After being asked for the fifth time if I had traveled alone, I find that across different cultures there is a misconception that without having someone with you somehow you are at a disadvantage. Solitude has been one of the greatest mechanisms to get me back on track, to remove myself from noise and distractions long enough to hear the voice of God. To let silence comfort me not merely scare me into feelings of loneliness.
I don’t think it happens overnight, learning how to enjoy your own space and time spent alone. There is so much pressure to fill the empty space with another being, most times we choose to fill it with another distraction in the form of a relationship. There are times when I’ve had to confront my flawed thinking to be still and be okay with having dinner alone, going to the movies alone or simply hiking in a different country and still being content with each experience.
Solitude has taught me independence, often times we assume that constant co-dependency is a necessity, it brings more happiness to share moments with someone and that can be true in some instances. However; there is something to be said about embracing time alone in your own life wether it’s simply doing an activity you love on your own. To be comfortable with spending time alone is an accomplishment that I am constantly aiming for. To embrace moments of silence without lamenting over the reality of empty space.
Traveling to Cambodia, will always be a memory I cherish, besides the breathtaking views of the country side, it has forced me to stop talking long enough to hear the voice of God. To be still and listen to God as he sheds light on my (whack) character. We barely ever get the chance to truly confront ourselves if we are constantly surrounded by people who only tell us how great we are. In his loving and merciful ways he tells me how flawed I am, and yet he promises to wash me and make me new.
God reminds you when overwhelmed with the feelings of loneliness that there is time for everything. It grants you the peace of mind to embrace the uncertainty of life with the assurance that despite your circumstances you can let Joy take root in your heart.
In allowing God the freedom to speak to you uninterrupted it forces you to deal with some traits that we are often to quick to hide from those closest to us. I keep learning that any relationship will only work to magnify deep insecurities that we’ve carried from different relationships. A transparent relationship with God will help in uncovering what the deep seeded insecurities are.
Irrespective of how lonely you might feel, you have the gift of looking to the one who promises joy, peace, and love even in moments where your circumstances resemble the complete opposite. To find joy in moments where you are completely single is only possible when we deeply root our selves in the promises of God.
Matthew 28:20 tells us that God is with us always even to the end of the age, and so I find refuge in scriptures which offers eternal companionship despite what my emotions tell me.
It is enough to know that God who was with Moses in the wilderness, is also with you today in your own version of wilderness no matter how single you might feel. The greater challenge lies in learning how to welcome the season of singleness with no contempt but rather an open heart. Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us to be ‘strong and courageous for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ Let this verse take root in your heart when empty space seeks to work against your peace of mind.
Solitude is a gift that we often steer away from, I am learning to embrace it, to soak it in, to cling to a divine being to detach from the need to be surrounded by people constantly, to be still long enough to hear the only voice that truly matters. At 23 I recognize that more than jumping into a relationship with the next person who finds you attractive in an attempt to embody instagram relationship goals, there is so much more. It will be more beneficial to you, to find the fabric of who you are in solitude, through a deeper relationship with God because it is the only way we can truly be whole, if we are honest with ourselves we can admit that we carry way too much baggage.
I hope you learn to embrace alone time with God, to let go of the pressure to find someone to fill in the space in your life. I hope you learn how to welcome empty space, by letting God take the space in your heart. Soon enough you will realize that you have absolutely nothing to give someone else if you can’t give yourself time to grow, and be whole and content in who you are. I hope you become fully aware that by drowning out the voices of others you only have two options left; to listen to your own voice or to soften your heart to the voice of God and I pray you always choose the latter. It is so worth it.