I wrote this quite a long time ago, but I still wanted to share this with those of you who missed it over at SheLoves this month.
If you asked me how I am really doing right now, this is what I would say:
“I am lonely. I am physically weary. I long for authentic community. And I miss the days when I felt fulfilled in living out my calling.”
But if you then asked me to climb out of my head, open my squinched-shut eyes and look for what God could be doing in this desert season, I would confess that I feel loved, seen and held.
And I’d have to admit that sometimes God intentionally grabs our hands and yanks us straight into the wilderness.
Loneliness is natural to the human condition and often necessary to our spiritual journeys. I struggled with loneliness when I left my family and moved to another state for college, when I began my first job in Chicago as a teacher, when I lived on the other side of the globe as a single woman in China, when I returned home to the states to get married, and as I’ve navigated the shift of identity and calling that comes in becoming a mother.
Sometimes God wants our feet dangling in the air as we clutch the edge of the cliff so we are that much more aware when He supports us, lifting us from below.
For context, I am 39 weeks pregnant, have two little ones under four, and am used to being very capable, able-bodied and driven. But these days, I congratulate myself if I keep everyone in our home clothed, fed and breathing. I’ve never felt as depleted as I have in the past few months.
Having moved cross-country over a year ago, we have few friends to walk with us during this pregnancy. We have always found our people at church but have visited 11 churches in 16 months and are still homeless. There is nothing that makes you feel lonelier than sitting in a crowded room full of people for an hour and a half, then walking out at the end without speaking to a single one.
After “dating” a church for nearly a year, we reached the point where we needed to either get married or break up, and we’re facing the sad reality of having invested so much time in a relationship only to move on and start all over again. We had hoped to stay through the duration of my pregnancy, mainly for the meals and support, but when I sat quietly asking Jesus about this decision, He seemed to say, “Don’t you think I can provide a few freezer meals for you?”