You want me to talk about solitude? Yikes is what comes to mind for me. I have been one that panics when I am alone. I was with my family until I got married. I got married and suddenly the husband is in the picture. Because of many reasons, one being I was very lonely even though I was living with my husband, we divorced. I moved in with a friend and lived a year, but then I got an ultimatum to move. I knew I needed to move, but I totally feared being alone. I wasn’t afraid of what could happen to me, but being a people person, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around this concept. I had never been alone, I thought, so how could I move into a place BY MYSELF!
I was in church, but I didn’t rely on the Lord as much as I could have because I didn’t know that I could. I didn’t even think about asking God to hang out with me. Solitude to me seemed miserable. What do you do when you are alone and lonely? You find people to be around, and may I say, I didn’t always find the best ones to hang out with. Eventually I quit going to church, so I found friends “in low places” as Garth Brooks said. Not all of them were bad, but they weren’t in church where I needed to be. I should have been seeking after the Lord instead of the wrong people.
I think of the story of Joseph and I relate to him in some ways. In Genesis chapter 37 is where his story begins. He has a dream about being “over” his brothers, and tells them about it…I would have told, too. They take him away from all that he knows and are going to kill him. And you know the rest of the story; he is taken to a far away place and is put in jail. He is ALONE, and knows no one. I would have been so afraid. This is where I didn’t relate; he talked to the Lord a lot. And he did become great because of his relationship with God. His times of solitude with the Lord is what got Him through. This is what I should have tried in my times of loneliness.
And what about Job? Boy did he go through the fire. He was alone even though his friends came around. He might as well have been alone with how they treated him, but he stayed true to the Lord and spent much time of solitude with God and asked God hard questions. Job prevailed because God was right there beside him in his loneliness.
Here I am today, retired with Dewitt, so we aren’t alone much. I have learned how to be alone and not be lonely. In December of 2010, when I started coming to Harvest, I truly began to learn how to spend time alone with Jesus. I had been in churches for most of my life, but I didn’t hear the good news of having a personal relationship with Him. I was afraid to be alone with Jesus because I thought He knew too much about me and didn’t want to spend time with me. Crazy! I would read the word, but not really hear it and apply it to me.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
This scripture is so special to me because I was weary of not wanting to be alone and running from Jesus, the only one I really needed to hang out with.
I cherish my times of solitude now. I read the word and talk to Jesus. And I ask Him hard questions like Job and don’t feel like I am going to be struck down. I like my alone time so much that I stay in one part of the house while Dewitt is on the other. Sometimes I will text him or call him to ask something of him just because I am enjoying my time alone, and he does the same. We do sit and talk to each other a lot, but sometimes it is just good to be alone with Jesus.
Here I am in my “golden years” and I am finally content with being me and spending quality time with Jesus.
We’d like to thank Debbie Crosby for writing this post