Thirty-four days until the joys of Christmas Day. Forty days until the New Year’s Eve celebration. Two hundred and twelve days until the first day of summer (can we get an AMEN?). For some, you might be counting down trivial things like the midnight showing of the next Hunger Games or Hobbit movie. For others, there might be bigger things to count down, such as the due date of a precious new baby or possibly the day you board a plane to meet your adopted child for the first time. It might even be an anniversary trip on the horizon or a fund raising event you have been working towards for months. To put it mildly, counting down to these types of life events can be so anticipated it keeps you up at night.
On the other hand, for many moms out there, you aren’t necessarily counting DOWN to something, but counting the days SINCE something. For those that have been struck with some of life’s most unexpected hurts, losses, and struggles, every day counted since that day of pain is a reminder that strikes the wound in a fresh way. Those are dates your soul stakes as mile-markers, whether you want it to or not.
Two hundred eighty-one. That is how many days it has been since my husband and I moved and settled our family into a new state, new city, new home, new friends, and so on. For a melancholy like myself, “new” can be exciting, but “new” means being totally uncomfortable, insecure, and repeatedly displaced. Maybe you are not in this same situation, but if we are both completely honest maybe we have a common battle at hand.
Does anyone ever want to admit that feeling out loud? No lonely person would ever want to compile the problem by admitting their state of mind only to be pitied, misunderstood, labeled, or possibly alienated. David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), has personally been there.
“I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.” Psalm 102: 6-7
In his book, Wild At Heart, John Eldredge gives the insight that a woman’s greatest desire is “to be known.” Isn’t that the opposite of loneliness? To be known.
That being said, loneliness can emerge from a variety of situations. Maybe you are a stay at home mom who feels isolated, and the ache in your bones tells you exactly how many days it has been since your last meaningful conversation. Maybe you have a hurtful situation that must remain private, and the strength it takes to work through that secret alone is almost unbearable. Maybe it is the deep, undeniable need for friendship that leaves you feeling alone even after a great “Mom’s Night Out” with other women. Maybe being surrounded by a crowd of shoppers, no matter how pleasant, brings about an irrefutable sense of loneliness. Maybe you have been waiting patiently for the Lord to answer a serious need and the silence “in-the-gap-time” is almost deafening.
Lonely Mom, I encourage you to take time today and learn the truth God has for you during this phase. Cling to it. Repeat it to yourself over and over again. Refuse to let this lonely time pass you by without knowing Him, trusting Him, and seeking Him more diligently. Stand firm against Satan’s attacks. Reject his ugly lie that you are alone.
You are NOT alone. You are KNOWN by God.
If we believe what Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” then here it comes! God promised Joshua, “I will not fail you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:5). And as David declares, “For the Lord loves justice, and He will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever” (Psalm 37:28). Even Paul reminds us, “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but NOT ABANDONED; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).
I could go on…so I will.
Isaiah 7:14 prophecies the virgin birth and gives us the name that is again imparted by an angelic appearance in a dream to Joseph (Matthew 1:23), “‘they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which means ‘God with us.’” Jesus. Immanuel. The “WITH [us]” of God, as Beth Moore likes to call Him.
Humor me for a second and read Hebrews 13:5b-6 from the Amplified Bible OUT LOUD. Let the command of Scripture resonate loud and clear to your inner man.
“…be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not! Josh. 1:5] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?” Ps. 27:1;118:6
Can you not hear the degree of intensity the Mighty One of Israel wants to convey to you today?!
It is the believer’s glorious confidence of never being abandoned that was paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. To believe anything other than that would be to believe a lie.
With newfound assurance and the undergirding of the Lord, I leave you with these words put so poignantly by Oswald Chambers:
“Why shouldn’t we go through heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us fall and collapse at the first grip of pain; we sit down on the threshold of God’s purpose and die away of self-pity, and all so called Christian sympathy will aid us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, and says, ‘Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.’”