These last two months have been about purposeful isolation this year. I had been very busy with work, a relationship, my child, and various organizations this year and I was ready for some rest. I had been through a lot of heartbreak and long hours. I had gotten to the point in my life I had crowded out the very things I felt were important to me. So, after a long deliberation, I decided to take time off to quite myself.
It has been lonely at times when I spend so much time alone at home. I found myself often sitting down on the couch thinking that filling myself with Netflix shows would somehow make me change. I suppose if you have known me for any amount of time the first thing to do would have been to blame me for not calling someone. There might have been whispers that I was not doing well and depressed because I wanted to be alone. I would totally understand that because people have been quick to judge me due to my past. There are many people in my life that have not seen that I do enjoy being alone from time to time. Oh my! It must mean I love to be a hermit, and never talk to anyone. No. It means I get my energy from alone time, which has been harder to find time for as a single parent.
There are times I have really enjoyed being around people in general and I have missed many friends. It seems as though ever since my birthday almost two months ago I have been voiding people in general to have more quiet time.
I have been reflecting on times in the past when I took time off from my social life I was doing whatever I could to fill the time. It made me realize these empty feelings I have deep inside of me, these voids that nothing could fill had been there for a long time. When I have been busy I don’t notice these voids as much. I have been a Christian for a long time but I wondered if God was really enough for me and if He was then why was I plagued with these doubts and emptiness. I have seen God do miracles but then I was still doubting what He was going to do for me.
One of the first things I did when I dedicated my life to God was find a community because I needed people to encourage me on so many life changes. When I had this fellowship and community of believers it was amazing. I could talk openly about God and things I did not understand. They helped lift me up and we all prayed together. I was sharing about what I have seen God do and where I thought walking with Jesus would take us next. I had never wanted to willingly trade them or be away from them for long periods of time, however, life happened. I was drawn away from them and I had to figure some things out on my own about God.
In the time I had away from the community I have learned a lot about myself and even more about God this time. I realized there was still jealousy in me and feelings of abandonment. I thought my faith was so strong and I would be fine on my own. I hadn’t realized how much I was relying on my community for answers and prayers. Like I said before the community can be amazing, but sometimes (no I am not speaking for anyone else) it stunted my growth in the Spirit. Instead of listening when God was whispering to me I said, “Maybe later.” Instead of writing when He asked me to months ago I said, “I will soon.”
So in turn, I had been placed in this place were the only person I can hear is God. It was a humbling experience. There were still times I had said, “God I got this.” I still needed Him to get through my day though. By the end of the day in my stubbornness, I had given back all the troubles and problems I was trying to carry around alone. When I had community it was easier to buckle the bag of worries and problems around me and keep going anyway. When all the while God was there saying, “I will carry it all for you if you let me.”
This year it has been different. I quickly shut off the Netflix and enjoyed the silence that surrounded me. I was able during those times to completely put all of my focus on God and I would not allow anything else into my mind. I am not perfect and I know I don’t know everything. I am glad this year I took this time off to have a vacation with God.
He is still peeling back the layers of me and getting out all those things that don’t belong to Him. I am His masterpiece and process is wonderful and painful at the same time. God has shown up to say, “Though I am quiet I am still right here.”
I hope others would be encouraged to take time with God and not by doing so many things be just allowing yourself to listen to Him. I know not everyone can take off a lot of time but even if it is 5 minutes in the morning or 10 minutes right before bed, it is better than nothing.