I sit in a room where just yesterday eight other amazing women sat with me giggling, storytelling, and really connecting. Now, it’s silent, and all those yellow chairs are staring at me empty.
Are you lonely? Me too.
But wait…I’m not lonely, I am alone. I long for the connection, camaraderie, and conversation of yesterday. I can have it if I just pick up the phone and dial.
That feels nice. It’s a blessing. People know me and I know them. Some on so many levels it’s hard to fathom, and scary to think about. I’m not sure I could feel lonely again. How I got here was a conscious choice and took work. To let people in. It was one of the hardest and scariest things I’ve done.
To be real. To be vulnerable. To chance judgement, exploitation, heartbreak. In order to truly feel loved, wanted, cared for.
I remember a time when I was lonely. Doing so much, and meeting so many people but I felt like no one REALLY knew me…heck, I wasn’t even sure who I was. What I valued. I was so focused on doing, I had no time to be.
So I spend more time alone to reflect, refocus, reprioritize. To listen and feel so I can be more purposeful and intentional. And sometimes, I spend time alone just to be. So I can be there for myself and for others.
To be more present. Ask one more question. Catch someone’s eye and smile just a bit longer. Show them I care. After all, the next person I pass could be someone critical to my life and vice versa.
My beautiful friend Anne is a prime example of this in practice. I was new to Mount Mercy and she was my marketing professor. She took time to see me…the whole me. She picked up on the subtle signs that I was longing for something, that I needed someone. Anne reached out and took me in. She offered her house, her family, her food, her help, her ear, her heart…pretty much everything she had. To me, to a stranger. That changed my life. She changed my life in too many ways to document in this post. (I love you so much Anne! Thank you!)
We can’t be lonely if we just open our hearts. Even when we are physically alone, God is pursuing us. He is listening and anxiously waiting to connect with you. Don’t miss out.