Some years ago - well actually a lot of years ago - as a teenager I remember listening to a popular song by Roy Orbison that said this:
Only the lonely
Know the way I feel tonight.....
On July 10, some 14 months or so into this journey, I wrote this is my journal:
"The loneliness will not leave. It is firmly camped out and appears to be here to stay. It screams at me and taunts me. Without others to talk to I loose track of myself and who I am. I detest its presence here It has far outstayed its welcome.
How will I learn to embrace it as a part of my life now? Embrace means I must get close to it and face it head on. Instead of embracing it, I want to tell it to go away. Yet it remains. When it noisily has its tantrums and screams at me to pay attention to it, I want to shout at it and tell it to shut up. Yet, it still screams and cries and grabs at my leg for my attention.
Therefore, my attention it will get. For I am coming to see that as a screaming child is soothed by an embrace, perhaps this loneliness will also calm itself if I embrace it.
We have battled each other for well over a year now and I am weary of this fight. I do not know if I will ever learn to like it; but, perhaps by facing it I will in the silence hear the lesson it is here to teach me."
How we all know the "screams" and "tantrums" of "lonely" - eating alone, going out and coming in alone, the empty bed, the empty chair, the unused coffee cup, the empty hook where the hat used to hang, more room in the closet and the dresser than we need, the unending silence, and so much more................
This morning when I woke up I said this:
And very gently He once again reminded me - I am here - I am with you - I will never leave you or forsake you:
And He does - and He has. On the days when it seems lonely's tantrums are at their worst and I cannot deal with it anymore He comes in many different ways: sometimes the way the son shines through the window; sometimes the way my little precious kitty cat snuggles close; sometimes a random call from a friend; sometimes wise comments from Facebook friends like this one: "I am never alone, though no human be with me, I am never alone."
And so I embrace "lonely" and I draw close to Him - I talk to Him out loud, I write to Him in my journal and yes sometimes I watch mindless TV - (don't we all?)
And I have discovered that He is so very real .......He KNOWS that I am lonely, and He understands. And He has graciously caused me to see that this season of living with "lonely" is part of the plan - a plan I can't understand but one in which I am determined to place my trust - for after all He who causes an oak to grow from a tiny acorn and flowers from such tiny seeds certainly can be trusted to cause something to grow from this "lonely" I am living with.............
I know there will be more lonely days - and nights - yet I will press on and keep drawing close to Him - my Comforter, My Shelter, My Rock - and in the silence I will listen to Him speak to my wounded heart and wait patiently for the growth that is to be.
Draw close to Him this night dear one - press in - you will not regret it - for He loves you so.