Think, for a moment, about all the stars in the dark night sky. Billions of them. All alone. Isolated from every other star. They see one another, yet they never connect. Never interact. A few, however, experience the privilege of joining other starts to form constellations. What makes them so special? Were they brave? Were they compassionate? Or were they simply willing? Which star would you rather be: a lonely star who sits up in the great big sky unnoticed, unrecognized, and unnamed for all of eternity? Or a bright, bold constellation that brings joy and wonder to the world?”
The above is an excerpt taken from my newly released book, If You Could See as Jesus: Inspiration For a Life of Hope, Joy, and Purpose.
The Cure for Loneliness:
What is your greatest and deepest emotional need? Most people would say to feel loved. I agree, yet I would go a step farther and say people have a deep-rooted need to belong—to be a part of a group. Belonging to a group makes us feel loved, wanted, and accepted.
Yet, despite the 7.125 billion people roaming planet Earth, many of us don’t have a group—a constellation. Many of us float around all alone feeling isolated, unwanted, and unloved. We wander in and out of our days in a fog of loneliness and despair wondering if anyone even notices our mere existence.
I believe loneliness is one of the most painful, most gut-wrenching feelings a person can experience because it ushers in a host of other negative emotions: hopelessness, rejection, inadequacy, and more.
The good news is, God offers a cure for loneliness! No matter what our situation, we are never truly alone. King David wrote, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10, NIV)
David continued to lament his deep desire to belong to a family: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” (Psalm 68:5-6, NIV)
As King David darted in and out of caves escaping the wrath of King Saul, David understood the fact that belonging helps shape our identity. Being a part of a group, a tribe, a family, or a framily (friends like family) brings us together in times of joy and in times of sadness. Belonging highlights our differences and shows us that diversity is nothing to be feared, but to be embraced. Belonging files away our rough edges and helps us to become more like the person God intended and less like the person we simply are.
So how can we overcome isolation and enter into a community of belonging? Especially when it seems like everyone around us already belongs to a group?
Sometimes it requires bravery. It requires risk. It might require forgiveness or healing or trying something new in order to connect with new people. Yet, it always requires trusting God and His promise that living life as a constellation is better than living life as a single star. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV)
Avoid the temptation to withdraw. Connect with your community. Link arms with your sisters. Live life with your tribe. Run miles with your people. This is your life—do not spend it hiding in your cave.
Are you ready to draw closer to God in a new way? Authors Suzanne Niles and Wendy Simpson Little can help you go deeper in your faith than ever before!
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