Probably the two loneliest times in my life were different periods of my childhood and after our son died. As a child I never felt like I fit in, from school, to my adoptive home. I remember crying myself to sleep many nights, contemplating where I could run away to and where I could find real, unconditional love. Then, after our son died, my husband and I grieved very differently and our marriage was nearly broken. We had so many new things to go through, including at the same time, my husband being full-time self-employed, which meant him home all the time, and no breaks from each other. Even with a houseful of people, it became a very lonely time. I was ready to run away from it all, but, the loneliness would have followed.
Alone time is certainly different than lonely times. I love alone times – which are not very often. Before my husband was self-employed and working second shift, I was much better with routine bedtimes, and looked forward to having the kids all settled down, and having “my time” be it, reading a book, writing or talking to friend on the phone. When the older children were young, nap times were almost heavenly! Now, with having ten children at home, ranging in ages of 2 to 22, our house is buzzing from early morning to late at night. I love the quietness in a car, all by myself, many times with no music or radio – because it’s the silence I rarely hear at home. T he laundry line is another place for alone time unless little ones are helping me. And rarely, when my children are in bed at a decent time, and my husband is still in the garage working, it beautiful solitude. I can be so tired, but having that time alone, revives me, and I get my second wind. Jesus required this alone time, going off to pray in solitude.
“Rather than turn from loneliness,
what if we turned toward it?
Could it be that loneliness is not a curse
but a gift?
A gift from God?”
Traveling Light: The Promise of Psalm 23
Yet, the lonely times I had as a child or through our grief valley are still a gift. I’ve been able to share with others my concerns of adoption and loving children equally. My children know how teasing crushes others spirits, and I quickly will nip it. I want to bubblewrap my children from being emotionally hurt by others, and these past few weeks one of my daughters has had to learn this from others teasing the way she looks. My daughter who has had two open heart surgeries and is very small for her age, has a noticeable scar and enlarged chestbone. She is in a local musical, a first for her, and has had numerous teasing recently that not only crushes her but this mama. We are working together on letting it go, forgiving and and sharing with them the miracle that makes her unique. As I look back and remember the loneliness after our son’s death, it reminds me to reach out to others and hopefully invade their loneliness so they do not sink into that hole. Loneliness can be a gift, if used for God or used to seek out God. David, a man after God’s heart, went through lonely times, seeking God.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted.
I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.
If you are lonely, listen for that still small voice. God is there – you are not alone. If you see someone lonely, use the opportunity to share with them, befriend them, and show them God’s love.
This week’s hostess was unable to participate and I did not find out until late on Tuesday, so I appologize for not having the links of those participating in this weeks In Other words, available. BUT, it’s not too late! If you have written about the quote above, please leave your link below so we can read your thoughts on this quote!
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