I have struggled often with loneliness.
As we wait and wait and wait and wait some more for news regarding precious, beloved, Mohale, I’ll share this story in hopes that God’s strength in my weakness will encourage another.
A long time ago….
A season of loneliness changed my life. I was 19 years old, new to the United States, and a new transfer student at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. Weeks before, my parents had helped me move into an apartment several miles from the campus. Although they lived only 2 hours away, my heart felt desperately homesick and horribly LONELY. The loneliness felt thick.
One morning was filled with a grey fog as I sat in my white Ford Tempo, parked outside of the Chemistry building. That little car was a sanctuary from the chaos of unfamiliarity that often comes with a new move.
My heart was aching from dread of stepping out from the familiarity of my car into another day surrounded by strangeness and strangers. Desperately, I agonized to God through tears “God, WHY don’t you provide me some friends!! I am SO lonely!!” Through the painful, grey atmosphere, in clear silence, unexpected words struck my heart:
Stop seeking love. Seek to give love.
Through the silence, I pondered these words right there in my familiar Ford Tempo. Purposeful truth began to gently dissipate some loneliness. Reality came into focus… I’d already been given more love than the universe could contain. Now God was asking me to SEEK for ways to give His love away.
SEEK to GIVE Love. It was not about me- yet everything to do with loving the One who already loved me. Matthew 25:40
In the days that followed, I began to seek for ways to give love to strangers, acquaintances, friends, professors…through a smile, a note, a “thank you”, an encouraging word, a voicemail. With purposeful love, fear of rejection was disarmed. I could give love without caring how it was perceived or if it was received or rejected because seeking to give love has nothing to do with getting anything in return.
Weeks later I stumbled across this bible verse:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
Awestruck. This old, stale passage had proven true and suddenly radiated with new life and hope!
My life was FULL of people who He loved—People from countless cultures and backgrounds, beliefs and histories…People I never would have imagined even knowing! I’d stopped seeking to get and instead sought to give. The result was an overflow of beauty!
Seasons change. Now, as a mom in my late 40’s, I can say there still are days where loneliness and insecurity threaten to come in. However, this truth is as powerful now as it was over 25 years ago. When I remember to use it, purposeful love powerfully drives fear away. I’ve sought to give love on job interviews, social worker visits, with clients, at Dr’s visits, with grouchy personnel, in classes, in waiting rooms, at new churches, when being asked to tell our story, when sitting in an airport….
EVERYONE is in need of at least a smile or an encouraging word or even a grateful “thank you.”
Although my experience years ago resulted in a lot of amazing people in my life, sometimes the overflow of giving love away is a season of aloneness…especially if you are daring to risk. Yet, those times now are precious. It’s ok to be alone. Such time alone with Him is a treasure. You are loved beyond comprehension.
How about you? Are you lonely sometimes too? Can I encourage you to Seek to give love away today? It will change your life.
Perfect love has no fear- You are loved perfectly, unconditionally, unchangeably by Love, Himself. You are free to risk.