“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Loneliness is a terrible feeling. We are now in the thick of this quarantine era of life, it’s a forced time of being alone. Dear Danielle and I have noticed how the days slip away and you have to create structure or time just melts. Hopefully you’ve found a rhythm, a way to make sure your mind stays active rather than become a zombie. This is a hard time for everyone. Whether you’re introverted or extraverted, we need connection, and when you can’t actively step outside of your home, the isolation turns to loneliness. Loneliness can be a dangerous place, it often leads to depression and a deep yet unknown sadness. I want to talk about this time, you may be grieving the way you used to live your life, but in this moment, know that you’re not alone.
This universal reset is a strange phenomenon. I’m introverted, which does not mean shyness, I’m very outgoing and can connect to others easily. It just means that I need to have time to be alone to recharge after giving a lot of energy being social. The joke is that this quarantine is what all introverts have been waiting for, and that’s not really the case. The alone time has gone quite a while, and we all need social connection. That’s why we are meant to live in community, it’s a biblical truth that Jesus talked about and it’s the basis for what the church should be. What has happened though, is that the way we have created space for having community in our lives, has been upended, and we are grieving this loss.
That’s why you have been going through all kinds of emotions. The days where you feel irritable, sad, or just generally “off,” is due to the fact that you are grieving a loss in your life. We’re all experiencing a very unknown crisis. So, what do we do? I think the biggest part of tackling this fear is by coming back with truth.
The emotions and struggles you feel are real, but you’re not alone.
Emotions are a good thing, we just have to be wise about not letting them control us or shape the way we are looking at reality. You may be physically alone, but you are not truly alone. I’m so thankful for tools and technologies that allow us to create community while being physically distant. I love being able to see my niece and nephew in a matter of seconds, while still being states away. You need to lean into these technologies and reach out to the people you used to see. Rethink the way you connect with family and friends, they’re probable feeling the same way you are.
Rest in the one who is with you and gives you strength.
I love how in scripture, over and over the people are told not to be afraid because God is with them. God gives us strength because he is always there. We just have to give him control. Rest in the fact that God is doing a work in and around you, he simply asks for you to develop a relationship with him. You’re not alone, and God wants to reveal a new thing to you in this time.
You’re not alone. Even though we may all be apart, you have technologies that close that gap and a great God who loves you and calls you his child. Church may look different, social gatherings may be strange, and you may feel like you’re stuck at home; but remember that we’re all in this season together. It’s okay to grieve the loss of the old way, but remember that it does not define you, it simply means there is a new challenge to adapt to. Look at this season as an opportunity to develop a relationship with God and healthy rhythms for the future. Don’t let emotions tell you lies about who you are and remember to rest in the love of your creator.
Life looks different, but you’re not alone.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__