11 February 2012

Overcoming Loneliness for Christians

By Carrie Fancett Pagels


Doesn't the woman on the cover of The Lady of Bolton Hill look like she is lonely and seeking someone to take her to the next stage of her life?  Elizabeth discussed her feelings of loneliness in her interview on Monday.  I found a great link to an article about Christian singles overcoming loneliness.


As a single, we might ask. "What if I never marry?"  You can be lonely in a marriage, too.


Where you are for the season - sometimes just accepting that you are where God has put you and finding what happiness you can in the situation can make the difference between despair and peace. We only are given so many days for our journey.  Sometimes we are alone as far as a mate being alongside us but we are never without God's presence. For the Christian, whether married, single, widowed, divorced, regardless - making God the focus of your life gives the basis for your everyday living.  Getting into the Word, spending time in prayer, and participating in the church and reaching out to others, may even be easier to do as a single person. 


One of the things that happens with singles in churches, however, is that they are either swept to the side or are pitied.  I experienced this sensation after I was married and had a child but was living in Atlanta for a short time without my family.  I was never so aware of how we in the church overlook people without a spouse or family present with them in the church body.  Some of that is self-centeredness or pew-warming (people there as though church is a social event).  However, much may be people simply consumed with managing their own little families and not having much energy left after a long week.  And with today's busy families and many women working full-time outside of the home, there are precious little emotional resources left to extend to others.


In a good marriage there is the sensation of being able to sink into the other's strength and draw on that to get through the tough times. As a single, one has to draw on friends and families for that support.  And there is no denying that it is different than what an excellent relationship with a spouse gives.  On the other hand, rushing into a marriage that God has not sanctioned for you will only worsen your situation. Having not married either of my first two fiances, I am grateful I was spared from the heartache of divorces that surely would have resulted had I married either of them. A bad marriage is worse than singleness.  But that is a topic for another day's post! 


DRAWING: The winner for this week's book, one of Elizabeth Camden's novels, will be announced this afternoon.  The Rose of Winslow Street and Lady of Bolton Hill can be purchased through CBD, Amazon, and other booksellers. 


Leave a comment for a chance to win either book. Drawing is today.

25 comments:

  1. Lovely post. And so true. Waiting for the one God has for you is always best. And no matter where are in life, I think we always need to slow down and look up. Thank you for sharing.

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  2. Carrie, such a wonderful article. Loneliness can be caused by many circumstances as you have mentioned, and I really love what said about accepting that God has put you in that place for a season...and a reason. I needed that today, as illness sometimes can make one feel lonely. Not being able to go out with the crowd for lunch like you use to, or sometimes being too ill to even go to church makes me lonely at times. But I am never alone...for the One who has His eye on the sparrow is always with me...He will never leave me nor forsake me!

    I can just look at the bright side...I have more time to read and do reviews and I LOVE that! Thank you, Carrie, for this wonderful post!

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  3. oops-love what YOU said about accepting...

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  4. Thanks FAYE! My silly husband asked me if I found the one I was waiting for!!!

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  5. DIANA, thanks for you comment. My eyes skipped right over that and read it as tho it was in there! One of my loneliest times was when I was SO very ill and my mother was in the hospital in CA. One of the nice things, like you said, is that at least you have opportunities in that season to see a little clearer what is really important. People surprised me who were supportive but honestly when you are really having a rough time those fair weather friends are glaringly absent. And your spouse cannot be the only one you rely on for encouragement. The great thing was that deep sense that He, God, was always there. He never left me alone, not for a minute.

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  6. Yes, Carrie, the ones that I thought would be here for me haven't been, but God puts the right ones in your life at the right times! So thankful for you, Teresa, Marian, and that wonderful Anne Payne! You are all such a blessing to me, and I thank God every day for you.

    Cindy Woodsmall is supposed to be in Columbia, so I may get to meet Anne, if she gets to come and I feel good enough to go! We have talked on the phone, and she is such a wonderful lady...hope we get to meet! I want my pic taken with Cindy Woodsmall...oh, yes I do!

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  7. Ohh, would love one of these books!

    Great article!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

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  8. Good article Carrie. I really liked the line when he was talking about the days spent in loneliness are ones you can never get back. As a single gal in my thirties, the days are passing by quickly and I can't be lonely.

    However, I thought it sad that the author wished he hadn't spent time praying for a spouse. I too have wrestled with that and for a few months, I stopped prayin and felt miserable. What if Hannah stopped praying for a child (Samuel)? What about those who don't pray for a spouse and get one? Me and my single girlfriends have discussed these questions and we all agree on one thing: pray for what you desire AND pray for the strength to be happy if we never marry.

    Oh, and pray some of our married friends will hook us up with their brothers. ;) There isn't enough of that done, in my opinion. ;)

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  9. Diana, you are too sweet! It's been a pleasure getting to know all you ladies as well. Hey, I want my picture taken too :) I hope I can come. I need to talk to my honey about that and see what's going on that day. Maybe my daughter would be able to come with me. She used to live in West Columbia so she has friends there she could visit.

    Some of the loneliest times I have experienced have been when my oldest daughter was hospitalized for long periods of time. It's amazing how many people don't like hospitals :/ During those times I learned to lean on Jesus even more! But the funny thing is that when my mom passed away I was surrounded by people and I felt the worst loneliness ever! It's amazing how losing a loved one impacts your life. It's taken years for that forlorn feeling to pass but there's still a lingering sadness. Not sure if that was on topic or not :)

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  10. Finished "Rose of Winslow Street" last night. Wow! What a great read. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your God given talent with us. Can't wait to get a copy of "Lady of Bolton Hill" to read.
    And thank you Carrie for sharing your heart with us!

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  11. Tori, I need to keep praying for you to find a godly spouse. Maybe those brothers are not good men to be introduced to, lol! Sound like God has put on your heart to continue praying. When He blesses you with your future husband, don't forget to tell me!!!

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  12. ANNE, ppl do seem to avoid hospitals - it scares them. But I had a really different experience when my mother died because God surrounded me with (mostly!) loving people. From the nurse on duty when I arrived, to the doctor who came back to the hospital, to the wonderful preacher and his wife (who sadly has gone on to the Lord) and the funeral home staff as well as neighbors and people from my hometown.

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  13. SHARON, so glad you enjoyed the books! Yes, this is my online therapy day, lol, so I guess I am sharing my heart. I hope someone can benefit.

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  14. CARRIE.... thanks for that wonderful post. One of the reasons I opened up and began speaking about loneliness in public is that for some reason, it seems that people are reluctant to claim it. We freely share work and family struggles...... but it is hard to open up about this one....perhaps because it is so personal? Anyway, thanks again for the thoughtful post....

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  15. ELIZABETH, Thanks so much for visiting with us this week! So glad you enjoyed the post. I imagine the mothers with little kids demanding all of their attention, as well as their husband, would be laughing at this post. Joyce Meyer has had some funny things to say about this kind of thing. You pray for the husband and kids and they you pray what to do about the husband and kids lol! God is good. He is our encourager!

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  16. Thank you Carrie for helping us think about others and what they might be going through. I see a lot of loneliness when I go visit my mom in the healthcare facility. I try to smile and speak to the ones I pass in the hallways. I would say as many as 60% have no one to visit them, it's so sad. I encourage anyone who has a few extra minutes to stop by your local healthcare facility, you might make a new friend and ease someone's loneliness.

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  17. Oh Teresa, you are so right. I had the privilege of volunteering through my church for many years over at the nursing home. I miss doing that. Great suggestion!!!

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  18. Oh Teresa, you are so right. I had the privilege of volunteering through my church for many years over at the nursing home. I miss doing that. Great suggestion!!!

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  19. Well, Faye, I just went over to you own blog and it looks like you already have a copy of Elizabeth Camden's new book. Do you? Because you just won it on Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help http://cfpagels.blogspot.com
    Congrats!

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  20. Faye did not have a copy but she will soon!

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  21. Congratulations, Faye! Happy reading :)

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  22. Would it be possible to make any of these eBook giveaways???

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  23. JANELL, almost all of our giveaways are reader's choice which is E-book or paperbacks for us.

    Hey, if you mean my posts, lol, I DO have an author friend who has suggested that. But I think you mean the book giveaways, is that right?

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  24. THANKS!!! Yes, I was referring to the book giveaways. :-) So happy to finally find a giveaway for ebook as well paperback!

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