A lonely beach. We weren’t created to be alone in our pain or challenges of life. Yet, I find myself walking a lonely path so much of the time. That path brings anxiety and is riddled with lies.
I know I’m not the only one that chooses to walk alone at times rather than reach out to others. Why do we do that? Here a few reasons I find in my own life:
I can do this myself: my mantra. I am exceedingly independent. My husband calls it stubborn! Yup. There is nothing wrong with being independent as long as I remember I wasn’t put on this earth to be alone. Whether we are married or single, we still aren’t meant to be alone. That old poem by John Donne, “No man is an island” is as true today as it was when written 400 years ago. We are all a part of this planet we live on, dependent on each other for survival.
I can do it better: sometimes maybe. But who am I doing it better than? Or is it my pride stepping in and saying no one can do it like I can so I better do it alone.? I have a wealth of pride, too much of it in my opinion. It’s one of my greatest weaknesses. I would rather struggle with fear and anxiety than admit I can’t handle it by myself and ask for help.
I don’t want to be a bother: we can be but we can also be a blessing. We need balance. Handle life when you can. Ask for help when you need it. When I can help someone who is especially challenged by circumstances in their life right now, I am blessed to know I helped make their life a little better. I need to let myself be a blessing to others who help me.
No one has time or wants to help me: poor me. Really, I say that because when I get into this type of attitude, I’m not even willing to see the people who want to help me and will make the time to help. I know there are people who live in places where they don’t know people, don’t have a lot of friends, but I have to believe there are still people who would be glad to help. It’s just a matter of finding them. When my three kids and I moved to a city two hours from anyone we knew, we had to find people to help us. We found them at work and at church. But I had to learn to reach out and ask for help. Not easy but worth it.
It’s all up to me: at times it feels that way but is that the truth? Because of post-par tum depression, I get anxious whenever I take care of newborns. I actually get scared of those tiny babies even though I love being around them. And where my anxiety gets highest is when I’m thinking I’m all alone. I have to look at the truth, I may be alone at that second with the newborn but its parents will be back and we’ll all be OK until they are back. I am good with babies. That is the truth. It’s all up to me is the lie.
I am alone: not true at all. I think this is the biggest lie of them all for me. Whether someone is physically with me or not, I am still never alone. I know others think about and pray for me. Most important, I believe God’s promise found in Hebrews 13:5 where He says He will never leave or forsake us. He is always with me. Whether I acknowledge His presence or not, He is still there. All I have to do it remember and take comfort in that knowledge. Prayer! Opening myself to feel Him. Trusting Him even when others have let me down.
If I am alone, I can’t be hurt: been there. It’s a very natural reaction to pain, but maybe not a good place to make your bed and lie down in. Reality is humanity is not perfect, not a single one other than the God-man Jesus. We hurt people and we are hurt. Risking, taking a chance, opens the door to joy as well as hurt. Would we miss the joy because of the fear of pain? I took a chance on a second marriage. Yes, we have had pain in our marriage. And we have had great joy. I would not want to have missed the joy because I was afraid of the pain.
Satan would love to have us all believe we are alone because he can do his worst damage when we feel alone. He can convince us his lies are truth. He is the father of lies. We have to expose his lies for the lies they are and then embrace the truth of God instead. Recently, when I wasn’t spending time in prayer or feeling God’s presence, I let Satan convince me I was all alone in the worry over my aging parents. I was anxious when I would visit them. It was all up to me. That was such a lie. I have five siblings who all spend time with them. We all help with them as we can. It’s not up to a single one of us but to all of us and them together. Seeing the lie and replacing it with truth has lessened my anxiety tremendously because I am truly not alone at all.
Next time you feel anxious and alone, pray first, feel God’s presence, expose the lie and see the truth. You are never alone and without help. Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When you take His yoke upon yourself, He is yoked with you. You are together.
The definition of yoke is: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. Picture Jesus on one side of that crosspiece and you are on the other. You are both attached to whatever is causing you to feel alone or afraid. Learn from Him. Rest in Him. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. Yoked to Him you share the burden. You are not alone at all. Neither am I. Ever.