I originally wrote this for a blog for pastor's wives. Over time, though, I've realized loneliness is something we all struggle with...
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
It's crushing. My soul gasps for relationship but attempts collapse. The pain of loneliness is palatable. As pastor's wives there is usually no need to withdraw. We live, work and worship in lonely places.
We forge a deep, abiding relationship with our husbands but places of our hearts are a mystery to him.
We find satisfaction in the ordinary rhythm of caring for our home and family, but underneath the drum of solitude beats.
We delight in serving our King but find His courts an empty, solitary place.
How can we fill our God-given craving for female companionship?
Seek Relationship Beyond Your Boundaries - Don't expect your new best friend to occupy the rocker next to you during your nursery rotation. But you might find her in a community Bible study, on a non-denominational ministry board or in the school PTA. Jesus withdrew to a safe place. We'd be well-advised to find a safe place outside the brick and mortar above which our church sign hangs.
Consider Going Cross-Country - I'm not advising ultra-marathons or running away from your family to join the circus. With the world wide web, communities like A Pastor's Wife's Garden are just a click away. We can find a place to pour out our hearts and pray without even leaving our favorite chair.
Re-Kindle Old Loves - Sorry girls, your college sweetie is off limits, but your college roommate probably isn't. Consider reconnecting with a sorority sister, a girl from your hometown or pretty much any woman who knew you pre-POW. (POW = the pastor's outstanding wife!) Sometimes the one who's known you the longest can be an oasis in a relationship desert.
This week let's face our loneliness. No we didn't have to withdraw to get there but we can commit to pray for each other in our lonely place. We can take a single step out of the shadow of lonely and into the light of relationship. Most importantly, we can seek the One Who guarantees we're never alone in our lonely.