Thursday, October 3, 2013

Filling the Void

Well, I had a recipe all planned to blog yesterday or today, but it turns out that that's not going to happen.

I'm currently going through Beth Moore's study Beloved Disciple in a women's Bible study group at church, and today, some things hit me pretty hard.

We've lived in Florida for over two years now, having moved over 1000 miles from our families and everyone we know who are back in Missouri.  And though I absolutely love Florida, and my lifelong dream of living here is being fulfilled, I have never felt more isolated in my life.

I've struggled with feeling lonely and isolated quite a bit throughout my life.  Which is weird, because I generally enjoy being alone, and I am not a person who is comfortable in a huge room full of people.  But the isolation I have felt since moving here has been profound.  My family is no longer close by for frequent visits.  And when I was teaching, to be frank, I simply didn't fit in, so I have just one or two people from those two years whom I could call friends.  And now that I'm home, beyond Thomas, I don't have meaningful conversations with anyone.  Sure, I see people at the store, and I see students, etc. at band practice, but those interactions don't usually consist of anything that I'd call "meaningful" conversation.

And, you know, I do have friends.  But I only see the woman who I would dare to call my best friend usually once a week.  If I see her more than once, it's probably been an unusual week.  And that's through no one's fault, it's just how it is with life and families and jobs.

I feel like this is all culminating now because I am home all day.  My thoughts used to be bombarded with work and teaching and lesson plans, etc. all day long.  Though I was in just about the same boat then, my mind was so busy that most of the time I forgot about how isolated I was.  Now, though, my thoughts have free reign for most of the day.  My tasks at home are not those that take a lot of brain power.  And I feel lonelier than ever because I have time to realize it.

And today, God spoke to me through the words of Beth Moore.  I have been struggling for the past two years to remember that God is rooting for me to succeed.  Every moment of every day, he is right there next to me whispering, "Courage, dear heart."  (C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)  Trying to strengthen me to make it through each day.  And though I perhaps know these things in my head, I am having an immensely hard time knowing them in my heart.

Beth explained that in her times of pain, she realized that there wasn't a person on Earth that could give her enough of what she needed.  The only person who could fill the deep void of need was God.  And that is a difficult lesson for me to learn.  None of my family, friends, acquaintances can fill the need I have because it is a need for God.  God is the only one who can be with me at all times.  He is the only one who can really understand.  He is the only one who can fill the lonely void in my soul.  And though I know he is my savior sometimes it's hard to remember that he's also my friend.  I've got the head-knowledge for all of this.  But to turn directly to God for love and comfort when the isolation sets in, and to really feel his loving arms around me and allow him to comfort me is something else.

Beth also pointed out Isaiah 54:10 for comfort.
"Thought the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed, 
yet my unfailingly love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (NIV)

And as you can tell, I'm not through this battle, but while I continue to try to learn this lesson in my heart, I know the Lord is right next to me, whispering "Courage, dear heart."

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