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Loneliness Won’t Last: 5 Tips and Scriptures For Overcoming Lonely Times

Loneliness Won’t Last: 5 Tips and Scriptures For Overcoming Lonely Times

looking for a friend bear

Just about everyone experiences loneliness at some point in life. But did you know that it’s an epidemic? Yes, you heard that right – the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared loneliness and isolation an epidemic with deep impacts on our health and well-being as well as our communities.

I responded to two Reddit posts about handling loneliness and navigating friendships in your 20s.

Diving a bit deeper into the data, HHS noted in their report on the matter that “Approximately half of U.S. adults report experiencing loneliness, with some of the highest rates among young adults.”

“Approximately half of U.S. adults report experiencing loneliness, with some of the highest rates among young adults.”

Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community

Judging from what I see online and what I’ve experienced in my own life, I’m not surprised. I was browsing Reddit the other day and I ran across tons of posts about relationships, loss of friends, and missing social connections. Having suffered bouts of loneliness (and depression as a result), I want to encourage you with some good news: it can and will get better. Here are five tips and scriptures that help me to overcome times of loneliness and deal with it until I do.

Five Tips and Scriptures for Dealing With Loneliness

1. Understand that everyone is not meant to go with you to the next place.

Life is a constant series of changes. Sometimes those changes will cause your life to be drastically different than those around you. For example, our twenties are the first decade of life where people have autonomy and their lives as individuals begin to take shape. People continue their education and/or start working full-time, move away, have children, etc. The variety of these scenarios and the nature of humanity often cause people to mature at different rates. Differences in lifestyles and mentalities often cause people to grow apart at any age. This is natural and it’s okay.

One of the hardest things to do in life is to let go of what was in favor of what will be. Not everyone is meant to go through every stage of life with you. Mourn the loss, feel the gratitude for what good they added for the time they did, and let go.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Prayer: Lord, I’m really hurt about losing my friend. I may not be 100% sure why I’m going through this, but I know that you are allowing it for my good (Romans 8:28). Thank you for everything I learned from this friendship and help me to heal from it ending. Bless [person] to go in peace.

2. Embrace the season of being alone.

Relationships are often cyclical, like the changing of the seasons. Ecclesiastes 3 speaks of there being “a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” You may encounter a place in your life where God begins to move certain people out of your life or move YOU somewhere for a certain purpose. The time when you are alone may feel empty, but it is the greatest time to really hear God. As I mentioned previously, it is critical that we learn to lean on God, because that empty feeling can lead us in the wrong direction. Take this moment of quietness to rest in the Lord and hear His voice. Even Jesus and the disciples had to.

A favorite song of mine about hearing the voice of God in the quiet moments of life.

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

Mark 6:31

Prayer: Father, thank you the change that is happening in my life. Thank you for moving things around in my life to make way for better. I’m feeling lonely right now. Please comfort me until you bring the right people into my life.

3. Stay connected to those you DO have.

In one of the Reddit threads I encountered, a young lady was in a place where the friends she was used to hanging around were her now ex-boyfriend and another person she was no longer close to. I saw so much of myself in her post, as I was in that situation when I broke my first engagement. I found myself alone, almost 500 miles from home. I’m a little bit of a loner in general, but even I found myself showering compulsively, not realizing it was a coping mechanism because I hadn’t felt human touch for months at a time. (Now, I still love a good twice-a-day shower, but I digress.)

Even if you don’t have friends or family near you, try to stay connected to those you may have elsewhere. Call home more often. Reach out to friends that may be farther away. Hearing my parents’ and siblings’ voices and sharing memes with my best friend states away was a lifeline for me.

Now, I know that cut-off culture is big nowadays, but it’s important to try to restore relationships when they are salvageable. Some fences will be extremely difficult to mend, but if you can, for the love of all things holy, try. (Matthew 5:23-24). You don’t want to cut so many people out of your life permanently that you end up in this lonely place unintentionally.

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Prayer: Lord, thank you for never leaving me nor forsaking me (Deuteronomy 31:8). I thank you for the people in my life, near and far, who do love me. Help us to stay connected and uplift one another. Heal and restore any of my broken relationships so that there may be peace and you’ll get the glory.

*If you’re in a position where your fellowship with family is broken remember that God is still with you. (Psalm 27:10)

4. Explore your own personal development.

Some of the greatest blessings come when you’re simply minding your business (or the Father’s). Everyone has bad days and not everyone is super social, but I promise, keeping yourself occupied will help ease the loneliness. You’ll be too busy enjoying life to notice all the time.

Going back to my broken engagement, it took a little while to build a new community here. Since all I did was work, it started with me sharing meals with coworkers and accepting their invitations to do things together. One such coworker invited me to a dance class she was teaching. It was a big leap outside my comfort zone, but it led to so many wonderful things, like a found family, serving in children’s ministry at church, and eventually meeting my husband.

I also spent my weekends going on adventures in the city and attending events alone. The lonely season taught me to enjoy my own company instead of letting my life pass me by. Take your time alone to try new things and explore new interests, even if you have to do it by yourself. While you’re there, don’t be afraid to interact with others. Yes, you may remain strangers, but you won’t be strangers for the few seconds you entertain one another. You never know whose day you will make.

Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!

Psalm 143:10

Prayer: Father, give me faith to trust you while you work on me. Give me the boldness to try new things. Help me to be both open and discerning about the people I encounter so that you can open new doors and bring new friends into my life.

5. Remember that trying to follow Jesus sometimes comes at the high cost of loneliness, but it yields a worthy reward.

Some of us are losing friends because we have made the choice to follow Jesus, not the crowd. I’m sorry to tell you, but this is a common part of Christian life. Giving our lives to Christ requires a committment to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh (Romans 8:4) and put of the things that displease God (Galatians 5:19-21). It just so happens that things of the flesh tend to be more popular than those of the Spirit.

As you distance yourself from these things, some people are going to distance themselves from you. Let them go (see #1). Should you be a beacon of Christ’s light for them? Yes! (Matthew 5:16). Are you to continue doing what they do just to maintain that friendship? No! When it comes down to it, the state of your relationship with Christ has to take precedence over the state of your relationships with people.

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:62

Prayer: Lord, thank you saving me from a life of sin and death. Even though my friends have forsaken me, your word promises that you never will (Isaiah 41:10). Help me to be strong and courageous in my walk of faith with you. Bless me to be an inspiration and light to my friends and others around me, that they would know and understand how wonderful you are.

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health challenges, please call or text the National Mental Health Hotline at 988, anytime, day or night.

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