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Filtering by Tag: loneliness

Our Strength


I depend on my husband so much. He’s my best friend, my confidant, my safety and my strength. He takes care of me when I don’t feel well, does the dishes when I’m tired, and heavy things so that I don’t have to. I appreciate him so much.

But what happens when he’s not around? Do I fall to pieces, unable to function? Or do I have something far great to depend on?

When my husband’s away, there’s nothing I’d like better to do then have a good cry, and spend all my time on the couch eating ice cream and watching sappy movies.

And I may let myself do this for a day.

But I believe that God wants something more of me than this.

I believe that separation from my spouse is a time when God tests my love and dependence. Is it solely in a person, or is it most of all in my God?

Because, as much as I depend on my husband, I need to depend on God all the more. My husband can fail me, my God cannot. While my husband can never promise to meet my every need 24/7, my God can. He’s always strong, always stable, and always ready and willing to come to my aide.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV).

It’s the times when I’m lonely that I remember just how much I need the strength of God. I need the refuge and strength I find in Him and Him alone. I would be a complete mess without it.

What’s wonderful is that God understands me on the days I’m tired, alone and afraid, and He’s ready and willing to be my refuge and strength, if only I ask. Since I was a little girl, my favorite passage of scripture has been Psalm 46. It starts by reminding us that God is our true source of strength in times of trouble, and ends with a reminder to be still in His presence and recognize Him as the one true God, the only one that can fulfill our need for shelter and strength.

I hope these verses serve as a form of encouragement to you today, and remind you that you’re never really alone.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields  with fire.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

(Psalm 46 NIV)

It can be tough when a spouse is far away, but God is ready and willing to be your true source of strength and comfort. While your spouse will travel here and there, your Heavenly Father will never have to leave.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).

The Hidden Blessing of Solitude


I love having my husband at home. We talk, watch British Comedies, and play games together. We take walks, enjoy the outdoors, and dream about the future. I truly enjoy his company. Just the same, I always learn something when he’s gone. I always learn something when I’m alone, late at night in an empty house, with creaky walls and dark hallways. God always seems to teach me something in the quiet.

In my devotions today I was reminded that even Jesus sought out solitary spots from time to time (see John 6:15;Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42). They were places he went to pray and seek the face of God.

For me, solitary places are times when I learn to depend on God. They’re the times when I’m reminded that I am safe and sound in the arms of Jesus. They’re the times when I’m reminded that God is truly all I need to survive. I don’t need anyone or anything else. They’re the times when I move my focus away from earthly things and back to the face of God, where it belongs.

No, I don’t always enjoy be alone. Cooking for one can be tedious, and the bed can get really cold at night without someone beside me, just the same, I’m starting to learn that God is ready and willing to speak to me in these moments of solitude, if only I shut off my brain and open my heart.
What about you? What does God teach you in moments of solitude?

Lord, thank you for comforting me through the lonely times and for reminding me that you are my true refuge and strength (Psalm 46).

I Have You In My Heart


When I was a little girl I used to ride my bike around the neighborhood where we lived. The most fascinating thing for me was a group of houses in what was called a cul-de-sac. I used to love riding around this cul-de-sac, and dreaming about what it would be like if my one set of grandparents lived in one of the houses, my other grandparents in the next house, my aunt and uncle in the next house, and so on. I dreamed of a life where I played with my cousins more often than once or twice a year. While I loved my life with my family, distance was something I grew up loving to hate. My parents weren’t in the military, but they still settled far across the country from their loved ones. It’s only now that I realize how growing up far away from extended family would one day help me adapt to life in the military.

It’s painful to think about all the little events I miss in my family and friends lives. Yet, with each move, it’s amazing how God puts a new friends and “family” in the life of my husband and me. He never fails to provide.

And so, I do everything I can to stay in contact with those I love. Phone calls, emails, snail mail, blogs and Facebook. I do whatever I can to stay in contact. Even at this, at times I’m just plain lonely. At times I wish, once again, that all those I loved lived in a cul-de-sac together. It would be so convenient. But even then, I’m sure I’d have to work on the relationships. There’s nothing like distance to remind me of how much my family and friends truly mean to me.

In Philippians 1 the Apostle Paul was writing to his dear friends at the church of Philippi, although I’m not in prison like Paul, I identify with the words he writes. He, too, had many friends that lived far away. These words he wrote were words of encouragement and love. They’re words that express exactly how I fell about my loved ones. These words also remind me of the importance of prayer. While I can’t always be close to those I care about, I can do a very important thing for them, pray. I encourage you to do the same the next time you feel lonely. Here’s what Paul writes:

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3-11).

One is the loneliest number


Moving across the country with the military is rough, but it’s harder still when our husbands have to leave us behind in an unknown city. Far away from friends and family, it can be the loneliest place in the world to be. That cold pillow beside you at night can bring you to tears. The food that takes a week to eat, instead of a night, slowly goes bad in the fridge. The quietness of the house is almost beyond what you can bear, so what do you do?

In Isaiah 41:10 God says these precious words:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (NIV).

It can be fearful living on your own, especially if you’ve never experienced it before. I know that I can be slightly paranoid in a dark house, double checking windows and doors, and locking myself in my room before I go to sleep. There’s a certain safety that goes away when my husband isn’t home. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the loneliness and fear. Just the same, Isaiah 41 reminds us that God is there, ready and willing to help us through the loneliest times of our lives. He promises to hold us up when we can hardly stand on our own, and to help us make it through another day. He will always be beside us in this life, even when our husbands cannot. He is the only one who will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). And so, it’s oh so important, dear sisters, that we trust in Him.
Dear Lord, thank you that you are by my side, even on the loneliest of days.