This season has been absolutely wild. From a pandemic, injustices, natural disaster, as well as the personal struggles we all face can be taxing on our mental health. It can be easy in the midst of our struggles to feel alone. There was a very distinct feeling of isolation a few months back, and even still limited interaction causes some fear. One of the hardest battles, is dealing with mental health alone. I’ve written in the past about my own struggle with anxiety, and the worst part was feeling alone. You can know that others struggle, yet at the same time, feel like no one can possibly understand your pain. What I found was, that I needed to be vulnerable with others, and the truth I found, was that I am fully known and loved.Continue reading
This past Sunday evening, and student from my small group gave a message on the idea that we are not alone because God is always with us. I loved this topic because it’s such a true statement and an idea that I have faced and I think many have faced as well. This feeling of loneliness that plagues so many. It’s not the idea of being alone, because we can’t be around everyone all the time, the closest to that you can get is having a spouse, but that’s not what this idea is about. It’s an empty feeling, one that makes it seem like there is no one around to talk to, no way to open up about what we are feeling. It’s not only a horrible feeling, but a dangerous trap. Isolation is the word that best describes this lonely feeling because it encompasses the problems that can arise. Isolation leads to a blocking out of outsides voices trying to guide you. What happens is we fall into a downward spiral of chaos and cause us to sin, and be trapped with no way of escaping. This is a pretty heavy idea, but it’s one that needs to be brought to light for those who are feeling alone or have fallen into complete isolation, and it needs to be brought to light for one simple idea and that is that we are never alone.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This I a simple statement from the Lord to Joshua, because Joshua felt alone. He was a man tasked with a job of leading the people of Israel after Moses passed away. He was left to guide hundreds of people, to lead them through the dessert as well as guide them in actions that were pleasing to the Lord. He was scared, he felt like he could not make it, yet God spoke to him and said that He was with Joshua wherever he went and through whatever he did. This passage in scripture has been a comforting piece for me especially. There have been many times where I have felt unable to keep going, when life gets hard and I feel alone, I want to quit. Yet over and over I am reminded of the fact that I am never alone. I struggle with this loneliness, I understand feeling like there is no one around you to help, but this myth is a lie from the enemy. When I feel this creep up around me, I turn to the one I put my trust in. It didn’t begin this way, it took me a long time to realize the importance of knowing that God is always there and that we need to seek out community. Today I’d like to share three of those discoveries that I have come to that have helped me overcome isolation.
God is with us in the darkness.
In all situations God is with us, this is the message my student Chris spoke about on Sunday. It is the key to begin this journey out of a life of isolation. When we feel like no one is with us, we don’t see the point in moving towards community with others, the darkness in our life begins to consume all that we are. Once we realize that we have an all-powerful God in our corner, we can rise up out of the darkness and fight back. It gives us the confidence to say that we can make it. When Joshua realized that God was with him, he rose up and knew that he could lead the people. Not by his strength alone, but with the strength of God.
We were not made to be alone.
God is always with us, but at the same time we cannot stay in that place. Back in high school I knew that God was with me, but I didn’t want to make any effort into looking for a community. I had been made fun of and that made it hard for me to want to get close to anyone else, I was still isolated. One of the best things for me, and I’ve talked about this before, my High school small group allowed me to be with others who were like me and who were willing to be open about their lives. I was no longer afraid of what people would say because I had a group that could guide me. They helped me to no longer fear what anyone would say. I knew that God was with me and I had a community of guys that helped me take on whatever was thrown at me.
We are better together.
As you may know by the name of my blog, I love comic books, and one of the biggest life lessons that I have learned by reading comic books is the fact that we are better together. So many stories have a hero who finds themselves with a great power and learns how to use it to help others. They have a mentor and a close cycle of people they trust and rely on to be accountable and get better. Then they face an evil that is too big to defeat on their own, then they find a team, whether it’s the avengers, x-men, or any other team, they unite and win. I just described every superhero story ever to you, and guess what? It’s not just a story. In life we find a passion that we pursue, we seek a mentor who is wise and helps us. Then we cling to a community of like-minded people to grow together and encourage one another. A problem that happens is that we forget to take that final leap, and when we run into a bigger struggle, we fall away, when all we need to do is run to that team of skilled people. Once I joined Daystar I felt as if I had just joined a mission that was bigger than me, but still wanted me because they saw that not only I but everyone is important to the body of Christ. I began to serve, I helped others that were new to the Church, and we become a stronger force when come together. My struggle with isolation diminished, because I had a community that would love and help me no matter what I faced.
I hope today you have realized that not only are you never alone, but you have a bigger purpose than to be trapped in isolation. It may seem like there is nowhere to go, believe me when I say that I understand, know that there is a way to be free. Just like God told Joshua that he was with him, God is with you. Find community, build a trust with them, and realize you are made for more in this world. I have seen the effects of isolation, and I have seen friends that were close to me never break free, believe me when I say this. No matter what is happening in your life, you can find freedom, you just need to grab hold of it.
Thanks for reading, where do you find life giving community? I’d love to hear from those who are reading these. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.