Sunday, April 3, 2011
Lonely in a Crowd?
I've struggled most of my life with occasional depression and feelings of worthlessness. I've been battling one of those "seasons of depression" recently and I can't seem to shake it. My life has not turned out the way I had always imagined. By this time of my life, I always thought that I would be married, have the 2.5 kids, nice picket fence, drive a mom van, have a wonderfully successful career...... somehow I also imagined myself skinny and stunningly beautiful (but that's another story!) As I've gotten older, I've found myself "shrinking away" from others, letting my FEAR of not being good enough get in the way of developing true relationships with others. Sadly, I've also shrunk away from my relationship with God. I became a Christian when I was in 8th grade. I remember my leaders and mentors while I was a teenager and college student. They helped me to grow as a Christian and helped me learn what to do to serve God. I was involved with a group of Christians who were my support system, encouraging me. At the same time, I encouraged them. I miss that fellowship with other believers. I've grown up now (at least age-wise) and have to accept the fact that the same fellowship and relationships that I had in college aren't necessarily going to be the same that I have now as an adult. I'm single, no kids.... I don't have the same responsibilities that my friends with children have. I have the freedom to do as I please, not having to necessarily think of anyone else. At the same time, that freedom is also a curse. People develop friendships with people they have things in common with...... young families befriend other young families, single parents befriend other single parents, married couples befriend other married couples, and so on..... I desperately want to find others in a similar situation as me, but let's be honest..... there aren't that many of us out there! I've recently been attending a new church and while I like it, it is still hard not to feel like there is a not a "place" for me there. (Not having a place to belong was one of the reasons I started attending a different church.) It has been so difficult to trust God in His plan for my life. For years, I have had the same prayer, yet it has not been answered. Psalm 27:4 tells me that "God will give me the desires of my heart".... my prayer has been that if my desires aren't His desires for me, that He would change those desires..... yet they remain a large part of me. Is that God's way of telling me to wait? Or am I refusing to change my desires? Is there an area in my life that I need to examine before I'm ready for His plan? I have found, in my experiences, that I have felt overwhelmingly lonely, even (especially in!) in a crowd of people. I have almost began having panic attacks when around others. I let FEAR defeat me. Why am I afraid? I have things to offer! I'm smart, funny (witty, even!), creative, an encourager, hard worker, good problem solver, insightful, and above all, I AM A CHILD OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What others think of me, what I think of myself, should not matter! I cannot allow the devil to beat me down by causing me to doubt myself, my relationship with God, and the work that I can do for the Kingdom! God's Word tells me, " Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27) My prayer is that I will have peace about finding where I fit in. Dear Lord, help me to become the person that you desire for me to be. Help me to overcome my fear so that I may be an example of You to those I know. Amen