This past week has been lonely and uncertain. To express this, I will share an excerpt from my journal this week.
- Loneliness is part of life
- Loneliness is not a bad thing
- It teaches one how to love without condition
- What is true love?
(10 p.m. in bedroom)
“There is a loneliness I am experiencing right now that makes me feel like I would never last as a hermit. Although I am under the same roof with my aunt, grandmother, and cousin who is only here for the night, I feel very lonely. Today is Sunday, and my siblings and parents usually come to my grandma’s house for Sunday brunch.
However, since my aunt and I started fasting, my siblings and my parents have not been coming over to share a meal. Instead, they drop off my grandma’s food, say hello, and then leave. I understand that they do not want to be disrespectful to my aunt and me, but I wish they would just stay. I really miss the conversations we would have over brunch. This fast is showing me, on a deeper level, how communal human beings really are.
I am really being pushed to rely on my relationship with God, because this fast in particular, has, in a sense, stripped me of the community I would typically engage in through “breaking bread” with others. In other words, I’ve discovered that sharing a meal can unite people in the most profound way. The longer I fast the more I realize how profound and EXTRAordinary that really is. I had no idea that loneliness would hit me this hard!
1. Loneliness is Part of Life
Perhaps God is preparing me for what will be in my near future. I am going to be moving to another state far away from my family, for graduate school. I have no doubt that loneliness will be a part of that chapter of my life. However, I am aware that loneliness is a part of every person’s life, whether they are married or single. I am finding that, so often I try to drown out loneliness by keeping my mind busy with different things. Some of those things are music, dancing, surfing the web, social media, etc. Although these things are good, but I tend to allow them to keep me from spending time in silence, where I know my heart can enter into a conversation with God.
2. Loneliness is Not a Bad Thing
I do not believe loneliness is a bad thing. As a Christian, I believe that it serves as a reminder that the only One Who can “complete me,” is God, and until I die and pass into “life everlasting” loneliness will always be within the different seasons of my life.
3. Teaches One How To Love Without Condition
Loneliness is also giving me a glimpse into what it means to truly love people without condition. At this moment, all I want is the company of my family. I don’t even care about the food. I just want them to be under the same roof as me.
Loving people without condition can be difficult, but at the same time, quite simple. I realize that it is only difficult to love people fully if I have underlying motivations or expectations. However, truly loving because all that is required of me is to give of my time, talent , and heart without expecting anything in return.
What is True Love?
That’s a very vulnerable thing to do because there is a large possibility of being rejected. At the same time though…that is true love. I’ve heard many people say when it comes to romantic relationships, that “it isn’t love if the other person doesn’t love you back,” or “there is no love without trust.”
I thought about these sayings, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is simply not true. There are people in my life that I do not trust with my belongings because they have sticky fingers, but I love them. There are people in my life I do not trust with the depths of my heart, but I love them. There are people in my life I have never met, and yet, I love them anyways.
I’ve been to numerous weddings, and many couples often choose the passage below for the ceremony:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears ALL THINGS, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”(1 Cor. 13: 4-8)
Doesn’t it sound romantic? Truth be told, I don’t think it sounds romantic at all. The wedding vows themselves don’t even sound that romantic.
I (name) take you (name) to be my wife/husband. I promise to be faithful to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life.
It sounds like I am going to be learning how to love for the rest of my life. They are vows of fidelity and service to the other. They are vows of honor, selflessness, and self-sacrifice. Is romance a part of it? Of course! But true love always wills the good of the other whether or not I gain anything from loving that person. If they choose to love me, that’s great! If they choose NOT to love me, then I should be okay with that also.
Despite the loneliness I am feeling, I really hope that I can grow to love people more fully, without expecting anything in return.