“Are You With Me?” How to Manage Loneliness

The pain in her voice is so clear I can see it, even through the phone. “Are you with me?” She asks, seeking affirmation and assurance. It is a dark season filled with rejection and loss. All the usual sources of support have been withdrawn. Now she turns to me, her only hope.

“Are you with me?”

It’s a question I’ve asked so many times before. So often I have sought compassion and understanding from those I considered friends. Being “with me” is both physical and psychological. When I ask this question, I’m really asking “do you understand where I’m coming from, how I feel, what I’m thinking?” Understanding is everything! For someone to literally and figuratively stand under the situation with me is to share my pain and simultaneously lessen the sting.

Being “with me,” physically, means going through this experience at the same time that I am—by my side. You will know what I feel, know the difficulty I’m in because you’re in it too. Going through it with another person somehow makes it bearable. At least I’m not alone because you’re “with me.” Sharing one another’s burden, listening with compassion and understanding, it’s like gold to a poor man or breath to the dying!

Yet, so often, you are not “with me.” Often I feel disconnected because people—for various reasons—are not able. They don’t share my past, my mind, nor my emotions; they merely observe from afar. So, what then? Must I walk alone?

No.

“The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” The reality is, God is the only one who actually can say this with assurance. He is the only one who actually does know my past, my present and my future. He is the only one who has already walked through my hardest night. He’s traversed the valley of the shadow of death so I don’t have to fear. He actually is “with me” all the time because He’s omnipresent and because He made me and knows me better than any person can. I can call out to Him in my mind or from my mouth, and He will hear me either way. What comfort!

But, perhaps you are thinking, “yeah, but even if I believe He’s real, He’s not a physical presence. I still need the warmth of human touch.

“Are you with me?” Her voice drifts through the phone line and my heart throbs with her pain.

“Yes.” I understand what she is going through because I’ve been through it too. As I offer her comfort I recognize the comfort that I have also received. The knowledge of His presence strengthens me. I’m able to walk through my own difficulties and extend my hand to her as well. He demonstrates His presence through the presence of people. If we trust Him and wait, He will always send us a physical manifestation of Himself.

So, together, we move forward onto this dark path, but we go with courage–not because it’s easy–but because, in every sense of the word, He’s with us.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Life is hard sometimes, but we don’t have to walk this road alone. Help is available!

If this topic hit home for you, see also Michele Cushatt’s “A Bad Rule That Needs to Be Broken”

Soul Sisters!

So, this has been an AMAZING week for the writer in me! In this one week I have had the opportunity to engage with two inspired writers who have had major impact and reach and both of them have had an impact on me.  The first person I met was W. Paul Young, author of The Shack who visited my class and spoke life into me and my aspiring student writers.  I will share more about his visit in a later post.

The other person is Chrystal Evans Hurst, author of Kingdom Woman and She’s Still Here whom I have just spent the past two days with in her home town of Dallas, TX.  A few months ago, on a whim, I responded to Chrystal’s call for interns to be a part of a six month project to help her build on her current media platform.  By some fluke–one might say God’s Providence–I was one of the 15 chosen! Now, as part of her “Mastermind 2018” team, I will help her to create and manage the content  for her podcasts and social media in order to further develop her ministry of encouraging, equiping, educating and empowering women.

Although Chrystal is a brilliant writer and speaker, she is also the most warm, kind, down-to-earth person you will ever meet. So when she told me that she thought that I was a “good writer” and that she knew she wanted me to be part of the team in order to “put my writing skills to use,” I can’t tell you how much that seal of approval meant. Validation matters–especially when it comes from someone you admire.

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But, this is not all about me! This is about the beautiful women that I met this weekend. Amazing women with an array of talents and vibrant personalities. Chrystal’s core team did an incredible job of pulling together a group that clicked immediately! I LITERALLY wanted to spend more time with every one of these ladies. We just did not have enough time together!  Each one exuded such a spirit of Godliness and love that I wanted to know them more. I wanted to hear their stories. I wished we had two more days, at least! I know that this group can and will do good work together simply because we connected so well, so quickly, which can only translate into good things for Chrystal’s ministry, which is a win for all of us. I’m truly excited about the possibilities and I am looking forward to everything that is to come.

The title “soul sisters” popped into my head because that’s what it felt like. We made a “soul” connection. First with Chrystal, then with each other and soon it will flow outward to all of you! Big things are coming, so get ready!

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Never heard of Chrystal or her book, She’s Still There? Well, this is one that that very well may change your life–for the better! Don’t just take my word for it, click here to see what others have to say.