Loneliness is a lie!

March 22, 2013LaBreeska Ingles

Loneliness is a lie. It is the enemy’s trick to keep people from reaching out to others. How do I know? Because so many people feel lonely. When I feel lonely, I want to hide in my house and not reach out to anyone. But, when I realize that lots of others feel lonely too, it wakes me up and helps me realize that someone needs to step out of the lonely bubble and reach out to the rest of the lonely tribe and rescue them.

I have heard it said that people stop making best friends after college. Why is that? Are families getting in the way? Careers? Or do we stop producing some friend making hormone because of our diet?

I have found a way to make a lot of friends, but it is truly hard work. I invite someone to my house at least once a week for a meal or coffee. I try to talk to a new person at church every week and invite them to connect with me outside of church. It took me a while to realize that lots of people were wanting to connect, so I started hosting a mommy coffee time at my house every Tuesday. The women would bring their kids to play while the mommies shared coffee, snacks, and stories. We were all lonely no more.

My husband and I also host a family home group. Every Thursday night, we open our home for young families. These people have become our best friends. I will be honest though…it is hard work. I have two babies and I have to clean my house, prepare food and plan ahead for each meeting.

Sometimes I feel lonely even in this process. I am preparing a way for others to connect, but I can get bogged down in the details and feel like no one is preparing a way for me. When you are the one going out of your way to host, or to call, or to initiate friendship, it can make you feel unwanted because no one is pursuing you. I only admit this, because I am acknowledging that it can be hard to make friends. But, hard work always pays off.

If you are feeling lonely, the first step to recovery is to realize that loneliness is a lie.  Next, suck it up and reach out to someone else.  Don't wait for people to come and find you.  Remember that you are not the only person feeling this way.  And finally, if you want to make friends, you have to work at it.  Carve out time to spend with others, be willing to host, and invite, invite, invite.  If you keep inviting them, someone will come.

*This post causes thankfulness to rise up in me for the many people who have sacrificed for me over the years. I had no idea what sacrifices they made for me to find community. Thanks Kelly Bard for hosting Brian for many years. Thanks Mrs. Crace for getting up before dawn every Wednesday to make me and my high school buddies waffles. Thanks Heather Russell for opening up your home to host a bunch of unthankful singles, even though you had three babies sleeping upstairs. Thanks Jen Scott for creating an atmosphere of peace in your home and hosting the best home group I have attended in years. I want to be like all of you!