I’ve become accustomed to starting my new year after my birthday which is in February. So, this month, I’ve been reviewing goals and establishing new routines, reviewing last year’s plans and making new plans. I’m always amazed at the way time moves in my life. Sometimes it drags and I fear the sameness of boredom and loneliness. Other times I’m overwhelmed by all I have to do and the number of people I want to keep in touch with—people I want and need in my life. How about you?
What do you think when you turn the page of a new calendar month and look at all the blank little squares? Are you excited to fill them in with birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, vacations, projects, and due dates? Do you feel organized and accomplished with all those little squares full and overflowing with things to do? Maybe you turn the page on the calendar and look at all the blank little squares and feel as empty as they are. The squares represent days ahead. Do you have nothing with which to fill them? Do you feel alone and wonder how you will manage so many long days ahead? Or are you overwhelmed with too much and don’t know where you will get the time and energy to do it all?
I am grateful for the new day. A day I can praise God for the people in my life. For the opportunity to know Him better and find Him in the little things I have in my everyday life. Sometimes, I like to be alone. I have learned to enjoy my alone time, but it is very different than being lonely. I have been there. Once my sister asked why I write everything on a calendar, I told her I was afraid of having nothing to do, that it made me nervous. All those blank squares meant nothing to do, and nothing to do made me feel lonely. Though filling in the blanks on a calendar doesn’t cure loneliness.
What we all need is a sense of purpose, a meaningful way to spend our time, our days. You may not physically be able to do very much, but your mind is a remarkable tool and can accomplish a lot. There is always someone who could benefit from your friendship.
Being lonely among a room full of people is a painful form of rejection. Watching other people interact and laugh together and not feel a part of the group became a fear for me. I wanted to have friends since I was in the fifth grade and noticed girls paired up at recess while I stood alone or felt like an afterthought if invited to join a game of jacks or hopscotch. As I grew older, I purposely looked for other girls who were standing alone, waiting to be invited to play or talk. Maybe they were in need of a friend. Surely, I wasn’t the only one feeling alone. I approached them with a friendly smile and welcomed them to participate in whatever I might be doing. I may not have had the most popular friends, but I had friends who needed me and cared for me. And I needed them too. The Bible says to have friends one must show himself to be friendly. Proverbs 18:24 Today, I cannot even begin to imagine how empty my life would be without the friends I’ve made because of Him. Jesus taught me to love others, even my enemies.
In high school, there was a girl who just couldn’t stand me because her brother liked me instead of her best friend. She would taunt me, harass me, and generally try to make my life miserable. She teased me because I wouldn’t fight with her. Mocked me because she knew I believed in turning the other cheek. One time, she climbed onto the school bus, took her muddy galoshes off, walked to where I sat, and dropped them on my lap. “Do you still love me?” she sneered. I glared up at her, then at the boots. I took them off my lap and placed them on the floor, took a deep breath, and looked back up at her and smiled. “You make it hard, but yes I do.” She scoffed and snatched up her boots. As time passed, she came to me crying and apologized. And later, when she joined our church, she named me as a friend who told her about Jesus’ love. Truthfully, I don’t remember talking to her about Jesus. But how we live is a testimony whether we realize it or not.
Without the friends I’ve made through His leading, I would be lonely. and Lonely is a sad word. A defeated word, but God’s presence is forever and always with me. If I can but remember this beautiful truth, then even the most devastating circumstances are bearable. I am Never Alone. He is not intrusive, but is a calm, a peace, a joy. He is tenderly loving me through it all. Like the rainbow promise of sunshine and beauty after the storm. He places people in my life all the time. Some I need, others need me. I must be open to their need as well as my own.
Are you alone in a hospital bed facing day after day of paralysis or prisoner incarcerated? These are seemingly impossible circumstances, but our mind and spirit have a way of rising above all this and more if we know-that-we-know Jesus is with us. Knowing He loves us helps us love others.
I pray to always have someone in my life to remind me of these truths. God’s word brings life and strength hope and encouragement to endure what lies ahead. Be a friend to others and fill your empty calendar days with time for them.
“I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 God is faithful to keep His promises.
Remember, wherever you are you are at the right place when you come to my website and read my blog. Come on back and share a slice of life with me.