I feel lonely. I feel lonely and alone in the world. I feel like there is a city bustling outside my walls, laughter and comraderie floating through the air. I have places where I could go and people I could be around. In fact, I’ve received a few invites just this evening. But somehow, this place of loneliness, as uncomfortable as it may be, is precisely where I want to be, where I know I need to be. I feel a little sorrowful, like a piece of me is dying inside by turning down these invites to have a carefree night.

Simoultaneously, a new spirit fills this void, and I am renewed, made whole again. Lonely yes, but also secure. This fullness can only be God’s love.

I realize that in my journey, there are choices I have to make, habits and addictions that can longer take refuge in my soul if I am to live peacefully and purposefully. As tempting as it is to “throw caution to the wind” and have a few drinks with friends, I can only go by painful memories and mistakes from my past to fill in the rest of what would come of a night on the town.

“Let’s go have a drink,” I hear on the other end of the line. The words fall like bricks onto the shoulders of my small self.

The memory is slow to develop at first, but after only a tiny moment in time, it’s like I’m back in the Narthex, just a handful of days ago, after Sunday’s service, when I had a brief yet fulfilling conversation with my pastor. This Sunday was also the first Sunday of my covenant to God to attend worship through the end of Lent. “I want to get closer to God, I want to know him,” and then I asked, “Where do I begin?” Eyes bright, the same color blue as mine, the pastor replied, “Start by reading a chapter a day from the book of John. There’s 21 chapters, so three weeks. And read a psalm a day.” He finished with, “I’ll pray for you in the days to come. Let me know how it goes.”

I’m back on the phone, politely saying, “No thanks, I’ve got a busy day tomorrow.” There’s too much on the line, I’ve come too far to risk everything I’ve worked for, all for one night of fun.

So this loneliness fades into solitude as I hang up the phone and curl up on my sofa, with my dearest little companion following suit, and I feed my soul: a cup of hot chamomile tea, a few chapters in my fiction book, a bit of journaling, and chapter 6 from the Book of John.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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