Friday, July 26, 2019

Fighting Summer Loneliness




By: Sarah Geringer

Does loneliness affect you? According to polls, loneliness is at epidemic levels today. If you are feeling even a little bit lonely, I have encouragement to share with you.

Summer loneliness has sneaked up on me this year.
 When I was a mom of littles, it was a more frequent visitor. As much as I loved staying at home with my toddlers and babies, I craved adult conversation. The lack of it led to loneliness.

Now I have two teens and one tween, who are home with me most days. Yet because they are able to care almost completely for themselves, I see them less during the day than I used to. When we interact at lunch or in the evenings, it's good! Yet strangely, I've found loneliness standing at the front door several times this summer. 

Even though I'm in a different stage of parenting, I miss my friend time. I didn't realize how much I was depending on my Tuesday night small group meetings, which have taken a summer break. Every Wednesday, I attended Bible Study Fellowship, and I'm missing that time of interaction which won't resume until September. 

God created us to be relational creatures. It shouldn't surprise me, nor you, if loneliness creeps in when interaction time drops off. We are created to spend time together, and in our busy schedules, it's so easy to neglect social interaction. However, loneliness is the inevitable symptom of a social vacuum.

Let's look at this verse together:

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:25 NLT


When we meet together, we encourage one another. I once heard a wise woman say, "When we meet face-to-face, your spirit meets my spirit." Face-to-face meetings are wonderful. But what do you do if that's just not possible?

I've gone old-school this summer in fighting loneliness. In one of my Facebook blogger groups, where we typically just share each other's posts, one woman suggested we get to know each other better. I took a deep breath and told the ladies I'd welcome their phone calls to combat loneliness.

In the past two weeks, I've had four phone conversations that lifted me up. I spent about an hour on the phone with each of these ladies from different parts of the U.S. Two I've met in real life; two I've known for years online. The hours on the phone cost me time, but they paid me back in improved well-being and Christian encouragement. One phone call can lift my spirit for days!

If you are struggling with loneliness today, who can you call for encouragement? Even if you are physically or geographically unable to meet face-to-face with a friend, a phone call is probably the second best choice. For me, it was just the therapy I needed. It's tough for me to meet with friends outside my home in this season of life. But at least I have the phone, which helps me give and get encouragement.

Here's a prayer to encourage you today:

Heavenly Father,
I praise you for creating me to be relational.
I confess that I sometimes neglect meeting with others.
Thank you for being my Friend always.
Give me opportunities to meet with friends for my spiritual, emotional and mental health.
In Jesus' name, Amen.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,





Photo from Canva.com



Reflection questions:




1. What methods do you use to fight loneliness?



2. Which step will you take this week to connect with others?


1 comment:

  1. Sarah, thank you for sharing so openly about loneliness. It was the push I needed to make a phone call to someone who has been on my heart. Sometimes, we are the ones who must initiate a phone call to relieve the loneliness in that other person. This is both a wise and practical post. Have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete

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