“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.” (Genesis 2:8) (NET Bible)
1. I AM ALONE
Ah. Lie number ONE. I like to think of this lie as my imaginary isolation chamber. I have spent a lot of time bound up by this lie. Believing that I am alone has brought me nothing but overwhelm and depressed misery. God never designed us to go through life alone. We were created to live in communion with others and with Him.
( One lonely flower…)
This lie is a tricky one because it has a grain of truth to it. When you are taking care of someone (or a group of someones), sometimes you are working so hard trying to accomplish everything that needs to be done every day on your own, it is hard to reach out to others to maintain relationships. It often feels like you are barely getting by and there is just no time left to connect with others. You most definitely FEEL alone.
For example, when you have no energy to entertain company or to make your home look presentable, is very tempting to never invite people over. With this kind of thinking you really can build yourself a kind of isolation chamber life as you slowly cut yourself off from your friends. Believing you are alone causes you to actively make choices that result in making yourself more isolated. If you don’t break the cycle of this lie you can cut yourself off from your whole social support system, which can be disastrous.
The good news is that you can break free of this lie. Here are a few ways to jerk your brain and heart back to the truth:
1. Reach out
Take a moment to reach out to someone (a friend, a neighbor, a family member, whoever). There are so many easy ways to connect: Send a text, make a phone call, write a quick Facebook message, or take a silly SnapChat and share it etc. Even a superficial interaction can break your illusion of isolation and sometimes a quick message turns into a conversation where you can make a real connection with someone, which is often very helpful.
(If you don’t get an instant response try reaching out someone else. You are not really as alone as you feel.)
2. Change Your Script
Realize that the more you tell yourself that you are alone the more alone you will become. So choose to start telling yourself something different.
For example, instead of telling yourself that the house is too messy to invite a friend over, tell yourself that a real friend won’t care. Then invite a friend over – even if things are a mess. (Maybe they will pitch in and help you. Most likely they will at least talk to you while you go about what needs to be done, which is also very pleasant.)
3. Seek God’s Presence
Make peace with the fact that there will always be moments when the human presence you crave will be impossible to get. God designed human beings to need each other. But even when you can’t lean on another human, you’re still not alone. Here is a helpful exercise:
Speak each of the scriptures below out loud:
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) (New Living Translation)
“…God Himself has said, “I will never, never let go your hand: I will never never forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) (Weymouth New Testament)
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) (NIV)
Then say them again only this time add, “Thank you, Father/Yeshua/Jesus/Holy Spirit (pick your favorite) that…(insert above scripture)”. Speaking them out loud is important–not to God, He knows your every thought. Speaking them out loud is important to your brain and your emotions. You need to hear them with your ears. Faith comes by…wait for it…HEARING. By doing this, saying them out loud, you are boosting your faith.
Now that your faith is ramped up, start praising God. You can say things like, “Father I praise You for faithfully keeping all Your promises.” (Or whatever you can think of to praise Him for…running water, your loved ones, your favorite flower. Just pick something.) Alternatively, you can turn on some praise and worship music and sing along, that also works.
After a few minutes of praising God, you will find you are not alone. Jehovah inhabits the praises of His people. When you start praising God, His presence shows up. He is always with you, He is always everywhere…but loneliness calls for presence.
(The same flower, no so alone. Just a small shift in perspective can change everything. )
There are more ways to fight the “I AM ALONE” lie, I am sure. For me, most of my successful outcomes have been variations of the three ways above. Please leave a comment if you have something that has worked well for you when you are fighting feeling isolated, I would love to hear it.
Coming up next in this series:
Lie number two: NO ONE UNDERSTANDS MY REALITY