An Ode to the Lonely Heart

With all the love and community gathering for celebration over Valentine’s and Lent. I've noticed a quiet sadness in myself. A sadness that, at the surface, I could blame on others. But, in complete truth, it's my own doing.

I'm lonely.

I’ve always been afraid to say I’m lonely. I’ve associated lonely with depression, lack of friendship, and laziness. I’ve always been afraid to say I’m lonely because good, God-loving girls shouldn’t have a problem with community.

I've always been afraid to say I'm lonely because I'm married, live just a few miles from my family, and have many friends, both online and in real life. It seems I've made a life destined for community and gathering. But, alas, I'm lonely.

I believe I am a lonely heart. In the way a bleeding heart hurts for those who are suffering, I have a penchant for identifying feeling of lonely. It’s not that I particularly enjoy loneliness or that I hate it, but that it’s an uncomfortable realization. I’m alone, writing, busy in my mind when the awareness flushes over me: I’m lonely. I’m here, withdrawn and pretending to be busy, engaged on social media, sure in my purpose and yet, I crave human presence. I hunger for the comfort of another soul beside mine.

But this lonely is often a self-inflicted sort of lonely. It's one that has chosen -actively- to ignore the greatest comfort, Him. I want to pin it on my dad's death, on emotional unrest, on a holy kind of wrestling. Those are socially acceptable lies.

Truth be told, I've programmed Him out of my life.

I’ve laid priorities, retailored them time and again, but He’s not among them. He’s been set down, cast aside, like that book on  your nightstand that just can’t keep your attention. I long to dive in, enjoy the richness of His craft, and yet, I’m unavailable. And, in my business, I am lonely.

Usually an answer or suggestion lies here, one that gives a solution -even just faintly- to the problem at hand. But today -in the midst of a season of discovery- I’ve realized the question of how to cure lonely is best left unanswered.