Tuesday, January 6, 2015

To Be Lonely In the Midst of Many

Perhaps, one of the saddest of feelings is to be alone in the crowd. In a gathering of relatives, in meeting with friends, or at home with the family, although flesh and blood human beings are around, there are times when you'd prefer talking to yourself no matter how extroverted people see you. Sometimes, people with so many stories to tell like they can hardly run out of anecdotes and jokes, they feel it. Some whose FB friends go by the hundreds, see how many of the 'friends' are available for chats, but no one is quick to reply to private messages, and some would even be left at the 'seen' zone. We see them smiling but who knows how they cry inside? Pretty much skillful in hiding sadness with laughter and jokes; they have promising careers in the entertainment world but struggling in the real world.  They grasp for help so badly that they couldn't get, hoping that someone could figure out... but not one person responds. 

I felt this in my mid-thirties when at first, I blamed the hormones. I got enough FB friends, I never ran out of stories, but my friends never knew that I was falling apart. I hoped that my husband spotted the symptoms, but he didn't. At church, well, they all got their burdens to carry too, I didn't bother. Thinking of papa's condition and all, my family had their own share of drama.  At home, my son could see inside my heart but he's just a child and I didn't want him to feel my misery.

I kept thinking what was wrong with me; I did not know how I ended this sad.  In my attempt to get rid of the sorrow, I figured that crying should make it go away. To my dismay, my eyes did not give a single drop of tear (even tears eluded me). It's so pathetic, I hated it so much! The heaviness piled up so fast and I didn't know how to unload it.

There were attempts to 'talk' but I found myself picky of a listener. Somehow, I was afraid that nobody would be willing to invest time, nobody would understand, nobody would think with me, analyze, and guide me through, and nobody would persevere.  I admit, I worry a lot (and that's another problem, I know). I worry that by opening up, the person might be quick to judge or I might end up boring the person. I have tons of apprehensions so I kept quiet and miserable.

In my loneliest, I felt like King David in 1 Samuel 30:6~
"...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." 

In my desperate need of loving arms and comfort of a friend, I found it in the very person I kept on ignoring.  Yes, I did pray... I did complain of my misery, if that was what you wanted to know. I poured everything to Him and I was so full of myself that I did not notice Him talking.  Until I grew tired and then I heard this still small voice.  There in the kitchen while doing the dishes and thinking of the other complaints in my list, He reminded me of II Cor. 12:9~
"... My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness"

Immediately, I felt His love and encouragement wrapping around my battered heart. It was like He was telling me that I need not flesh and blood to hear me out and be my friend.  When I didn't find friendship in my husband, my siblings, my church-mates, I found it in Jesus.  It was crystal clear that He is more than enough for me.

I had a friend in my teenage years.  We exchanged weekly messages in forms of poem, bible verses, and notes and I never felt lonely then. Perhaps, God says, "enough for human friends, it's time that you know me as your 'only' friend"God is a jealous god, and I imagined how He must have been looking at me in my contentment with this friend.  I have known the hymn "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" for years but it was just after this encounter that I could sing it true in my heart. 

The Lord God deals with His children differently according to character & purpose (Romans 8:28).  This lesson might have come late in my life, but everything is in His perfect timing.  He proved to me that Jesus is not just read in the bible, but that He is alive and true and present and merciful. The relationship I have with Him became real.

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