Switching schools year after year, feeling excluded, and dealing with cliques, I became lonely. Over time, my loneliness led to isolation, discouragement, and a hesitance to try new things or to make new friends. To break out of my loneliness, I asked God to lead me to the right people—and I discovered they were already within my reach.
Do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV)
I encourage you not to let loneliness steal the joy from your life. Instead of walking with your head down in the hallways at school, be the first to say hello. Ask someone sitting alone to eat lunch with you. Even when you feel lonely, step out of your comfort zone and make new friends to the fill the void. And always remember that God is near to give you strength and courage.
REFLECT: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone’” (Genesis 2:18a, NRSV). God created us to be in relationship. Therefore, loneliness bothers us and we seek love and acceptance from other people. If you are feeling isolated, reach out. God wants us to enter into fellowship with the people around us, and often we must take the first step.
Rebekah Gardea [San Antonio, TX]