Monday, February 17, 2014

Perks of Loneliness

I ran across this post the other day when I was scanning my pinterest boards:
"Sometimes loneliness is God's cry for friendship time with you."
At the same moment, I was listening to "If You Ever Get Lonely" by Love and Theft. Coincidence? Maybe. But it got me thinking about my life lately.

When I was in Spain this summer, it was the first time I ever felt truly lonely. I had no friends, I didn't really talk to my host family, and the time difference made it difficult to have conversations with everyone back in the States. It was a really tough time for me. But I grew so much in my relationship with the Lord. He was all I had.

Now that I'm in France, my situation is almost the exact opposite. I have friends, I'm close with my host family, and even though there is still a time change, I have more free time to talk with people back home. Yet I still find myself getting lonely at times. I am a very independent person and I thrive off alone time. So when I say I get lonely, it's a big deal. Being an au pair is often a lonely experience, even when you're surrounded by people. Not to say this experience is all bad, it's just a side effect sometimes.

So I've been thinking again lately about how much time I spend with the Lord. I'm doing Beth Moore's Bible study on David currently and I am absolutely loving it. Because I don't have too many commitments during the day, I'm able to spend a lot of time on the study, and on my relationship with Him in general. By no means am I excelling at this every day. I am still learning and growing. Yet I've realized that these times when I'm lonely have been the greatest periods of growth for me.

It's interesting how God places us in certain situations and how He uses those situations to teach us. When I am home in the States, there are so many distractions vying for my attention: social media, Netflix, friends, family, etc...not bad things, but also not spiritually edifying. When I'm abroad, I have limited access to these things, giving me more time to focus on the more important things in life.

When I was home this past Christmas, I noticed how quickly I fell back into the trap of those distractions. Next time I come home, I want to make more of an effort to live simply like I do here in Europe. I'm sure it will be a challenge. I'm sure I'll fail a lot. But I've realized how little those distractions matter in the long run. Will I still have Netlix binges on the weekends? Absolutely. Will I waste time on Pinterest? Most likely. I don't want to completely get rid of these things. I just want to limit them and knock them down on my priority list.

1 comment:

  1. I totally understand you! The quirky part about living/working abroad is that even when you're constantly surrounded by people, it's really easy to feel lonely. I'm still trying to figure out why - but you're absolutely right about using that opportunity to grow closer to God. It's something I actually really need to work on at the moment - so I'm really glad that I read this post today!


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