Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Loneliness...

I remember lying in the quilt covered bed that was pushed up next to the wall.
The pink wall of the upstairs bedroom slanted over my head.
Old linoleum covered the floor, but spots in the flooring were worn bare and you could see the old plank floors underneath.  
The window next to my bed looked out over Dartmouth street.
This was the home Mama and Daddy brought me to after I was born,
the house I lived in until the day I went away to college.

The little girl lying under those heavy, old quilts, cried herself to sleep more nights than can be counted.
She felt everything so deeply, too deeply.
The angry voices of her Mama and Daddy heard through the floorboards, 
fighting about who knows what,  made her stomach twist into knots.
She thought she might vomit.
She was easy wounded by a careless word, but the feeling of not being heard was what hurt the most.
She was full of hopes and dreams and had an imagination too big for her own good.
But, it seemed like everyone in her world was too wrapped up in their own pain to listen,
too busy to care to know what was in her mind and heart.

{As a grown woman, my passion is to make sure the children in my life feel heard.
I'm sure I've failed at this more times than I know, but it's so important to me to try.
I want them to know that their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams are important enough to be listened to, that they are important enough to be listened to.}

Tears ran down the little girl's cheeks and made damp spots on the white pillowcase.
She talked to Jesus about all the feelings and thoughts bottled up inside.
She didn't have an imaginary friend.
She had a Real Friend that no one could see.
Sometimes, when she was walking alone to and from school, she pretended He was holding her hand.
It helped her not feel so alone.

The little girl grew up and left the house on Dartmouth street and went to college.
Soon she met the man she was to marry.
She thought that finally she would be heard, be understood, never be lonely again.
A year later, she thought she had made the biggest mistake of her life.
He really didn't understand her at all.
He didn't get her overly sensitive personality,
 they didn't spend their evenings together talking about feelings, hopes and dreams.
This wasn't at all like the companionable marriages she read about in books.
One trip to the pastor for marriage counseling and she found out that the little girl had had it right all along.
"If another person could meet all of your needs, then you wouldn't need God."

She went back to what she knew.
She purposed to pursue this most important friendship of all, to get to know Jesus intimately.
She laid in bed at night talking to Him, tears dripping down her cheeks, making wet spots on the white pillowcase.
She told Jesus her hurts and her sorrows, her joys and her triumphs, her hopes and her dreams.
When she went on her walks, He walked beside her and she talked about whatever was on her mind and heart.
He was a most gentle and kind listener.

As the years went by, the couple learned to hear each other, to appreciate each other's differences.
They became friends.
God also sent girl friends into her life.
But, life had taught her this hard lesson.
People will fail you, even the best of friends.
There is only One Friend who is always there,
who always listens,
who always cares
who always tells you the truth,
who fills your emptiness.
The old pastor had it right,
"If another person could meet all of your needs, then you wouldn't need God."


still following,


27 comments:

  1. Dear Elizabeth
    This is so true! For a long time I looked to my husband for what only Jesus were able to provide; that deep, inner spiritual union and relationship. Oh, the joy when He opened my eyes to see, truly see that only He can be my best Friend deep, deep in my heart. And best of all, is that my relationship with my husband improved so much and we are so much closer, now that I don't expect him to do the impossible.
    Much love
    Mia

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    1. Mia, you are so right! Unrealistic expectations are a real relationship killer. The Hubs and I are doing great 36 years later!

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  2. I can totally relate! I think there have been many little tears shed on pillows all over the world. I always relied on my girlfriends...too much. I'm married, but I never expected him to meet my needs like my friends could. Guys just aren't into that kind of thing. I'm in a time now where some friends have sort of disappeared and I am finding that I have to (which I should have been all along) relying on Jesus to be what I needed in a close Friend. And I've been working on that. So, yes, I understand the loneliness part. Thanks as always for sharing your heart!
    Blessings, Diane

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    1. It's so easy to rely on people, then be disappointed when they don't live up to our expectations. So thankful for the Friend that sticks closer than a brother!

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  3. Beautiful writing dear friend.

    You and yours have especially been in my prayers today.

    Love you!

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    1. Thanks you, friend. We are really needing prayer!

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  4. Ahhh....so much of this story could be my story....your words brought me back to where I was once. ....Beautiful words!

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    1. Brenna, I think so many people can relate. I don't think we realize how common loneliness is.

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  5. I too, have learned that lesson -people will fail you, but God never does! Blessings and peace to you.

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  6. The lesson is learned all over the world - we look to those around us to fill that empty place that only Jesus can fill! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I wish we could have wisdom early in our lives. It would spare us so many tears!
    ~Adrienne~

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    1. Yes, life has a way of teaching us these things through the school of hard knocks doesn't it?

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  7. Wow, incredible post....so glad I stopped by. Beautiful blog:-)

    And yes, lesson learned here too.

    Blessings,
    Connie

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    1. Thanks so much, Connie. Hope you come around again!

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  8. Beautiful! I am still learning this lesson. Love you!

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    1. Me too, friend. Still learning, always...

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  9. Hi Elizabeth...with few exceptions you've told my story too!

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    1. It's a common heart ache to many, no?

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  10. Needed this reminder today. Thanks :)

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    1. Thanks for taking time to comment!

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  11. Elizabeth, this is beautiful. Powerful. Real. Relevant.

    Thank you!!

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  12. Really beautiful, and I so remember such 'lonely places'... coming from a broken home.
    thank you

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  13. It really is a lonely journey around the mountain again and again (She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes) when trying to have people fill the need that only God can fill. What is amazing is once you realize this, it's like, "Why didn't I do this sooner!" I love His absolute acceptance of me! I appreciate His patience of my follies and amazed that He delights in me in spite of my weaknesses. I like this journey much, much better! Thanks you Pastor Elizabeth!

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  14. I see and I hear you. And I love you.

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  15. That was beautiful. Thank you for writing that. It is so true.

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