Lonely is not a good feeling. It’s one that ranks in the top feelings I hate, right up there with insecurity. It’s a feeling I’ve experienced often over the past six months. My little family moved from Dallas to Nashville in August of last year. We left all that we knew to be stable. All of the friendships, our church home, and jobs. I’m sure many thought we were crazy, but God pressed on our hearts that life could be different. Our life in Texas was very busy and living in such a fast-paced community made it hard to connect fully to each other, to others, and mostly to our Father.
When we first moved to Nashville it was all exciting and new. But the reality that we were here without our “people” hit quickly. Loneliness began to creep in. Now, I’m not one to sit in something I don’t like for very long before I try to change it. We found our church home, and I began attending Women’s events as they came up. Stepping out to meet new people. I found, though, that I still felt lonely. I had a hard time with the fact that these new friends, as amazing as were (are), didn’t truly know me yet.
I get energy from spending quality time with others. One of my favorite things to do is sit around a table with great food and drinks and have intentional conversation. It fills me up! I’ve learned though that I have this tendency to make relationships an idol. Because I have this “thing” in me that yearns to sincerely connect with others in true and meaningful ways, I allow friendships to take over the throne of my heart every now and then. Goodness, that’s hard to admit.
But here’s the thing; being around others, even people I feel connected to, never really takes away the loneliness. Because, at the end of the day, they are just people. At some point in the relationship a friend will disappoint. I am bound to disappoint them. Connection with others is good… so good. But connection with people is not going to fill my heart the way Jesus fills my heart.
“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
It didn’t take long for me to recognize that being known here in Nashville was going to take some time. That’s natural. And I didn’t want to try to rush it. The Holy Spirit was already speaking to my heart to slow down in this new season and REST. This was something I knew He wanted me to do. So, as I felt my loneliness growing I began to lean in harder to it and to Jesus. I found myself craving my Bible more and more. I could not wait to wake up in the morning, grab my coffee and muffins, and sit on my back porch to read. I felt excited to sit and soak in this new scenery of Nashville and breathe in His goodness as I prayed for my family, finding my people, and ultimately asking my Father to reveal His heart to me every day. I found that as I was obedient to this season of physical rest, Jesus met me and gave me rest for my soul.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5
As I accepted my loneliness I began to press into Jesus more and more, and in that I found a really sweet connection with the only One who can tend to my soul. I asked God to show me His heart. To meet me in this place of transition and often sadness and He has. It has been a beautiful journey these past six months to see how Jesus is so tender with me. He is reminding me who I am, who He is, and what my heart most wants in this life.
So, before I close let me encourage you a bit, if I may. You may be in a dark or lonely season. You might feel overwhelmed or even underwhelmed. You may feel a disconnect that you aren’t sure what to do with. Or you may be in a great season full of excitement and opportunity. You may feel connected to your people and loving life. Wherever you land I’m going to tell you the same thing. Slow down for just a moment. Make sure you are taking some time each day to breathe in your Father’s love. I mean, REALLY soak Him in. Pray, read, meditate, listen, breathe. When you do, I believe this is the place where Jesus will continue to meet you and show you that He is enough.
Heather Williamson, a native Texan, resides in Franklin, TN with her husband Steven and her three girls Kayley, Kaidence, and Kaitlyn. Heather and Steven celebrate that God rescued them from a broken marriage and redeemed their relationship with one another and their Savior. They have a passion for walking along-side couples who are struggling in their own marriages praying God will use their broken story to be a testament of hope. Heather also loves sharing life around a table with other women as they enjoy the God given pleasure of a good meal. Speaking of food, she loves the gift of a good taco, queso, or guacamole…really she just loves Tex Mex.