I love God’s timing! I love how He reveals truth when we are ready to hear it, when we are ready to receive it and when we are at that place where we can invite the Holy Spirit to bring healing into our lives.
Yet, it doesn’t always come without a struggle beforehand. Sometimes it involves wading through the muddy waters of ungodly beliefs and lies lived for far too long. Such is what happened to me over the last couple of weeks.
I went to see my spiritual counselor because I have felt a stirring in my spirit that I needed someone to walk through some issues with me that have been coming to the surface regarding “resting in God” and what that looks like or even means.
I was a little surprised when two comments were said in our meeting that went in a direction that I hadn’t anticipated, but two statements stuck with me and I knew that God was shining His spotlight on them asking me to dig a little deeper.
My counselor made the observation that I have felt “alone” all of my life.
How could one little word, “alone”, begin to unravel long held beliefs and pain.
I realized that I have been using that word a lot lately~ especially more so in the last couple of years. My husband is a owner/operator truck driver. Not only does he drive but we own other trucks and hire drivers. Needless to say that as a driver he is gone a lot, plus in winter he is gone for a couple of months at a time as he works in the north on the ice roads.
And although I usually don’t mind being alone the last couple of years have been very difficult. And I wasn’t sure why….until now.
Alone, that is how I felt growing up. And although I was around people, I felt alone.
Having lost my mother at 6 months of age and my daddy then giving me to an aunt and uncle to raise, I was an infant who was abandoned and lost the connection with her biological parents and siblings. This does something to a child.
Loneliness crept into my life at a very tender, vulnerable age. In later years after I was married another uncle mentioned to my husband that as a child he watched me and how for 7 years I never smiled. Instead, loneliness like a thick cloud of fog seemed to envelop me. I learned how to be alone….it was how I survived.
And until now I have been comfortable with being alone, after-all it’s how I survived the years of abuse and pain…being alone made me strong and safe.
When a child lives with secrets and is not allowed to express her heart, when they are not permitted to reveal hidden abuse or attacks, then a child learns to walk through life feeling alone. When we are not allowed to ask questions, or to need answers to our questions, it isn’t only our questions, needs and voice that becomes invisible but we become invisible.
When tears are cried silently because crying out loud would bring punishment a child soon learns to cover her pain and withdraw to that place of aloneness in order to feel safe.
Yet we all long for connection, that is how God created us. Even though I am surrounded by family, friends and co-workers, I still often feel alone.
And this is where Jesus wants to meet me….where He longs to meet us.
For so long I viewed getting away by myself, withdrawing from social media etc as a way to spend time with God in order to purge any feelings of loneliness- a time to put on the shelf my questions, concerns and doubts thinking that would bring me closer to God….and don’t get me wrong, getting away by ourselves and having some quiet, uninterrupted time with the Lord is good and needed.
But I am beginning to understand that my desire to spend time alone is not really about getting away from all the noise at all, but simply it is a deep desire to trust God with my aloneness.
God has been redefining quiet in my life. He is uncovering desire in my heart where there has been so much building of walls, so much fear of the unknown, so much anxiety of needing to be strong, so much grieving of what was and what isn’t.
I am beginning to sense glimpses of the intimacy that Jesus desires to have with me. No longer do I need to feel like the orphan who is alone, instead Jesus is the companion who walks with me through the alone times, the brother who holds my hand when I feel lonely, the friend who carries me when I haven’t the strength to face another trial. I don’t have to be strong all the time in order to survive now.
I think for so long I viewed time alone, a time of rest, a time unplugged from social media as a means to run from the very things that I longed for, connection, a deep connection with Jesus. Yes, I wanted Him to fix what felt broken, to fill the voids, the deep longings and needs I had, but I was also was afraid of what I would hear , fearing His answer. Trust was elusive sometimes. Would He be enough?
Yes, I was desperate for Jesus to show up, and He did….and does…. but I also didn’t fully understand what it meant for Him to “stay”.
As God continues to redefine quiet for me He is transforming my aloneness, as well as my loneliest and messiest times into something that is beautiful and intimate.
As author, Bonnie Gray states:
“Quiet isn’t that absence of stress. Quiet signifies intimate confidence in your importance to Jesus.”
And the second observation that was said while I was with my counselor I will share in the next post, stay tuned!!