Many years ago, I was single. Crazy, eh? After moving out of my parents’ house, I found myself completely alone for about four years. Sure, I went to work with other people, visited the parents from time to time, and shopped in public areas surrounded by people.
But, most nights and weekends, I found myself at home, alone. And, back in those days, I found ways to occupy my time and the such.
Fast forward 15 years later. Married, and engaged in the local and online community in a number of ways, I am constantly in contact with people around me, on the phone, through the internet and much more. Recently, I dropped one of the larger community things I volunteered for on a regular basis. This freed up a night or two every week that I did not have before.
And when I shut off the voices for that night, the silence deafens me! Ok…that was just fun to write. In reality, though, I did start to feel a little out there in left field, so to speak.
Adjusting to quiet times (or outright loneliness) provides some of life’s largest challenges, especially if one’s history includes lots of community activity or living in a large family. The standard advice of getting a hobby, pets, etc., can all help. In fact, I have a number of hobbies on standby just in case I suddenly find myself with too much time on my hands. (I have a very interesting story about that happening once, which I will save for another post). Generally, if you focus your efforts, you can really grow in aptitude with those skills/hobbies during long periods of being alone.
Yet, as a Christian, I realize the greater potential for quiet, lonely times. When one studies God’s Word, you find plenty of examples of spiritual growth happening during such times. Jesus often went off alone to spend time with the Father. Some of my greatest growth (and deepest Bible Study) happened during those lonely years.
The next time you find yourself feeling lonely, consider the possibility that such times in life are given by God for that very purpose! Thank Him, and look for ways to grow within the peace and serenity that can result from such moments.
And, of course, you’re always welcome to reach out to me 🙂