One of our biggest struggles since moving to Arizona for both Brian and me has been loneliness. Although we got plugged into an amazing church right away, and we made some great friends, we missed having friends around our age. We also realized it's a lot harder to hang out when everyone has full-time jobs. Eventually, we adjusted, for the most part. I especially have had a hard time, because I was home doing school alone, and now that I'm graduated, I'm home doing work alone.
So when Brian suggested I listen to a sermon series by Chip Ingram from Living on the Edge about loneliness, I listened to it the very next day. I had bathrooms to clean anyway, since we have a house guest this weekend. Well, not really a guest. He owns the house, and he's our landlord. Anyway, he's here for the weekend working on putting the house on the market.
You would think that being a believer and having a relationship with Jesus should be enough to take away any loneliness, right? While that's true in a way, Chip explained that we were created to desire relationships with others. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had perfect fellowship with God. And yet God said it was not good for man to be alone, and made a companion for him.
I don't want to give it all away, but in part 2, Chip says there are two keys to curing loneliness:
- Have a right perspective of church
- Have a right perspective of relationships
Whoa. Hold up. I'm the one who has to change? The problem is with me?
Sound familiar? It's so easy to think that the problem is with everyone else. If only we lived closer to our friends. If only people at church were nicer to me. If only... etc.
But if the problem is in my perspective, that means I'm the one who has to change. I'm the one who has to make the first move, and it might mean I have to be vulnerable.
I'm not good at that. I like listening to other people's problems. I like emphasizing with them. I like giving advice (aren't we all?). But I'm not good at sharing what I'm going through, my internal struggles, or even good things, like what I'm learning spiritually.
I highly recommend listening the two-part series, each segment lasts about half an hour. The perfect length to get some laundry folded or bathrooms cleaned! It's called "Breaking Through Life's Biggest Barriers: Overcoming Loneliness."
Let me know what you think!