Friday, May 30, 2008

Loneliness

So I've been dealing with some loneliness. Moving to the opposite side of the globe will do that to you.

I've been missing my friends back home. I've been lamenting the fact that I haven't made any real friends here - not the kind that you just pick up the phone and call to ask what they are doing. I've been feeling invisible because no body knows me.

Back "home" everybody knew me. They knew that I am great with kids and that I'm always in charge of the preschool area during our church's huge VBS. They knew that I'm a good cook and what I bring to a church potluck is almost always yummy. They knew that I ran the church bookstore. They knew that I led women's Bible studies. They knew that I have a heart for women who want to be godly wives and mothers. They knew that I can be a little sarcastic, but that I'm so tender-hearted, I'll cry if I hear good news from a friend.

They knew I was a good friend.

But, alas, when you move, nobody knows any of this. To them, you are just a new person. A blank slate. A question mark. Should they take the time to get to know you? Do they have room in their already busy lives to fit someone else in?

For the past couple of weeks, I've been in a pretty sad state. I've spent hours crying on my bed, and on Hubby's shoulders, about not having a friend.

It's been pretty pitiful around here, y'all.

But thankfully, God led me to bring along a book called "After the Boxes are Unpacked." Now, I had purchased this book way back before we ever thought of moving to Qatar. Before we thought of moving to Tennessee. It was purchased several years ago when I foolishly thought I could get Hubby to move to Colorado Springs.

It snowed in May while we were there. In May, people. That sealed the deal right there. Hubby is definitely a warm weather guy.

Anyhoo, I bought this book from the Focus on the Family headquarters and then set it aside, figuring I'd never actually get out of Miami. I'd forgotten about it until this huge bout of loneliness came over me.

It was such a blessing.

Through it I have been reminded that God is always with me and He is the BEST friend I could ask for.

I've come to recognize that this is a time for me to slow my life down (something I think just might have to do with the purpose statement of this blog above!!).

I realize that this solitary time in my life is a time for me to dig deeper into the Word and into God Himself.

I understand that sometimes God needs to strip away all the outer facade of who we are (you know, all that stuff I listed above) and re-make us into something new for His purposes.

I've got a little bit more to share about the book and about what's going on here, but I just wanted to encourage anyone who is feeling lonely, whether it's through a move or other circumstances, that God is with you. He wants to do something with and through you during this time.

He is not silent and He has not left you. Seek Him out and let Him be your friend and sustenance.

9 comments:

Jerri Phillips said...

Lori,
I cannot even imagine what it is like to move around the globe. However, I do understand loneliness. I have found it is a time of experiential learning and getting fodder for my books, speaking, and blogs. Lisa Bevere talks about a time when the Lord shut down her social life and removed her closest friends. She wrote a book during that time. She said looking back she considers it one of her favorite times--no one demanded anything, no one was disappointed. She only had her and God, and it was good company.

I'll be praying for you. I'll come back and visit, too. I know Texas is around the globe from you, but sometimes it also isn't that far away.

Blessings!

stacey said...

Oh Lori, you made me cry already this morning! For you, with you! You have it way harder than me, but I am pretty low right now too. I can't wait to check out that book and the other one Jerri mentioned. I hope to start back writing next week, and of course talk about all the changes, but there will probably be some typos as I type through the tears! :) Hang in there!

Tracy said...

Oh girl hang in there. The Lord is always with you and like you said the best friend you could ever have. I'm a major people as it sounds like you are also I need to have good girlfriends around me. I pray you get a good friend soon. That book sounds really good that you mentioned I'll check it out.

TJ said...

Lori, I have felt that way even when I haven't moved. It can be so hard to find those people. I'll be praying for you!

Just know that you are inspiring so many of us! My girlfriend and I are buddies on your RESPECT series and helping each other along with the ideas and keeping each other accountable. Thank you so much for what you do!

Erica Herzog said...

I have to admit that I read your post today saying, "What about me?!" LOL I hope you want to be my friend. :) I probably have more time than you do, so never hesitate to give me a call.

Josie Kuntz said...

HI Lori,
We miss you so much, too. I don't even want to go in the bookstore. Today Joey asked if we could go to Emily and Daniel's house. I reminded that you had moved and he remarked that he hadn't had a last play date before you left. So...we have to keep in touch through this blog, e-mail, etc. Please send lots of pictures. Now that summer is officially here, I will pull out my camera, charge up the batteries and start taking pictures again. We love you, Josie

Lynn said...

Hi Lori,

I know how you feel, it is hard adjusting to a new place. I would love to be your friend. Going home in two weeks, but I will definitely see you in the fall and we can hang out together. We love to go to lunch after church and are thinking about starting a small group in our home. My number is in the church directory...call me

Misty said...

isn't it amazing that our Father, who made us to be relational beings sometimes calls us to lonliness so that we are relational to HIM first? i have been thru a season of utter lonliness (the kind in a crowd, i trust you know what i mean) and it was hard.. but i'm so glad i went thru it.
i sure wish we lived nearby, i'd love to pursue getting to know you as a friend and get a chance to sit at your feet (or your table, if you prefer) and learn of these things you share in a friendly sort of way!!

Katie said...

I stumbled across your blog via MPM. Thank you so much for your book recommendation about moving. I've recently moved to a new country- Canada, which I'm sure is much more similar to the U.S. than where you're living, but it has still been a challenge. I immediately ordered the book you recommended and will pick it up in a few days when I head home for a visit! Thank you for the encouragement:)

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