Monday, November 4, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Loneliness


How my relationship with Jesus got rid of my loneliness
A devotional by Jessica Brodie


“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”—1 John 4:7 (NIV)

Friendship was always a huge struggle for me. I was shy, I moved around a lot, I was a little socially awkward, and I had issues going on in my family that created a ton of turmoil within me—perhaps these are many of the reasons.

Still, it left me lonely. I never had that one “best friend,” and while I would make friends, I never had a close inner circle. As I became an adult, I’d hear about other women getting together to go shopping or grab lunch or do a girls’ weekend together, and a pang of envy would stab in my heart. What’s “wrong” with me? Why aren’t I likable?

Friendship always seemed out of reach for me. I felt so deeply isolated—on an island of my own. I was certain I was the only one going through this because everyone else I knew at least had a single friend or two. But me? Nope. I’d start to make friendships but never got past what felt like an invisible wall that blocked me from real depth. My best friends were in the pages of books I’d read.

Over the years, life happened. I had children. My relationship with the Lord deepened and grew.

And one day I looked up and realized I wasn’t lonely anymore.

Wait—what? I still didn’t have close female friends. On the surface, life hadn’t changed very much. What was the difference?


Jesus. That was the difference. It wasn’t that I didn’t know Jesus before. I believed wholeheartedly. But along the lines, belief became relationship, which is quite different.  And now, because I had a relationship with Jesus, somehow I didn’t feel lonely anymore. I felt complete.

It’s like before, I was always wanting to be a closed and perfect circle, fully connected, spinning round and around, but somehow there was a little opening, an open wound, in my circle, and all that love was spilling out like water from a hose. That’s why I never felt complete.

I didn’t realize it, but I think I’d been looking for my “other half” my whole life, that I firmly believed there was another person out there who would complete me, whether in a love relationships or a friendship—like that Jerry Maguire movie (“You complete me”).


But Jesus closed that hole, mended that gash, and with that my soul felt right. Jesus completed me.

With this realization came another, more painful one: how much of my energy had been going into myself. Ouch!

When I became centered on my Lord, I stopped being self-centered. With that, not only did I feel a million times better, but something magical happened: I began to attract friends like bees to honey!

You know that old saying, “To make a friend you’ve got to be a friend?” I used to think that meant acts of service or giving up all my time, but those can be superficial. What I’ve realized is that being a friend means giving yourself in love—full-on, sacrificial love.

Just like Jesus loved us.

Love means sacrifice. It means living out the greatest commandments, which Jesus told us are to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). Or, as I saw condensed on a T-shirt a few years ago: God first, others second, self last.

That was an impossible task before I had a true and deep relationship with Jesus, but somehow from that deep relationship with Jesus, everything else miraculously fell into place.

Because of that relationship with Jesus I knew how to love. I could love friends. I could love my children. I could love my husband. Fully and completely.

Paul wrote in Philippians 4:10-13 that he had learned the secret to true contentment: that he can do all things through Christ who gives him strength. I’ve learned the same. My relationship with Christ is the only thing that gave me the inner strength to overcome my loneliness.

And when his light shines into that lonely darkness, it obliterates the darkness.

Today, I’m not lonely in the least. Whether I’m in a crowd or I’m by myself, it is well with my soul.

Jesus is love. Because I now have that love in my heart I’m no longer lonely, and now I can love others back, too, the right way. The Jesus way.

~*~
Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.



She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight.

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful. While reading this message, I kept hearing the song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". :-)

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    1. It is so true! He is our forever friend. I used to think this was a platitude, but it's not.

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  2. I really enjoyed your post today. Thank you for sharing your story and great insight.

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  3. I see so much of myself in you, Jessica! You always seem to offer wisdom on the very things Father is working on in me.

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  4. I love how you explained that Jesus is the way and the inspiration out of loneliness to true love. And that a growing relationship with Him leads to a healthy life of love with and toward others. This is a heartwarming post and I hope it helps some who are seeking that "other half."

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  5. I love a happy ending and this is a happy ending! With or without earthly friends, we have no greater friend than Christ!

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  6. Thanks. I can relate in so many ways. This encourages me for when I feel long.

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  7. What a needed message today in this world of isolation. People are lonelier that they have ever been. But Jesus is waiting to befriend us all.

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    1. It is such a lonely, isolating time! You are so right -- He is there, just waiting for us all.

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  8. I understand where you are coming from...a relationship with Christ is so different than just a belief in Him. I love my time with Him. It's real and authentic, I don't have to pretend. Jesus is kind and patient with me.

    As you said, "Because of that relationship with Jesus I knew how to love. I could love friends. I could love my children. I could love my husband. Fully and completely."

    Being in a relationship with Christ teaches us to have healthy relationships with others. Great post!

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    1. Yes, I am SO grateful for His patience with me! Thank you, Marcie. God bless you!

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