I’m sure you’d agree with me that this last year has been tough for everyone in the world. Loneliness has affected all of us in some measure. It has been part of my life ever since I knew my family would move to another country.
I was the strange girl going into church with her family, feeling out of place because I didn’t know anyone. I was the one who couldn’t maintain many friendships after moving to another country because the distance caused a chasm that changed normal interactions. I was the loud American girl sounding different from the people in my second home. I was the one who didn’t know where I belonged.
In those times of intense loneliness, Jesus helped me to reach out to others when I wanted others to reach out to me. The Lord began to show me that every person has pain and loneliness too, and I could either choose to wallow in mine or seek to have understanding in another’s feelings. Maybe I wasn’t so different. Maybe I was looking at it all the wrong way.
Although my struggles consisted of living in another country, it didn’t mean another’s problems were less important. Even when I didn’t know how to be a friend or even understand why I felt the way I did, reading the book of Psalms filled my soul more than anything else.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”
Psalm 42:5, KJV
It is God who fills any void in our lives. Oftentimes, it is those rough patches of emptiness that He can use the most to further His purpose in our hearts.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10, KJV
What a quiet rest the Lord brings when we remember He is God! I often put limitations on God because of what I see of mankind, but God waits patiently, waiting for me to reconcile my loneliness and fears to Him. He is the one who understands me and fills my lonely heart with His presence.
So if loneliness has taught me anything, it’s that God remains near even when I feel He isn’t. It’s easy to say, “Be still and look away from the world.” But to actually deal with these feelings rightly is tougher than simple phrases. This choice of looking to God no matter how I feel must be replaced with knowing who God really is. His Word brings peace and rest, way beyond my limited view.
The number one thing I want to remember when I’m feeling like no one understands is that God has never left me. He is always with me from day to day, strengthening me when I’m weak and lifting me up when I struggle.
I cannot promise immeasurable happiness in every situation, but I can promise that in God’s hiding place, in His fortress of hope and peace, He will take you just where you need to go and fill the lonely holes.
“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.”
Psalm 119:114, KJV
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24, KJV
Olivia Rooney grew up in America and has lived half of her life in England as a MK. At the age of five she was saved and through the years that have followed, she has strived to seek God’s will in the opportunities He gives. She has a heart for fellow TCKs and writes to express the realities she’s learned from living in another country. She enjoys exploring new places and reading in her spare time.
Edited by Bridget Marshall