I love wearing “Molly”— we are NOT alone!
One of my goals in life is to let the whole world know—or at least those in my world, they are NOT alone. The one thing that has brought me more inner healing is knowing I AM NOT ALONE. I was plagued with feeling alone most of my life. Maybe I was supposed to be a twin and was lonely in the womb? Or more likely, it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and the feelings of loneliness are embedded in our DNA. Maybe Adam knew loneliness first, before Eve was ever created.
One thing is for certain, all of us have struggled or will struggle with loneliness. And I am thankful that God knows of our loneliness and that He uses it to draw us to Him for healing. We were made to live in a relationship with Him and we will always struggle with loneliness without Him. And I am thankful that through my relationship with Jesus He has begun the process of healing my loneliness. But while that knowledge and relationship helps, I still struggle.
I also believe one of God’s solutions to fix loneliness was to create other humans for us to walk with and interact with. Remember in the Garden He said, “It is not good for man to be alone”. The only problem I have recently realized is that just having more people in my life can’t fix my loneliness.
Oh how I have tried over and over again to find the solution to my loneliness outside of myself. My logic tells me, “if you are lonely--be with people.“ But the only problem with that logic is, it doesn’t work! Being with people doesn’t make me less lonely any more than highlighting my hair makes me a ‘true blonde’—it changes my hair color for a time but 6 weeks later (actually 4 weeks) I am back for more highlights to cover dark roots.
I could be in a group of people and feel more lonely than when I am by myself. Why? I believe at our very core we long and want to be known. It’s not just that we don’t want to be alone. Our souls want to be known. I believe it is a core need in all of us. God created us with that need. And He knows us, He knit us together in our mother’s wombs. Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
So today God brings Molly into my life. Molly works at Gap. And by “Gap” I mean a store kind of like to Gap. And by “Molly” I mean I am not actually going to share her real name. I am funny like that. I am of the belief that when someone shares something with me—it’s just for me. I treat people’s ‘stuff’ as sacred ground. Between me, them and God. So back to “Molly”. I was at Gap this AM and Molly was helping me pick out some bright colored hoodies that are on sale. I bought 2—bright green and bright orange, if anyone cares. ANYWAY, as I was trying them on I accidentally hit her arm with a hanger and because her skin is aging and thin, we literally saw the bruise form as we stood there. I felt awful I had bruised her arm. She assured me she was fine and from the looks of her arms I could tell it happens quite often. She said “You can think of me every time you wear your new shirts.” And I replied “How about if I pray for you too when I wear them? How can I pray for you Molly?”
She placed her hand on my arm and began to cry. As she tried to grasp her composure she said “Every Saturday night when I go to Church I say ‘hi’ to my family”—I believe she was talking about family that had already passed from this life, but I didn’t ask. And then she paused and through more tears said “can you pray that I am not so lonely? And that Jack my dog stays healthy.” My heart fell to the ground to meet hers as she shared her heart. Her loneliness. Right there in the middle of Gap we had an encounter of hearts. A Grace encounter. I could see the ache in her eyes as she shared. I can’t solve her loneliness any more than I can solve anyone else’s. I can barely solve my own. More people, more noise, more, more, more does not solve our loneliness. Being alone doesn’t mean someone is lonely. However, not being known can make any one of us feel lonely.
"Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." Psalm 42:7
Loneliness isn’t healed by not being physically alone. More people in our lives does not make us less lonely. I believe loneliness is healed one real encounter at a time, sharing and being open. And knowing we aren’t alone in those deep places. God created those deep places in us as He created us. And He cares so deeply for our deep places. I heard someone say once, “I have Jesus. I don’t need people.” I just don’t believe that theology works. YES, we need Jesus and having Him as the foundation of our lives brings much healing for loneliness. But Jesus created us for authentic community. In fact, if we have Jesus, we are called to need people more and live in authentic community. Hebrews 10:25 says “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another”
Who better to provide for our loneliness than our Creator? Knowing we are truly known is half the battle. I believe God puts people in our lives to share life with so that our deepest places can be known, accepted, loved and tended too. I believe that like Molly’s thin skin that bruises so easily—our hearts are really the same. We can pretend those nicks and bruises don’t hurt, but they still leave their mark. And the only way to heal them is to share them… and be known and loved in them.
I know that one of the hardest steps in life is to be open and vulnerable with someone. But I have found the freedom that comes from sharing and being known is worth more than everything this world has to offer. One of my favorite quotes is “we are only as sick as our secrets.” I hope that by Molly sharing her loneliness, a little bit of it was healed up today. At least that is my prayer as I sit here in my new orange hoodie I now call ‘Molly’. As we become more known, we are less and less alone. It was so brave of her to share with me.
We were created for community. We were created to live in a relationship with Jesus AND to be truly known by others and by doing so, we will not be so alone. I am so thankful for the people in my life who know, accept and love me. Being known heals my alone-ness.
I was challenged and blessed today by Molly’s honesty. Her vulnerability and truth reminded me I am not alone. And neither are YOU! We are all in this life together. Friend or foe, we are all human with very basic needs of knowing we are loved, accepted and not alone.
You are not alone.
Daily Grace to you.
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