Unknown, poured out, and lonely

You know the loneliness even in the midst of a crowded room? You’re at the party of your colleague’s birthday and no one approaches you or seems to notice you. The sermon has wrapped up and everyone seems to have friends and a reason for conversation while you’re awkwardly standing there, not sure where to go. You start a new school or new job... On and on the list can go. It even happens to me, the extrovert who will talk to anyone at a get-together; I often leave a gathering feeling unknown, poured out, and lonely.

Loneliness comes in many forms. We can be physically lonely, unable to get out of bed due to illness, or unable to leave our home for whatever reason. We can be culturally lonely, when we’ve moved countries or territories and just don’t understand the cultural norms, feeling like an outsider. Emotionally lonely when we lack someone to share our heart with or when a spouse or friend has checked out emotionally. Loneliness can even come when we’re surrounded by people and you just don’t feel known or loved.

I’ve tasted good community—people who loved me and knew me well. In fact, I grasped not only more about Christ’s love during this time, but more about who I was because others seemed to know me better than I knew myself! Yet even in the midst of that time, I sometimes felt alone. I cried tears over being far from my sisters or having no one to talk to at 10 AM when a mama can really use a peptalk to make it to lunch.  I cried over no texts or calls. Even living among great community, I couldn’t have my needs met all the time.

God created us for community, but it isn’t the goal. Community, when well-tended, beautifully points us to Jesus as the Ultimate Knower of our hearts. He knows us perfectly and meets all our needs. And one day, we’ll have perfect communion with the Maker who knows us through and through. THAT is the goal.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are aquainted with all my ways.

The last couple days I have heard two stories from friends of how God met them personally. It is something I often struggle with—believing that God knows me personally and cares about the details. But, He does. One friend prayed for a house and asked God if she could have a few weeks to move as she has a newborn and other children. Not only did God provide abundantally, He gave them a couple of months to move. Another friend lost her job and correspondingly perfectly, God provided a job where she was studying so her life wouldn’t be stretched across cities adding more stress to an already full life.

God knows us exactly and sees the small details.

Sometimes His provision looks different. Maybe He’s not answering your prayers in the way you would like, but He has given you all you need.  

The Lord will keep your life, He will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Life is about our trusting Him and having faith in Him. So, while I don’t have the community that I would like right now, I have Jesus—who is all I need! He is more than enough. While we haven’t been able to move like we are still hoping to do, we have all the blessings in Christ. We have a great inheritance and abundance of life in Him. I have hope and life, and my soul is secure.

As you pray for your needs to be met and your loneliness to subside, remember that He is with you and knows you intimately. He knows all your needs and will personally meet them, even if it’s not how you expect. Above all, He loves you, and He who has not spared His son will lavish you with grace upon grace.