Posted in Family

In Other Words: The Gift of Loneliness

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?”
~Max Lucado,
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.
Psalm 25:16

I lie awake, I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.
Psalm 102:7

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.

Easier said than done?  It is for me.  But just as I have to begin my dependence on God over and over again, HIS mercies are new every morning.  

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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Beloved KEPT Child of Jesus stumbling by faith ~ Married 33 years ~ Blessed Mama of 10 beside me & 2 at Jesus' feet ~ Homeschool mama of 26 years ~ Writer * Blogger * Reviewer ~

7 thoughts on “In Other Words: The Gift of Loneliness

  1. As hard as it is for your daughter to deal with the teasing, I can’t help but think it will make her so strong in the long run. It will breed great compassion in her too. She carries a special mark from God physically, but no doubt also spiritually, as she has had to learn how to endure. She is truly marked by God in every way.

  2. OH – Yes! “Easier said than done.”
    Loneliness can indeed be a gift, if used for God or used to seek out God. It takes GREAT faith and surrender to really do it. Either great faith or complete brokenness — which leads to surrender.

    It’s also easy to say that there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. You have truly experienced the difference. Sometimes I crave alone”ness.” I sense you appreciate it too?! 🙂

    . . . my heart softens to hear the teasing stories. GOD’s heart too must just break to see this happen to his precious one. She is a special girl and she will survive with the support of her family!
    Happy IOW Tuesday!

  3. Loni…Thanks for stepping in and hosting at the last minute…I wondered when I couldn’t find the linky. 🙂 I appreciated your post today…and ache over the story of the teasing your daughter has experienced. That’s hard for a mama heart! (((Hugs))) to both of you. I also appreciated the reminder to invade the loneliness of others, as the spirit leads. It was timely for me today. Thank you!

  4. Thank you Loni, for hosting this week and at the last minute too. I’m sad that your daughter has to go through this. I remember hating being different too. Before my surgery, I would get so short of breath whenever I walked so I had to take a special bus with special needs children. I hated this little bus and other kids teased me. I also used to get pneumonia easily, especially in the cold winter months. At that time, girls had to wear dresses to school and not slacks. I had to wear what they called “leggings” to keep me from getting cold. I hated being different. My teacher made arrangements for me to enter the classroom before the others so I could remove my leggings. I thought that was so kind because I wanted to be just like the others.

    NOw, I’m healthy but of course still have my scar. Tell Jessica that it fades greatly as you get older. Now I’m proud of my scar. There are times when someone will notice the top of the scar, particularly if they are in the medical field or they’ve also had open heart surgery. It no longer holds a negative stigma for me. It does get better.

  5. This is beautiful. Hard and sad, but made into beauty by the heart of a mom who seeks God and has learned that forgiveness and mercy rule over bitterness and walls. I can so relate to the top part too, about craving that quietness, as I have anywhere from 9 to 11 children in the house each day! Thank you for your story.

  6. Sometimes being separated from a loved one may it be through death or the need to live separate lives can mean our OWN death. But you’re right. That’s really true. Loneliness is a gift. It’s something that we have to accept and not share to others. How will the giver of that gift do you think will feel if you have to share that loneliness?

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