Four years ago I became a stay-at-home-Mom-with-kids-at-school-all-day. And for the first time since pregnancy I remembered what it was like to be alone.
Once the hustle and bustle of getting kids off to school and through the car pool line was done I breathed in the silence and celebrated the fact that I could now have a complete thought in my head.
It was not easy at first, actually. I struggled those first few weeks (or maybe even months) with this new found aloneness. I was used to having a toddler partner accompany me to errands and to enjoy lunch dates with.
Alone became such a contradiction — something I desired, but despised. And I wondered why I wasn't very good at it?
I have since realized that alone is a comfortable place when one is comfortable with themselves. So the past four years have been a training ground for me to make peace with the silence and relish in the freedom of deciding my own day.
But there is another side to alone. One far more isolating and sinister.
I have been trapped in the snares of alone and the lies it breeds.
Lies that convince you everyone else is having a grand time without you. Deceitful tales that have you thinking you are the only one who has ever struggled, doubted, or been afraid.
In the silence of alone your thoughts take advantage of their audience with you and sweep you away to write stories that lead you to darkness.
You aren't alone. That is the point, after all.
If you have ever been brave enough to share your story you soon see how connected we all are. How easy it is to find an empathetic soul in this world who knows just where you are or where you have been.
I remember a time when I fell for the lie that I was the only one. And Truth slipped into my heart from a pastor's lips reminding me there was One Man who experienced it all. Who knew my pain. Who experienced the array of feelings I had felt.
And comfort rained down on me that day.
Alone doesn't thrive in community. But you must be willing to risk and share the deepest parts of you. Because that is where you will find comfort in being known. That is where you will meet others who understand.
We all live in the contradiction of alone — where there is beauty in the quiet and rest for the weary. Where being alone can be a healthy lesson in being content hanging out with yourself.
But alone can also become an escape, an excuse to live like an island. And without the input of others, the harder it is to discern the lies from the truth.
"Islands are great to visit. But I have found we aren't meant to live apart."
So you never have to feel alone.
Holley Gerth (today's Coffee for Your Heart)
And Rebekah at: