If you’ve ever felt lonely, then you’re in good company. In fact, even Jesus cried out while dying on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Many of the prophets in the Old Testament faced loneliness as well, and even King David, before he took the throne, battled isolation and loneliness while hiding from his enemies in the caves of Abdullum. He wrote, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Being at church took you out of your daily script and placed you in a spiritual, authentic, and super fun environment. You experienced what it was like to live in unity with God’s people.
Now that you’re home, things are different. The atmosphere has changed and you’re back in your usual home routine. Perhaps the excitement of church gatherings is gone and you’re feeling bored, lonely, and isolated. Some people even experience loneliness by not sleeping well or not wanting to get back into their normal activities. You already miss your church friends even though you are connecting on social media and seeing each other online. Feelings of loneliness aren’t a bad thing, it just means that you had a memorable and exciting time at Church. Dr. Seuss has a quote that reads, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
So what are you supposed to do with your feelings of loneliness? First, don’t wait until you feel like it to get back into the swing of things. I’ve learned that my feelings eventually follow my actions. It’s much easier to act my way into a feeling than to feel my way into an action. Don’t sit out on life because you feel lonely; this will only increase your sense of isolation. Talk to your parents about how you feel, talk with a friend, or take the dog for a walk. Connecting with God, His creation and others is always the answer to feeling isolated and lonely.
Another helpful tool I use when feelings seem to overwhelm me is to write. I pick up my journal and I begin to write how I feel, followed by what the Bible has to say about my feelings. I’ve found on many occasions that the way I was feeling was because of a belief I held that wasn’t true. I follow up my time of journaling by writing out a personal prayer to God. It’s usually a prayer of thanksgiving. Expressing your gratitude to God for His unconditional love is a way we can give back, even when we experience painful emotions.
ALERT: While feelings of isolation and loneliness are extremely normal from time to time, if you are experiencing ongoing symptoms such as having little interest in doing anything, feeling hopeless, poor appetite, or you’re not able to concentrate, please talk with your medical doctor, parent, youth pastor or a trusted adult immediately.
Prayer: Thank You Lord that You are the One that binds up the broken-hearted and nurtures those that are alone and afraid. I know that Your grace is sufficient, even in this deep loneliness that I am facing, but give me the grace to face the future with You at my side, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Journal Book Questions:
1. What did God say to you?
2. What did you say to God?