A Christian Parent's View On Coping With Loneliness
Have you ever felt lonely? I sure have. There are so many lonely people who could use some kind words on coping with loneliness.
For my daughter, it started in preschool and it got worse in Kindergarten. Kids are so nervous to go to school, because they are afraid of being alone. My daughter told me one day, “Although school goes great I am still very lonely. I have no friends.” It almost broke my heart.
It is not easy to be lonely. You can be lonely in the best family in the world. You can be lonely in your sorrow, in your homework, in your day-to-day life. You don’t have to be an orphan to be lonely. I moved from Romania to America after I got married. Although I have a family here –my two kids and my husband-, I felt lonely many times. I felt lonely about not being able to speak Hungarian; I felt lonely about parenting, in decision making, in the office, or simply in the movie theater.
Here are some questions and answers from my view on coping with loneliness:
Why do we feel lonely?
The world was perfect in the beginning, but ever since Adam and Eve committed their sin, we became very lonely. Some people admit it, and others are afraid to talk about it or accept it.
The reason that we feel this deep loneliness is that we are missing out on the comfort that Adam and Eve had in the Garden. Although we don’t know what that perfect comfort was like, we long for it. I can imagine how great it would be to feel that total acceptance.
What can we do about it?
Praying is very comforting for me. It also helps if you share your loneliness with someone. You might not receive a solution for it, but you will feel the release of the pressure. Reading the Bible might prove to be good company too.
What if you don’t have friends?
I have often seen that we have the tendency of isolating ourselves from the world. The best way of noticing that you are not alone is to get involved in a mission. Help out at church or at a non-profit organization. Open your eyes and notice others that also feel depression, sadness, and loneliness around you. Visit some people who are sick, and you will notice that you are not that lonely. As long as you can choose to help, you will gain so much, and you will connect to other people who are also lonely. You will notice that you are one in a million.
Have you ever thought about how many people in your church suffer from cancer or other serious illnesses?
I was so surprised when at a women’s breakfast half of the room stood up. Half of the room had had cancer or was living with cancer at that exact moment. How did they feel in their loneliness? I spoke to one of my friends when she was going through cancer, and she said that the hardest thing for her was to sit alone during chemo. I called her and talked to her on that day, since she was far away. Where time had dragged on for her in her loneliness, with my support time for her flew by!
The solution for our loneliness is to notice others who are in greater need. We will feel connected and we won’t feel alone anymore.
Jesus might have felt loneliness, as he was alone at times in the desert and in his prayers. He was alone in his teachings and in his sacrifice. Can we do something similar? We can’t be there for everybody, but we can try to be there for somebody.
The next time when you feel lonely in your room, stand up and see what the other members of your family are doing. Your sister might need help with building blocks or your brother might need to have somebody play to basketball with. Your mom might feel lonely in the kitchen when she has to put food on the table every day for every meal. Your dad might be lonely writing checks and paying bills. Have you ever said “thank you” to your parents for writing a check? Have you ever said thank you to them for cooking every day? Just looking around and noticing others will help us to feel better. The world of technology is great for communicating efficiently, but can leave you feeling super lonely.
Turn off your iPad or tablet and talk to your family. That is the first mission field where you can help and you can get healed.
1 Samuel 12:22 King James Version (KJV)
For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.
Psalm 68:5-6 King James Version (KJV)
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.