One of the most dangerous times for me is when I’m physically alone. When I distance myself from people and from interaction with humanity, my mind begins to run marathons and sprint the 100-meter dash over and over again. Often, my mind begins to tell me that I am alone, that no one really cares about the struggles I’m going through and the difficulties I face. Whether that’s Satan or me that says those things, I don’t really know for sure. Whichever way, it’s scary.
It leads me to places I don’t want to go. And as someone who deals with depression and anxiety on a regular basis, it’s worse.
So I learned this weekend I can’t be alone. I shouldn’t be alone. Not for too long, at least. And this is tough for someone who enjoys his alone time, someone who tries to avoid large gatherings of people.
I think about my wedding in the future (Lord-willing I get married). I’m not looking forward to the reception, mostly because there will be a couple hundred people who will want to shake my hand or give me a hug, and all I’m going to want to do is be alone. Granted, I think that’s how every married couple feels in the minutes after they get married, but for an introvert like me, the aversion is double.
Back to the point: I need my alone time. But not for too long. We were meant to live in relationship with people. We were meant to be around people. And I think for a long time I only pursued that because I knew I was supposed to. I did see a lot of benefits and saw why I should do it. But I don’t think I knew why I shouldn’t avoid it. And this weekend I learned.
I learned the hard way. I learned what loneliness really looks like, what it feels like, how it hurts, how it stings, how it limits, how it pains. There’s a certain amount of loneliness I can handle, a certain level I can take. But at the same time, I need people. I need to be around people. I need to have relationship and community. I desperately need it.
It’s here where I learned that God did truly create me for community. That’s why Hebrews 10:24-25 says:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Something I noticed this time I read the verses: The author says we must encourage one another “all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Since “the Day” is always drawing nearer and nearer, we must continue to encourage one another more and more.
I spend a lot of time on this blog encouraging encouragement and love of people who are downtrodden. But here I want to speak to myself and to those who are downtrodden: come out from hiding. Open yourself to the people around you. Take off your mask.
Life revolves around the need
Of having someone
Causing every complicated feeling
Oh and I don’t want to lose you
And there is nothing wrong with
Telling me what you need
To keep our love strong