Even before this whole quarantine thing began, feelings of isolation and loneliness were all too common in the world. Believe me, I felt it too. And now that we’re forced to be apart, it can be even more difficult to feel connected. Ironically, though, I’ve never been closer to my friends than I am right now! If you’re feeling alone, keep reading–I have some advice for you and I trust that it’ll help you as much as it has me!
Pray and Seek God First
Friends are important, but even more so is your relationship with God! There’s a reason that the song goes “Jesus and others and you, what a wonderful way to spell joy.” Jesus has to be first in your heart. Your relationship with God has to be your first priority.
Over the past few weeks, during the 40 day prayer challenge, I started praying for 7 of my friends each morning and asking that God would bring us closer together. And He certainly has! Random things have happened, things have just “worked out,” and prayers I didn’t even know I was praying are being answered. All I can say is God’s timing is crazy good!
My best friend of almost 7 years randomly sent me an email one day a couple weeks ago and among other things, asked for the link to my blog. I hadn’t mentioned it to her in months and it was so random, but I was like, ok… So I sent it to her. She texted back and said that I should put my songs to music (because she read some of the ones I have posted on the “Songs I Wrote” page). I told her I wish I knew how. Long story short, we have a band now and we’re working with another friend to write songs together. I can’t even tell you how many prayers that answers all in one… that God would use my blog, that He would bring my friends and I closer together, that my dream of song writing would become reality. I’m honestly just blown away at how God has worked it all out.
When you seek God first and ask Him to bless your friendships, He will! He will lead you to the people He knows you need in your life (like my amazing penpal God’sChild!). If you’re feeling lonely and friendless, my advice for you would be to seek God first and find a friend in Him before you try to find one in the world. He’s always there for you and He knows what you need–including friends. And also pray for your current friends, because you never know how God will answer and bring you closer together!
Be Willing to Take a Risk
Yes, this includes being vulnerable and transparent with people! I know this is the one that nobody wants to hear because I dismissed it for a long time too. But we have to be willing to be our real selves with people if we want to have a real relationship with them. During quarantine, I’ve done and said so many things that were risky at the time, but as I wrote in my journal one day, “I regret nothing.”
When my friend first asked about writing songs, she said that if we could find someone who could sing, then we could have a band. I knew that our somewhat-mutual friend was taking voice lessons and was really musically talented, but I have to admit I was kind of joking when I brought it up and said I could ask her. But my one friend said that I should, so I decided to take the risk and send a message asking if she’d be willing to join us. She obviously said yes, and again, “I regret nothing.” I’ve had so much fun writing songs over Google Docs and video calls with the both of them and it’s honestly been one of the best things to happen during quarantine!
Sometimes, in order to get off the island of loneliness, you have to be willing to take a step…
Step out of your secrets and into the Truth.
Step out of the darkness and into the Light.
Step out of the boat and into the waves.
Wherever that step takes you, God promises to be there. So if you’re feeling isolated and disconnected, do something new. Do something different. Do something that requires faith and trust in God and that might be a little risky. In the words of Matthew West, “Safe is just another word for regret.” Remind your friends how much they mean to you, ask them to read a book with you, or send them a hand-written letter in the mail! There’s so many things we can do to be close to our friends even in quarantine. (For the record, I’ve done all three of those things and “I regret nothing!”)
Remember the Good Times
Even if you’re in a season of loneliness right now, you can take some time to remember all the good memories you’ve made. There is a Dr. Seuss quote that goes, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” My friend and I were working on a song last night about the “best times” of our friendship, and it amazed me when I realized how many good memories I have of them.
My friend of almost 7 years and I met at swim lessons, so we still have memories of each other’s swim towels and what we said to each other in the locker room. I remember playing Trouble with her in the McDonald’s Play Place because we didn’t want to climb in the tunnels with the other kids. I remember taking turns telling a story in her basement, collecting toilet paper rolls so we could build a castle, and saving our “doll club” money in a blue piggy bank. And those are only some of the earliest memories! We’ve made so many more in more recent years.
And my other friend, I still remember as a 6th grader walking into youth group for the first time and seeing her there at the snack table. I knew her name because we went to the same homeschool group, but that day when we said “hi” to each other was when we really became friends. Since then, we’ve gone to concerts and camps and parties and proms. We’ve played cards by the pond, recorded silly videos about “saving the preschoolers,” and even acted in our own play at co-op. I still remember when we were rehearsing our lines over Skype and the subtitles accidentally thought we said “pregnant.” 😆 I also remember the day our youth group had a “Secret Church” meeting–possibly my favorite youth group memory–and on our way back from the “meeting place” I was chasing her and someone else through the woods and I thought to myself how good it felt to have a friend. Since then, I’ve also become friends with her sister and have shared great times with her as well.
Remembering all those good times has made me realize how much God has really blessed me over the years. There have been plenty of times that I have felt lonely, left out, or the unwanted third wheel. But for the past several years, I’ve been able to call those two girls my friends (among others) and I couldn’t be more grateful. The times that I’ve spent with them have truly been some of the best times of my life. And now the three of us get to write songs together and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
If you’re missing people and feeling alone, remember all the times when you were together! It’s seriously so much fun to search your memory and think about all the good times, and it also reminds you just how much God has blessed you with. God is good, and with Him the best is yet to come!
I hope you all have an amazing day, and remember: no matter what situation you find yourself in, God is there for you! Nothing is too big or too small to bring to God, so lay your burdens down and take up your freedom. What a Friend we have in Jesus!! Press into God, reach out to others, and remember all the good times.
You are not alone; you are precious, chosen, and wanted. Be blessed and be a blessing, y’all.
In Christ now and always,