It’s not like I haven’t been here before.
Loneliness is an old adversary.
The odd thing about it is that he doesn’t show up at my doorstep when most people would expect him to. It’s not during the pre-finals hermitage that I go into for a couple of weeks every semester when he comes knocking to try and tell me that I’m a total loser who has no friends. Nor is it when everyone is out of town and I’m sitting in a diner by myself because I don’t feel like cooking dinner that he begins to creep into my psyche. It’s in the moments that you wouldn’t expect. It’s while I’m waiting to catch the last train home after a night of playing dungeons and dragons with friends that I start to feel the familiar twinge of being alone. It’s when a friend or an acquaintance says that “we should totally grab coffee!” But I can tell from their noncommittal way of speaking that the meetup for coffee will never happen. It’s in moments like this when I start to wonder if I’m supposed to walk this world without having community with people. And finally, the feeling of loneliness creeps in the most after spending the day with family and friends who I care deeply about, only to find myself afterward sitting alone in front of a computer. Aimlessly scrolling through youtube videos, trying desperately to find a video that will hold my interest long enough for me to forget for a bit how out of place I feel.
These are the moments when loneliness finds a foothold.
But as I said at the top of this block of text. Loneliness is an old adversary, and I have become wise to his tricks. I’ve been through this enough times to know that these feelings will not last. It might be a day or a week from now but eventually, this emptiness I feel in my chest will fade. At this point, I’ve stopped trying to come up with ways to “combat” this foe. I’ve learned that at least for me, the catalyst to stopping this feeling of loneliness is as unique to the moment as the initial trigger was. It could be a text from a friend. It could be the completion of a project that needed to be completed. It could be something as simple as hearing a worship song, that reminds me of God’s love for us. Or it more than likely will be something that I haven’t thought of yet. But whatever it is it will come. This state is not permanent, it is temporary. This enemy called Loneliness might win the battle today. But I refuse to let him win the war.