Loneliness is often my battle. I was not surprised to wake up the other day to that familiar longing for human relationship. Not the kind that settles for saying hello in the hallway and asking how your weekend was. I was longing for the kind of friendship that comes when two people are open and vulnerable and willing to share their hearts with one another. I was longing for that relationship that is so much deeper and more meaningful than something you can merely create on your own.
I made up my mind though, it was the second day back to school after fall break and I wasn’t going to give in to the devil’s schemes. I may not be able to fix my own hurt, but I asked God for strength and decided to be intentional about making other people feel loved and important that day. Calling people by their name was a must. I would make it a point to smile and say hello to every familiar face I saw.
“God, help me to love them like I know that you love me,” I prayed.
So that’s what I did. Then I got to breakfast and sat down at my usual table… alone. No one that I knew happened to be in the cafeteria that morning. I prayed over my food, thanked God for His blessings, and asked for Him to provide the relationships He wants for me… Not the ones I necessarily want for me. I took a bite of a sour piece of fruit and stared out the window at the cloudy sky. It sounds depressing, but I was at peace as a I felt the presence of Christ in that moment.
“Hey! Is it alright if I sit with you?”
I pry my eyes from the window and look over to see a girl from one of my classes. I nod and smile as I move my backpack to clear a spot for her. Our conversation wasn’t anything magical. I didn’t walk away 20 minutes later with a healed heart, but it did fill me with joy because I saw God’s hand at work. He answered my prayer mere moments after I had spoken to Him.
I remember looking across the table at my friend. As she spoke, she stopped to brush her curly, thick red hair away from her face full of freckles. I doubt she realized it, but to me she was the spitting image of Jesus Christ in that moment. She was sent by God to be a living breathing example that I wasn’t alone.
I can’t look at her the same since that day. Every time I see her I smile and make a point to say hello. We haven’t had any profound heart-to-heart conversation; we didn’t become instant best friends. In fact, the only time we really see each other is in class and around campus. Deeper than anything I was looking for though, this friendship is special because it was established by God. That satisfies my soul more than anything that I want for myself ever could.
Psalm 37:3-5 (ESV)
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
When we find our satisfaction in The Lord, He will give us the things that satisfy.
This doesn’t mean we get what we want. It means that God’s gifts are better than what we want. We can’t begin to realize this truth, until we shift our vision and seek to be satisfied with God.
I’m sure that I am not alone in feeling alone from time to time. If you are struggling in similar ways, I hope that my story has offered some encouragement.
I’m still struggling with wanting a close, heart-to-heart sort of friendship, but I am at peace having experienced this reminder that God is in control. He knows my pain and He isn’t finished with me yet.
Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.