Alone, but never alone

Susan MillerOne simple, five letter word: ALONE. It can consume you at any time – day or night – and it can create havoc with your emotions. It can cause you to lose perspective, sometimes even hope.

You can feel alone when…
You’re hurting physically or emotionally,
You’re facing hard times,
you’ve experienced a life-changing loss,
or devastating circumstances.

You can feel alone when…
your body begins to fail you,
your thinking becomes distorted,
you have to make a major decision,
your life seems overwhelming.

woman aloneYou can feel alone when…
you have everything money can buy,
you don’t have any friends,
your marriage is falling apart,
you have no one to turn to for help.

You can feel alone when…
you’re surrounded by people,
you have no one to talk to,
no one who will listen,
no one who cares.

If any of these reasons resonate with you today, would you say this sentence aloud right now? I promise, you will not sound silly.

I AM NEVER ALONE.

I AM NEVER ALONE.

I would imagine that Jesus felt lonely when He was moving around from place to place preaching, teaching, healing, and doing what only Jesus can do.

I’m sure there were times when He felt isolated and alone when He was in unfamiliar surroundings or in a new village. I’m sure He experienced a lot of the same feelings you do when you move to a new place.

He probably didn’t have someone show up at His door with cookies to welcome Him to the neighborhood, and I know He didn’t always feel welcome in a crowd of strangers.

Although you might feel lonely, and even isolated right now, be assured that you are never alone! Jesus is with you wherever you go.

His inescapable presence accompanies you always, anywhere, anytime. And be comforted in knowing He has not only felt your loneliness, but also your pain, your despair, your grief, your sorrow, and more than likely, your nervous stomach and anxious heart.

When you really think about it, He wanted the same thing as you do when He moved from place to place—for people to know Him, love Him, and accept Him.

No matter where you are, where you go, or what your circumstances, there is a new friend waiting on you. His name is Jesus, and, like you, He yearns for you to get to know Him, love Him, and accept Him!

To encourage your heart, cling to this Psalm each day:

God is with youThe Lord is my constant companion.
There is no need that He cannot fulfill.
Whether His course for me points to
The mountaintops of glorious ecstasy
Or to the valleys of human suffering,
He is by my side, He is ever present with me.

He is close beside me
When I tread the dark streets of danger,
And even when I flirt with death itself,
He will not leave me.

When the pain is severe, He is near to comfort.
When the burden is heavy, He is there to lean upon.
When depression darkens my soul,
He touches me with eternal joy.
When I feel empty and alone,
He fills the aching vacuum with His power.

My security is in His promise to be near me always,
And in the knowledge that He will never let me go.

(The Twenty-Third Psalm from Psalms Now)

In case you were wondering, this version of Psalm 23 sits on my desk, for the times when I need reassurance that I am not alone.

PS: To hear more about loneliness, listen to my latest Hope for the Uprooted podcast. You can find the podcast on iTunes, any podcast app, and at JustMoved.org. I hope you’ll subscribe!

The Hidden Box You May Not Have Unpacked

hidden boxA friend stopped by our Just Moved office for a visit and during our conversation she said, “I know why I’ve never settled in and feel so disconnected since I moved here. It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve finally figured it out. I’ve never completely unpacked and gotten rid of all the boxes that I brought with me!” She went on to explain how she had quickly unpacked all her belongings and discarded those boxes, but still had boxes of emotions and feelings that she had never unpacked.

They had become her hidden baggage of grief, loneliness, anxiety, fear, comparison, inadequacy and loss of identity. The tightly packed emotions and feelings she felt inside had kept her from starting over and moving forward with life since she moved here.

Our conversation brought back memories of my own “unpacked boxes” when we moved. Too often I became withdrawn and disconnected because I never unpacked boxes of stuff inside that needed to be handled with care and understanding. I suffered silently as I did the next thing in the routine of moving– getting our children nestled in to school and activities, settling in a new home, finding a church and learning my way around the area. With Bill’s new job being all consuming, there was little time left for us. I kept that box of hurt inside, too.

As I began to grow in my relationship with God, I knew that I had to begin the process of unpacking those moving boxes that seemed to accumulate move after move. I prayed for His guidance to not only help me unpack, but to get rid of those boxes. I began to cling to the promises in His word (and believe them).

This is the life-changing sentence of scripture in I Samuel 17:22 (NASB) that helped me know where to begin…

Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper

David, the shepherd boy, left his “baggage” in care of the “baggage keeper” when he had to overcome and defeat the giant, Goliath. He left behind the things that would keep him from moving forward to get to the battle line to defeat Goliath.

You can leave your baggage of unpacked boxes, full of feelings and emotions, in the care of your personal Baggage Keeper–Jesus Christ. He is the one who can carry all your “stuff.” Nothing is too heavy for Him. Not only will He lighten your load, He will bear your burdens. He will equip you to unpack, overcome, and release whatever is keeping you from moving forward.

In other words, lay it all down at the feet of Jesus. Daily let it go. Daily remind yourself that you are not unpacking alone. Yes, I said daily. It’s so easy to pack those boxes and pick them up again each day. We try to handle our feelings and emotions in our own strength and manage them alone. It is an everyday battle, my friends.

I, too, have to choose to leave whatever giant emotion I’m facing for the day at the feet of Jesus. Many a day, He carries me in His arms because I’m too weak to stand alone. I fight the battle of emptiness with the loss of Bill. Many a day, I fight feeling overwhelmed with house maintenance, ministry needs, people needs and even my own emotional needs. Some days I fight feeling inadequate to write or speak and battle the giant of comparison. There are times when unpredictable grief washes over me like waves in the ocean. These are all boxes of giant emotions that I choose to fight as I lay them down daily and give them to my Baggage Keeper.

What still needs unpacking in your life? What feelings and emotions are keeping you from starting over and moving forward after your move, or any time?

Choose now to run to Jesus and lay them down at His feet. Begin to start over with hope and move forward with faith.

From My Heart to Yours,

Susan Miller signatureSusan