Something is bothering me a lot. I’ve been a Christian for a long time. When I was younger, my friends were the people I knew in the Church Singles Class. As inevitably happens, they married and began families and I was slowly let out of the loop. Then I married later in life and we don’t have children. Even though I’m shy, I’ve tried to reach out to other women for friendship, but no one is interested. I don’t have any Church or secular friends. Even relatives have basically moved on. I am profoundly lonely and sort of wonder if the Lord wants me to stay this way. I am grateful that I at least have my husband and my mother, but my husband works different hours and we’re not able to afford to go out places often. I’ve tried Meet Up groups. Do you have any other advice for me?
Thanks for writing. It seems unlikely that God wants you to be lonely. We were created for community. But we live in an imperfect world, and we do often experience times and seasons of loneliness. Christ says we are, as we abide in him, his friends (John 15), so these seasons no doubt make God sad. That doesn’t mean, though, that God might not have something he wants you to learn during this season, because we also know that when we rely upon the Lord during difficult times, we grow and mature in our faith and we become better people (James 1). We have God’s promise that he will, “work all things together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8).
I know this is true. I’ve been there. I’ve gone through periods of loneliness, and come to rely upon and know God in ways I hadn’t before. Though those times were difficult, I wouldn’t wish them away now that I’ve come through them because of the work God did in my life during those times.
But, it still sucks.
I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this. I wish I could do more to help the pain go away, but I hope I’ve been able to, through the Scriptures, light a candle, however small, in this dark place for you. I pray that the Spirit might comfort your soul, and I pray that you will find friends as you continue to make your request known to the Lord.
Finally, the best advice I have is to look for ways to employ your gifts and talents in service. Find something in your church and/or in your community where you could serve others who are hurting and/or in need. This will help you get your focus off yourself, which happens so easily to us when we feel and are isolated. And who knows, you might make friends. Serving is often a great way to make friends because you’re serving alongside others who have a common interest in what you’re doing.
From my heart,
Have you been there?
What helped you through it?