When my motherhood journey began I was overwhelmed by how much I adored my child and by how unprepared I was for motherhood. If we are all being honest as mothers, we would probably agree that we weren't fully prepared for motherhood. You can read all the right books and take all the parenting classes that are offered prior to having a baby, but it doesn't prepare you for everything you will experience. One day I was going about my usual routine taking care of our baby girl and washing bottles when I realized that I was extremely lonely. I was tired of being alone and let that feeling take my mind off the fact that I wasn't truly alone.
Loneliness has always been my "Achilles Heel" as I am an extreme extrovert. I love being around people. I thrive when I am connecting with others and getting to know someone. When I started my journey as a stay-at-home-mama I became a bit of an introvert. At that time, I was still trying to figure out how to take a small baby out in public and get enough rest to make it through every day. I even tried to turn myself into a introvert through that time as I thought that becoming a mom automatically meant that you should be antisocial. How I got to that mindset I have no idea but it happened.
I pushed those feelings of loneliness deep down inside my heart until the dreadful day when they came bursting out in the form of an epic breakdown. We as women know that when that dreaded breakdown occurs it is epic and almost always involves a lot of crying. Oh the joys of being a hormonal woman!
I cried and explained to my husband that I was just so lonely. I loved our baby girl but when he was at work for eight plus hours a day I was all alone only having conversations with our baby. Part of my loneliness was coming from the fact that we had just moved to a new town nearly two and a half hours away from our families. I was SO excited to be starting a new adventure but it came with a great deal of loneliness as we didn't know anyone. I was still unsure of myself as a new mother and the only people I knew lived a nice drive away so I knew I had to lean on Christ to get me through.
God taught me so much through that lonely season and I would go back and endure it all again because I am so grateful for the wisdom He gave me during that time.
Back to the breakdown....
My wonderfully supportive husband listened as I cried and reminded me that he was only 20 minutes away and that most importantly, God was always with me helping me each day. It was tough. I like noise and people and socialization. It never crossed my mind that being a stay-at-home-mama would be so lonely at times.
You may not even have children but still you feel so lonely and alone and if you're honest, scared. You may have lost a spouse or a friend or are simply having a hard time finding good, Godly friends. Friend, if I can encourage you today I want you take these next five points to heart:
1. Stay Rooted In Christ
I will never understand how a person can make it without God's help. I would never make it through the days of loneliness if Christ wasn't the Lord of my life. You can be feeling so down and lonely but simply picking up the Bible or saying a quick prayer can change your entire mindset for the day. So many times I have fell on my knees and asked God to please help my lonely heart and He always gives me comfort and reminds me that I am never alone. Children of God are never truly alone. Ever. It is a biblical truth that is found all throughout scripture. My favorite verse on this truth is Joshua 1:9, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Can you imagine the loneliness that Jesus felt as he hung upon the cross? He alone took on all the sin that would ever be committed and can you imagine the loneliness that Jesus Christ felt? Before He was crucified, Jesus walked on the earth and never had a place to rest His head. He traveled preaching and teaching to others and although He had his disciples, I am sure He felt lonely. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Bible says that, "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (Matthew 26:36-38)" Jesus knows how loneliness feels and is near to us when we experience it.
Joshua 1:9, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
2. Don't Shy Away From People
I get it. We live in a digitally saturated world and we can have everything delivered to our doorstep if we like. I know that women especially find it hard to connect with other women for fear that we won't be accepted by them. Mom shaming, woman shaming, and Grandparent shaming (I am sure it is a thing too) can be so disheartening. The number one lesson I have learned through the lonely season is that you have to reach out to people. Sure, they may not like you and you may have to reach out to a lot of women before you find a friend, but it is worth it. So many times I have had to do the awkward first introduction but it almost always turns out in my favor. Do it, friend! Look someone in the eye, say hello, invite them to coffee, and find good, godly girlfriends to hang out with! If the group of people you're spending time with is not encouraging you, motivating you, and being honest with you then you need to find a new circle of friends.
3. Don't Be A Hermit!
I really love being at home. I am social but I also really love being home in pajamas with my husband and babies. I used to get extreme anxiety when Sunday night rolled around because I knew another long week was ahead where my husband would be at work all day and I would be alone with the kids. I finally reached a point where I had to make myself get out of the house at least twice a week. Even though it was hard to tote a newborn and toddler around, I knew I had to do it for my sanity and to combat my loneliness. We ventured to the library and would occasionally find ourselves in Target (the greatest place ever) and it helped me so much. There were plenty of other moms at the library and it was nice to chat with people who understood the season I was in. Get out of the house! God made us to connect with others and share Him with the world. Don't hide away, friend!
4. Check In With Your "People"
There were and are so many days when I just need to talk to an adult over the phone. I will call my husband or family members and just chat for a few minutes. This almost always boosts my mood and helps me realize that I have a very great circle of people around me who are only a phone call away if I need a bit of encouragement. I love encouraging others but sometimes I struggle to encourage myself. It sounds crazy, but it is true! We ALL need encouragement!
5. Share Your Experience
If you have battled loneliness or you are currently battling loneliness, I want you to find someone that is in the same season and share your heart with them. It is hard to be vulnerable and put yourself out there but you will quickly realize that so many people are hurting inside. We tend to shy away from letting people inside for fear of what they will think but almost always we will find someone who needed a friend to just listen.
Friend, if you're lonely and in need of some encouragement I want you to send me an email! I would love to talk to you and share more about my lonely season with you!