The mind is such a powerful organ. When I was in college I was astounded to learn how influential the mind is over our behavior. As a Christian, I find it important to understand not only what the mind can do, but what God can do through it. I have gone from having real feelings of anxiety, depression, and negativity to thoughts of peace, confidence, and positivity within a year’s time. God showed me that though I might FEEL a certain way, it doesn’t mean that I have to continue down unhealthy paths.
One particular path I was heading down was believing that I was lonely. To be lonely means being sad over the fact that you don’t have any friends while being alone means that you are on your own. I don’t mind being by myself most of the time, but there have been times when I felt like no one wanted to connect with me. God faithfully came through and showed me that my reality was a little distorted. Here are a few tips that have helped me realize that I (or you) don’t have to be lonely.
- Ask, “Am I reaching out?” God began to move on my heart the idea that connecting with others wasn’t about me, but about reaching out to others. I began noticing that I had no idea what was happening in others’ lives. Someone would confront a friend and ask how they were doing, then out would come news I hadn’t yet heard. At first, I would be like “how come they don’t tell me?” and then would realize that no one was going to tell me unless I asked. Keeping this question in mind at all times, makes you realize that wanting people in your life is not about you, but others.
- Talk to God about wanting to connect. Since I don’t feel like I am a pro at reaching out and connecting with others, I knew I would need to ask God for some assistance. I am an introvert so sometimes I get a little awkward when facing new situations or noticing when someone is down and out. Because I over analyze a situation and assume I am the issue, I miss out on asking people what’s wrong or even just saying “hi”. God has been changing my way of thinking and given me the confidence to really see what is happening around me. I am less and less likely to assume someone is angry with me and work up the courage to find out what’s up.
- Initiate conversations that revolve around the other person. When I get nervous in conversations I talk about myself a lot or tell a story in such detail that it makes people’s eyes glaze over. I am learning, with God’s help, to get creative in my questions for others and also get better at remembering what I last talked about with the people in my life. People LOVE it when we bring up an inside joke or a little detail about their lives that is big for them. It shows we care even about the little things and that we’re listening.
God made it clear that I needed Him in order to be caring and selfless, and in turn, others have expressed an interest in me and a desire for friendship. He also told me that, NO, I am not lonely. I am a child of His and a part of a wonderful family dedicated to His service.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. – Psalm 25:16
What makes you feel good when someone reaches out to you? Have any other tips for resolving loneliness? Or a Bible text? I’d love to hear!