Lonely, but not Alone: The Do’s & Don’ts of Coping with Loneliness

Nothing in your life seems to make sense. No one understands the depths of your pain. No one knows all the sleepless nights. No one knows the number of tears you’ve cried. No one knows…

Life can be painful sometimes. On top of that not being in a committed relationship has the tendency to make you feel as if you are all alone and no one else can understand what you’re going through. I know, I hear you and I’ve been there.

First and foremost, know that it’s ok to feel as if no one knows what you’re going through but the key is just not to stay there. Even though we rarely admit it, everyone (including Christians) endures difficulties and self-doubt. We pray for others and believe that God will work out their situation, and then doubt that He will work out our situation. That’s because knowledge of God’s Word is not enough, it is what we do with that knowledge that makes the difference.

God has written 66 love letters to us, and even though we intuitively know the Word and believe the Word, sometimes we just don’t feel His love. Our feelings are so very fickle which is one of the reasons why we must operate on faith and not our feelings.

However, you feel what you feel so it’s not enough for me to just say don’t feel that way. While it’s true Jesus loves you, that knowledge alone may not make you feel better in this moment. No matter how you feel, know this…God cares and I care. One of the worse things you can do is to endure loneliness in isolation, so allow me to share a few Do’s and Don’ts that can you help get through what can be a very difficult phase.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Often as Christians we try to pretend that everything is ok all the time as if we have no issues. But that’s just not true; everyone has a bad day every now and then. What’s more ALL of God’s children have issues, so know that you are not the only one struggling with something. That’s why God has given us a family (both biological and spiritual), so we won’t have to go through life alone.

Asking for help doesn’t make you a weak Christian, it makes you human. Although you have the power of God’s supernatural Holy Spirit within you, you are still human and experience all the frailties of human life. Sometimes you can overcome it on your own, but other times you need help so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Whether it’s your pastor, a neighbor or friend reach out to someone to ask for help even if it’s just to ask for prayer.

Don’t Stop Going to Church

A lot of times when we feel all alone and think everything we’re going through is because God doesn’t love us, we typically stop going to church. We figure, why bother since no one cares and it’s not working anyway, right? Well that’s not true on both fronts.

First of all, God cares about you. He not only cares, He loves you. His Word says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” – I Peter 5:7 NLT and “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” – Psalm 55:22 NLT

Your family and friends care, they love you even if they don’t know how to express it or help you. Your church family cares but they can’t read minds so you’ve got to reach out and let someone know you need help. However when you stop going to church you begin to think no one cares and if no one calls, then you begin to use that to prove your case. But the truth of the matter is there could be a myriad of reasons why no one has reached out to you, but one reason may be they just didn’t know.

You were made to be a part of a community, so don’t isolate yourself from the family. Keep in mind that you need the fellowship and the fellowship needs you. Bible teacher John McArthur explains it this way. The reason we come together as the local church is because Hebrews 10 says we stimulate one another to love and good works. When you stay away, you grow cold. You need that peer pressure, if you will, that spiritual stimulus that comes from the community of Christians.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:25 NLT

Don’t Stop Praying

If you’ve gotten to the point where you can’t even pray anymore because you don’t know what else to say or you believe it just isn’t working, tell God that but don’t stop talking to God. Prayer is your access to the Father, so don’t cut off your access when you need it most.

God can handle your hurts. He can handle your situation and He can even handle your questions, so talk to Him. If you’re angry, tell Him. If you don’t understand, ask Him. Whatever you need, just tell God. Although He already knows what you what you need, asking Him actually helps you. It shows that you acknowledge Him as the only One who can do something about it and it also allows you to get out what you’ve had bottled up for so long.

Because people are dealing with their own issues, they may not be able to handle the added stress of your issue right now but God is not like man. He is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) & omnipresent (everywhere at all times). He can not only handle your issue, but He will still love you after you share it.

If you believe God’s Word but struggle to understand how your particular situation can be fixed, just pray, Lord I believe but help my unbelief (Mark 9:24). Praying through this pain will help you draw closer to God.

Do Mediate on God’s Word

Saturate yourself in God’s Word. Although you may feel isolated and all alone you must remind yourself of what God’s Word says. This is why it’s great to memorize victory verses so you can recall them and rely upon them in times of need. However, whether you currently have victory verses or if this trial will be used to give you some victory verses, seek comfort from God’s Word.

In times of distress you may not even be able to determine where to go in the Bible but don’t fret. If you do not already have one, get at topical Bible to help you easily find verses that are applicable to your current situation. A topical Bible is organized by various topics so if for example you’re feeling lonely, look up in “lonely” or “loneliness” to find various scriptures to help you overcome those feelings by reading promises from God’s Word.

When you’re feeling lonely and isolated you probably won’t want to read your Bible, but challenge yourself to do so because God’s Spirit will speak life through His Word to minister to you and give you just what you need at that moment.

Do Guard the Gates to Your Soul

The gates of your soul include your eyes, ears and mouth. While it’s true we should guard the gates to our soul at all times, it is especially true during times of loneliness and isolation because it is then when we tend to fall prey to the lies of the enemy. Consider what you feeding your spirit by evaluating what you are watching and listening to on a daily basis. Your entertainment choices can wreak havoc on your state of mind.

When you are feeling lonely be sure you don’t starve your spirit. Remember what you feed will grow, so feed your spirit and not your flesh.

Also, be sure to speak life because your words are powerful. Don’t just speak what you feel, but speak what God says about a matter because that’s truth. For example, don’t just keep telling yourself you’re all alone and nobody loves you. Say, Lord I may feel all alone but I know your Word says you love me and that you will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter how you feel, speak life.

Do Find an Opportunity to Help Someone Else

While you may feel as if you have nothing left to give, that’s exactly what you need to do. Give out of your need. Whatever you need, give. Find someone who’s going through something and minister to them. Give and it shall be given unto you (Luke 6:38). This may sound like strange advice, especially when you find yourself in so much pain but keep in mind God’s ways are not like our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Giving does a few things. First it allows you to be God’s hand and feet in the world by blessing others, but it also gets your focus off of you. Press past your pain and find a way to bless someone else because ultimately you will be blessed in the process.

By applying these simple do’s and don’ts in time you will begin to feel God strengthening you and recognize His arms uplifting you. So yes you may feel all alone, but know that God is there and He has provided people all around you to help you as well. Don’t isolate yourself from God’s love and His people.

Of course I am not a doctor or psychologist so none of this is attended to be medical advice. If you are experiencing a prolong bout with loneliness and depression, please seek professional help.

Here is additional information on overcoming a broken heart and learning how to deal with loneliness .

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