Thursday, March 21, 2013

How to overcome loneliness

Loneliness is not an issue that only a few select people struggle with.  Loneliness crosses the boundaries of race, gender, relationship status, and location.  A person can be single or married, in a rural or urban community, have an active social life or tend towards being more solitary, and still feel lonely.  I used to think that I would never be lonely once I was married.  However, after talking with several different married couples, I learned that they still have their moments of loneliness.

With this knowledge in mind, God began to reveal to me that it was very important that I learn how to overcome these feelings now, before entering a relationship, so that I could be well-prepared for marriage.  I don't want to place all my hopes and dreams on another human being, no matter how amazing he is,  because the bottom line is that he is just that...human.  He will not always be able to be there for me,  If I am not in the practice of turning to God first, I will be creating unrealistic expectations for my husband that he has no hope of ever fully attaining.

So how do I deal with loneliness?  First, I know that God's Word promises that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37).  However, being more than a conqueror is not as easy as simply reading this verse and agreeing with it.

My mind is the first place that I tackle issues of loneliness.  My emotions might make me feel discouraged and down, but I need to choose to focus on God's truth rather than what I'm feeling.  I am not a helpless victim to my thoughts.  2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  What this verse means is that I need to take action against the negative thoughts racing through my mind that focuses on how lonely I am.  

After choosing not to allow myself to think negative, discouraging thoughts, I have to replace those thoughts with ones that are focused on God's truth.  His truth is that I am never alone, He will never leave or forsake me, He has a great plan and purpose for my life, and that I am precious in His sight.  And these truths are just a tiny portion of the full scope of God's promises for my life!  

I don't normally feel emotionally better right away, but as I continue to reaffirm God's truth over my feelings and circumstances, my emotions begin to come into alignment with my state of mind.  I'm not saying that it's all about positive thinking, but rather, purposefully thinking truthful, God-honouring thoughts.

As I end this blog post, let me encourage you that now is the time to begin taking action against the power of loneliness, no matter if you are single or married.  As God's child, loneliness has no power over you.  Believe this truth, claim it, and live it out through your thoughts, words, and actions.  You will begin to see results as you are faithful in standing your ground against the enemy's attacks.  The more you practice having the mind of Christ, the easier you will find dealing with future situations where you feel lonely.  And I promise that you will be more than a conqueror in Christ as faithfully trust and obey God!

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