Jan 8, 2018

The Disease of Loneliness

It was, as I remember, one of the best evenings of my life.  

I was with a group of friends and we were swapping stories, telling jokes and laughing so hard my abs were starting to hurt...

...it was the day you just didn't want to end.  

And then I woke up...

...it was just a dream

...and I was all alone.  

This isn't a story of something that happened long ago - but rather just the other night.  

I tossed and turned, trying to go back to sleep; however, sleep would not come this night as the accusations of the enemy were slamming into my mind over and over again (he is quite relentless.)  

  • "You had it--but YOU screwed it up!"  
  • "You ARE a screw up!"  
  • "You will NEVER recover from this!"  
  • "No one actually wants to be around you!"  
  • And - the "worthless piece of shit" one found its way back into my mind as well.  

I sat up in bed, sweating profusely, fighting back the tears because of the pain I had caused.  

And the next day it literally felt like a black cloud followed me everywhere.  

I call it "the disease of loneliness" - and I know I am not the only one who suffers from feeling this way--the feeling like no one actually cares about you and/or what you are going through.  

It brings me back to the lie we say (and hear) so often in our churches - that "all we need is Jesus."  I know saying this is a lie will get me thrown into the category of being a heretic (won't be the first time I've heard that one) - but - it really isn't true at all.  

What's my proof?  

Jesus!  

  • If all we need is Jesus - then why didn't Jesus just keep to Himself while He was on earth?  
  • If all we need is Jesus - then why, when asked what the most important commandment was, He replied, "love God, love others."  
  • If all we need is Jesus then why did He take so much time intentionally developing community around Him?  
  • If all we need is Jesus - then why does the phrase "one another" appear over 50 times in the New Testament.  

Yes, we do need Jesus--but we also need one another.  

At this point there is nothing I can do about the past.  I have wept, apologized, repented, and am trying my best to take steps forward (despite the people who are so quick to bring up what I did, quick to point out the steps I have taken forward are not enough--as well as those who are not scared to tell flat out lies about me!)  

And that's one of the reasons I am so excited about Second Chance Church...

...it's not because I feel the world needs my preaching (as there are FAR better preachers out there)...

...but rather because we all desperately need community, a group of people with whom we can be fully known and fully loved at the same time...

(Isn't that what we all desire?  Because, most of us feel if we were fully known we could never be fully loved--and if we are fully loved it's because we are not fully known.)  

...because being lonely absolutely SUCKS, and it is what the enemy wants for followers of Christ, because, isolation is one step away from destruction.  

I am so thankful Jesus hasn't given up on me - and is slowly but surely putting people back into my life who I can trust and who, for some crazy reason, still believe in me.  

I know what I am going through will not last forever.  (And it won't last forever for you either!) 

However, I also know that this time around I will have community that I can trust, who will love me despite the fact I fall down more often than I wish I did--and together we will do whatever it takes to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel.  


 




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