on being alone

I was relaying to someone today that I haven’t ever lived alone. I was born into a home with two loving parents and a sister who tolerated me. I moved into a college dorm sharing a room and suite with three other girls. I then moved into a house with three other girls and had three housemates until I graduated from college. I may have spent a brief time at the house by myself after I graduated but most days, I found myself back at home, aka my parents’ house, aka where food was free and better.

Six months later, I got married. The two of us learned how to share a home and six months later, adopted our first dog. We built a house in the country bringing the dog with us and then a year and a half after the move, welcomed a child into our home. Then, a rescue dog found her way in(to our hearts) and suddenly, I shared a home with four others (human- and animal-types) for the first time in my life.

Just shy of two months ago, I moved into a place that I share with Connor and when he’s not here … it’s just me. And, it’s weird.

I watched this video (again) tonight that a good friend sent me some time ago. The poem is given mixed reviews but I find it to be soothing. The author’s words are a reminder (to me, at least) that I need to take this time to start writing the rest of my story. I don’t mean that literally, of course, but I do need to spend time alone … to heal, and to listen.

You see, I’m never actually alone. Regardless of how I feel that day, I have a consistent housemate that is waiting for me to hang out. There are days I feel His presence more than others, but he’s always here. So, as a result, I don’t need to feel afraid or unsettled by the quiet. In fact, I should embrace it and remember these words:

Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. (Isaiah 41:10 MSG)

The thought of being alone, while terrifying, can be very motivating. Jesus often separated himself from others when he needed to find His own strength and to find time to listen. I think the thing to fear is loneliness; not being alone. Feeling lonely is entirely different, and scary. At first, I felt that way. But, slowly and surely, He’s teaching me to find Him in this silence. I just have to listen for His voice and the fear of being alone becomes, instead, an appreciation for His presence.

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