Happy New Years, you guys! I’m still in shock that a whole year has come and gone again. Time goes by so fast after you turn 20. Sheesh.
After a marriage, a new house, a baby, and a puppy we are leaving 2017 in the dust and plunging headlong into 2018. But I just got to be real here for a second, guys. I’m scared to death about 2018.
(There, I said it.)
God has a lot of the changes in store for us in the next few months. I’ve been preparing for them for two years, but now the waiting time is almost up and the test begins. The CG is moving our little family to an unknown location (as of yet.)
Right after the birth of our daughter, Vivi, the CG movers will pack up our house and move us from my beloved Alaska. My husband will get to start his new job and get back into the deployment lifestyle as I work on my business dreams, build our home, and raise our little girl. At least the CG will guarantee a life by the ocean (or large body of water) so I won’t feel too homesick. 🙂 (yay!)
As I prepare for childbirth, moving, and building a new home I also realize that I am preparing to enter my third year as Blake’s partner. It’s been an incredible two years, but you can’t help but feel uncertain about the future.
Am I going to be a high maintenance wife postpartum?
Will I be able to handle his long deployments?
What will single parenting look like?
Can I make our dreams come true?
What healthy habits can we form to keep our love alive in spite of his absence?
Will marriage change for us?
I have a tonnnn of questions and fears I’m facing in the upcoming year as our lives change in ways they’ve never changed before. I keep wondering how I am going to make this all work by myself in a new place without family and friends? And in the end, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of loneliness.
Lone, lonely, lonesomeness.
(Ok. That’s a bit dramatic.)
I think everybody shares this same fear…to be alone. It’s a mark of our humanity. We all do our best to avoid it. We look for ways around it. We chose to live in big, overcrowded cities so we can feel secure. We invent imaginary friends when we are short on companionship. Becoming a cat lady starts to look like a valid option. We enter unhealthy relationships to save ourselves from the “pit of alone.”
If there is anyone who knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed by loneliness, I do. I remember in high school living in the wilderness with no friends, no church family, no boyfriend. It was a dark time for me and I fell into massive depression, an eating disorder, and a state of pouting at God.
I think God probably got a chuckle out of me, kind of like a dad chuckling at his three-year-old having a melt down because she’s out of juice. We do this to him without even knowing it. We fear moving, deployments, lack of a partner, parenthood, and all sorts of new things because we fear lonesomeness. I allowed myself to believe that my hole was too deep to be delivered from. I believed the lie that loneliness was a “bad thing.” I feared it so much I allowed myself to become depressed.
Then about five years later, when pouting about it was obviously not working for me, I gave up. I gave my burdens to Jesus. I surrendered my desire to belong, and accepted the lonesomeness. And you know what I found?
I wasn’t actually alone.
Ha. The irony.
I wasted five years of my youth fearful to let go. And all the time Jesus was there waiting to commune with me, fellowship with me, waiting to fill me. After I surrendered, Jesus gave me a solid year of closeness to him. He gave me a year of freedom and independence from myself. He gave me a demonstration of his power. He filled my empty heart. He showed me the light I desperately longed to see.
After my year was up, He brought Blake into my life. I feel unworthy of my wonderfully sweet husband because I pouted like a brat for so many years. But God is desperately merciful. He loves to fulfill us once he has chastened us.
“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction. For whom the LORD loves, he corrects; even as a father a son in who he delights.”
The greatest lesson I learned from those sad years was this: a state of loneliness is not a thing to run from. Loneliness isn’t lonely. Its actually the special time in our short lifetime we get to perceive God in an environment free of distraction. That year was the sweetest I’d ever experienced, and my deepest high school regret is missing out on those five years of friendship with him.
As you enter 2018, what are you afraid of? Is your fear based on the potential of loneliness? Don’t feel like the odd duck if you’re entering this year alone. Despite glamorous Instagram posts and well wishes, all of us enter the New Year fearing the unknown.
The fear of rejection or the lack of companionship has tremendous power to hurl us unto all sorts of trouble. Depression, withdrawals, premarital sex with the wrong person, addiction…they all have roots in loneliness. It’s imperative we move close to Jesus because without him we will either fail, or make serious mistakes to live with the remainder of our lives. Jesus says,
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am meek and lowly in heart. And ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
I hope you all begin your New Years with a deliberate choice to surrender your fear, and make a resolution to “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8