04 November 2013

God ALWAYS promises His nearness

Tonight my roommate walked in the door and said she had a lot to get done before she went to bed. So naturally she sat down in our living room and we proceeded to talk for 3 1/2 hours... 

This blog was intended to house my recipes so that when I'm at the grocery store I can pull them up on my phone for easy access. That was it. I never planned on anyone else seeing these posts. But tonight was a special sort of night, and I just felt like sharing. 

I have been struggling with loneliness for a while. Not the loneliness of being single, but just of being alone. Singleness for me is hard not just for the lack of a guy, but the constant lack of constants in life that go along with singleness. The constant changing of roommates, friend groups, places to live, etc. And when I'm honest, I'll admit I bought my condo not because it was a wise financial decision, but because it was something I could control and could make a constant. If I was going to have a revolving door of roommates at least I could stay in one place to call my home. I'm not sure that my theory is entirely healthy, but it has provided a sence of peace. 

As I was "talking" to my roommate (read: laying on the couch giving my roomate some counseling practice) we just kept coming back to the "core" people in your life. I have my parents, but that's it. But the reality is my parents aren't promised to me. A phrase that is on replay in my mind some days came from a former pastor at my church who said "God doesn't promise good things always, but he ALWAYS promises his nearness" - and isn't his nearness all that matters, really? 

As a society, we run to all sorts of things during times of struggle - we run to busyness (just keep your mind off it - go shopping, bake a cake, work more, join kickball), we hide and isolate ourselves, or my personal go-to: people. I value relationships above anything else. Above my relationship with my savior. 

God revealed this about a year ago on a 3-day weekend. I had every minute planned out - going to the lake on Saturday, brunch on Sunday, coffee with a friend in the afternoon, church then dinner - and then something else clearly very important on Monday (I can't remember what) - all with different people. And starting on Thursday, one by one, my plans got cancelled for various reasons - not one thing remained on my calendar. (Clearly a God thing.) Just the thought of 3 days sitting at home alone made me so lonely I almost felt sick to my stomach.  But God didn't let me just be sad - I podcasted 2 whole series and spent the entire weekend in the word. It was the least lonely I had felt in years. That was the weekend God said "love and value your friends, but NEED me." 

Maybe one day I will only have to learn a lesson once... That day hasn't come yet and I still struggle with this. 

I feel like society treats relationships like a movie - we spend a few hours and are entertained, and as soon as another movie is released we move on to the next. But I don't like that! I know relationships are constantly changing. But I want to build relationships and invest in people and feel invested in. And while this may be a good thing - it has become the primary thing in my life that takes the place of Christ. I run to relationships to feel needed and loved, to feel useful and desired as a person. And if I go a night without someone texting me - well then I'm all alone and have no friends. Obvi. 

I don't really know what all of this means, but I am grateful for a God who lovingly reveals our idols, whether they are "typical" idols or not. And what is a "typical" idol anyway? I'm grateful for good biblical teaching that warns against the "morally neutral" things in our lives that we can place as idols.  I'm praying that I (and we as a society and community) will find our rest and hope solely in The Lord, and that the people He puts in my life will be used to draw us nearer to Himself, and not to fill a void only a relationship with Christ can fill. 

So that's all I got... Good night! 

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