, nothing goes to waste. John the Apostle was tortured by boiling in hot oil then cast on the island of Patmos to die yet he lived and received a visitation from God that brought forth the book of Revelation. Moses fled into the desert only to meet God in the back side of the desert and get the call to rescue the Israelites. The things they went through made them certain of the call over their lives and the reality that God is in all and above all. How about you? Do you know that where you are is critical to where you are going?
God has allowed everything for His glory: I could be desperately lonely and if I look at the people who I think should be with or near me and see they are happily doing their things and forgetting me, it is possible to be sad and angry. If I rise into the understanding that the place I am in instrumental to the fulfilment of the plan of God, my perspective will change, and my heart will settle. It brings the Garden of Gethsemane to mind with Christ candidly telling God that he would rather not suffer but if it was the only route to the redemption of the people, he was ready to go. He connected to the reality that his trial and death were the most important ingredient and so he aligned with his Father and strength came.
The outcome is God’s beauty: The beauty of God is not born in simple, easy life. It is a product of a process that strips us of our selfishness and connects us to the deeper realities of grace and mercy. This is a place intended for growth and expansion to create the version of us God has seen and needs out in the world. It is established to build a permanent sense of belonging, connection, and joy in the arms of the Father. It is all about growing in our inner man that we may accomplish all that God has set for us in our lives.
Even though many of us feel like we have nothing, we must understand that with our Father in heaven we have all the supply we need. Do you believe things are changing? Do you believe God is in control? Do you believe you are not forgotten? Do you understand that the call on your life is the real deal with its own supply? Do you know that God will never let you down?
Your peace of mind and accomplishment depends on you understanding that God is God just like He said, you are you as He created you and everything you need is available at the right time. In the words of my Papa C, “…to be blessed is to have everything you need to become and accomplish the word of God, including hardship and pain.
Shalom, you are blessed.