“…God will break the chains that bind his people…” – Isaiah 9:4a
This month we have been addressing the topic of loneliness and the pain that is associated with it. All of us have felt loneliness at one time or another. Loneliness, as we use the term during this series, means unwanted physical or emotional isolation. It is a self-conscious isolation, a condition in which the lonely one is consciously aware that something important is painfully lacking in his/her life. In our conclusion, Dr. Guy Winch in “Why Loneliness Is A Trap And How To Break Free” (Psychology Today, September 2013), suggests that in order to emerge from the pain of loneliness, one has to do several things, all of which involve taking a leap of faith in one form or another; specifically:
1. Take the initiative. If you are socially isolated, consider volunteering, doing community service, or an activity you enjoy, as these are good ways to meet people. In addition, try going through your phone and email address books as well as your Facebook and other social media contacts and make a list of people you haven’t seen or spoken to for a while.
2. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Once you have compiled your list of friends and acquaintances, reach out to one of them each day. Yes, they might not have been in touch for a while or returned your phone call from two months earlier but give them the benefit of the doubt. Invite them to have coffee or even a catch-up on the phone and you will be surprised by how many of them will happily make plans and take you up on the invitation.
3. Approach people with optimism. It’s perfectly normal to fear rejection, but you have to get yourself in the right frame of mind when you contact people so the vibe you put out is positive and inviting (rather than overly cautious and uninviting). Even when texting or emailing others, keep in mind that emotions can be very useful. Example: “How have you been?” is much more appealing than “Haven’t heard from you in two months, wanna get together?”
Beloved, remember when you are emotionally, physically, or spiritually weak, you are in a prime position to witness firsthand the power of God working within you. God will give the strength and courage to endure whatever you are going through. Turn to God and trust Him.
Next Month: Celebrating the Continuum of Motherhood
The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.