July 31, 2012

Loneliness: Looking Back

The problem with looking back is that we remember how things used to be.  And if we could only remember the good things, without wishing they were still here, then maybe it wouldn't be such a painful thing to do.  But many times when we "look back" at how life used to be we hurt ourselves.  Because things can't be like that anymore. This truth is most often seen in the natural progression of friends floating in and out of our lives.  A point I had focused on in another post I wrote about loneliness entitled: Loneliness: Missing Friends.  

There are so many different phases of life that experiencing loneliness at some point in each one is almost impossible not to experience. Single or married, male or female, young or old we all understand this pain.

And looking back is a difficult habit to break once it starts.  I think sometimes we can even seek out feeling lonely only because its easier to sink into that mental rut rather than work to overcome it.  

Guilty as charged.  

And it can be tempting to believe that there is no way to overcome loneliness short of wallowing in it, distracting ourselves from it, or trying to find someone to ease the pain.  But the Bible tells us that there is a solution.

The key lies in not focusing on ourselves.  And it almost seems cruel to say that feeling lonely can be selfish but if we really take an honest look at it...  many times it is selfish.  It isn't wrong to remember all the good influences we have had in our lives.  But the problem is that we tend to believe that nothing will ever be that good in our lives again.  This is not true.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 that we are not to worry about tomorrow because today carries enough for itself.  

" So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."

And in Philippians 3:13 the apostle Paul stated that it is better to forget the past all together and keep our focus on the future.

" No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead..." 

Looking forward, not backward.  The key seems to be in expecting great things in the days and years to come.  Expecting that God is taking care of your treasured moments, the ones you hold dear in your memory.  And leaving your entire past in His hands is the safest place they could ever be.  He understands our need to reflect and remember.

" but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often."
~ Luke 2:19

So trusting Him with the past is good.  Likewise, trusting Him with your every tomorrow frees you to experience the wonder of every moment today.  It allows you to feel hope and to dream again like you did when you were a child.  Do you remember what that felt like?  To dream without fear of criticism or restraint?

I'm writing this post to tell you that you can still experience that amazing inspiration again whenever you wish to.  God wants all of His children to feel His pleasure today in everything they were meant to be today.  

Let me encourage you as He has been encouraging me.  Dream again.  Don't worry about how it can all happen.  Believe that in God all things are possible.  Believe that your loneliness is just a passing pain and don't give it so much importance.  Instead, use it to climb higher.  Use it to propel you forward.  Shooting stars unable to turn back, burning brighter every day. 

Loneliness is something Jesus understands very well.  It can even be a tool God uses to strengthen you spiritually.  But I think I'll leave that thought for another post. :) 

God bless you and may you overcome loneliness through the strength and love of Jesus Christ.

" No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us."
~ Romans 8:37


BelovedBomber said...

Timely word...trusting you Lord with all my past and my future...help me to not long for things of the past and how they use to be or regret the deeper past but to look ahead with great anticipation...

Lizzy said...

Hi, loneliness is a struggle for me sometimes. I guess everyone struggles with it.

I never really thought about it possibly being selfish.

Thanks for the verses. I really liked Luke 2:19. :)


BelovedBomber: What a beautiful thing God is doing in your life.

Lizzy: Yeah, honestly I never thought of it is a selfish thing either. Until God impressed that on my heart. I like Luke 2:19 too. :)

Susan said...

God's word is so rich with promises! Thanks Sincerity, for reminding of that fact. I think on this too, the fact that when we look back we overemphasize what we think was "good" and forget that the yesterdays had difficulties that we overcame at the time. We tend to remember "the good ole days" in a way that they are treasures lost that will never be regained again.

You are so right that the future Jesus promised us will outshine any good, imagined or real, that we think we had in the past. You've given me more to ponder and pray about today :) Thanks! <3


Susan: Yes, God's word is so rich! I tend to be nostalgic by nature so at times I really have to grab onto God's promises and trust that my future is going to be AMAZING.

But I also think it is part of being human. As we age we inevitably look back. But hopefully we are close to the Lord and look back with Him and see things through His light.

Blessings to you.

T-Childs said...

This is a really good post. It's been said that we Brits are nostalgic whereas Americans look forward to a better future; I guess the reality is that individuals are all different. I tend to be a little nostalgic but as my past wasn't up to that much I can only look forward to the future. With God we all have a brighter future, in every way.

Ah loneliness; yes, it can be selfish and we can hide behind a 'comfortable' wall of negativity rather than face a better future. So many of us, and I include myself in this, have many things in life we can be grateful for, like friends, relative peace, a roof over our heads, even a fridge and cupboards full of food, that we forget that there are other people in the world who would literally give their right arms for such 'luxuries.' We are indeed blessed in the West, and we have a lot to be thankful for. I am an aspiring author, amongst many others no doubt, but I sometimes just want to be grateful for all that God has already done for me. There is a balance here that only God can lead us through.

When I was a kid I had loads of mates (friends). Now, I tend to be a little isolated, but you know what, I am happy and I have joy in my life too. In all things, in all states and in all circumstances God can preserve us and bring us to a better life and better understandings. We need the faith of Abraham to continue on this great journey of faith!


T-Childs: " a comfortable wall of negativity..." That is exactly it! You nailed it.

Yes we in the West really have very little to complain about when we stop to put things into perspective.

Even something as simple as having clean water available to drink.

To have the faith of Abraham... that is a goal that is worth the effort in my book.

I think its great that you are focusing on your writing! Keep going! God finds pleasure when we enjoy doing what we were meant to do. :)

T-Childs said...

'God finds pleasure when we enjoy doing what we were meant to do. :)'

That's a lovely thought; I'll remember that!