Amanda Lawrence reflects on the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can come with a solitary life.
Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since my mother bore me you are my God. (Psalm 22:11)
Loneliness has plagued my mind like a virus lately.
While I watched the world struggle to shed the crumbling shell of its pandemic cocoon, I couldn’t help reflecting on the souls I lost along the journey. Many passed on, while others sank deeper into sin. Regardless, they abandoned me in my battle with isolation.
Loneliness isn’t unusual—it’s part of the human experience. At every stage of our lives, we’re susceptible to it. I used to think I was lonely because I was alone. But even surrounded by admirers, I felt equally isolated. Such emotions have followed me since birth, trailing behind like a shadow.
In the past, I succumbed to the temptation to deal with my crushing feelings of isolation. Sometimes, I sought other humans to starve off the silence. Other times, I leaned into seclusion and let it embrace me like the companion it is. Neither remedy cured my lonesomeness.
I once believed I had always been by myself.
That wasn’t true, though. God was with me through it all.
Whenever I face a new low, the hand of God reaches out and rescues me as He’s done a million times before. Reflecting on past trials recently solidified the reality that I had to confront my loneliness without relying on another person. It also reminded me that I have an unspeakably remarkable relationship with God.
Who can rival it? No one.
Perhaps that’s why I’m lonely, despite being in the presence of others.
But being alone isn’t all bad. Seclusion allows us to ask questions such as, What is my true vocation? Have I wasted my gifts or used them wisely? What’s God’s purpose for my life? And so on. Even Jesus went to deserted places to pray and pursue answers (Mark 6:31; Matthew 14:13).
Realizing no human could cure my loneliness forced me to consider the many times I felt smothered by God. Acknowledging those responses to my isolating feelings was humbling. How did I expect anyone to contend with such support?
People cannot compete with God, nor should they try. He’s the only infallible in life. I guess I just got so used to His presence, so spoiled by it, that I lost sight of humanity’s genuine flaws.
God may not bless me with exotic vacations or fancy jewelry, but He always blesses me with enough grace to get through the day. Whenever I stop to ponder how amazing that is, my eyes leak.
Everything I possess is a divine blessing. I’m so overindulged sometimes that I forget I shouldn’t have any of it, but as Psalm 23:1 reminds me, “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.” For this, I am thankful, which makes it easier to offer every moment, especially the lonesome ones, to God while resolving to accept His will.
And what’s better, I’m never alone. The gift of the Holy Spirit dwells in me like bone marrow. What I feel isn’t so much loneliness as a profound longing for paradise, as if birth stole me from my homeland, and my soul knows it.
Maybe Providence has destined me to live solitary. Whatever the case, I’m confident I am no longer lonely, only homesick for Heaven. It’s that knowledge and my faith that sustains me these days.
Copyright 2023 Amanda Lawrence
About the Author
Amanda Lawrence is a cradle Catholic, mother, librarian, writer, and speaker. She lives in her own little slice of Heaven on the coast of Massachusetts with her son and dog. She hopes to make disciples through wisdom, truth, and her service to God.