To be alone is to be on your own, by yourself, and without company. Being alone does not automatically translate to being lonely. One can be alone and perfectly content. Conversely, someone can be in a group, relationship, or even marriage, and feel desperately lonely. Loneliness is a state of mind. It is the state of being alone and feeling sad about it. Loneliness is highly subjective. It occurs when a person’s social relationships are perceived by that person to be less in quantity, and especially in quality, than desired.
God created us with a need and capacity to connect with other people. We have an innate need for significance and relevance, and to know that our lives matter. That need is often met and actualized in and through relationships with others. That social connection gives us a sense of security, belonging, self-worth, meaning, and fulfillment. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” and He proceeded to meet Adam’s need for human connection.
But not all connections are created equal. To effectively combat loneliness, it must be a meaningful connection on an emotional level. This is why someone can feel lonely in a roomful of people, if there is no emotional connection. Social connection is critical to emotional health and wellbeing. Without that connection and sense of understanding, loneliness can take a toll.
A NEW KIND OF ALONENESS
Coronavirus and the associated social distancing have changed the face of aloneness. Today, most people are alone, quarantined at home. For many singles, being alone at home is BAU (Business As Usual). So, in that sense, singles are more prepared for the quarantine, because they are accustomed to living by themselves. However, this is a new kind of aloneness. An aloneness that is accompanied by true isolation, and exacerbated by fear - fear of the unknown, fear of contracting the virus, and a grim foreboding of an uncertain future. An aloneness that can be truly lonely. Many people have a gnawing and generalized dread of what the future will bring, will they lose their jobs, will they be able to pay their bills, will the virus re-emerge? What will life look like in the future?
For many singles, work interaction is very important. They live alone, and so, social interaction at work is a vital part of their emotional health survival kit. Over the years, some have developed meaningful connections and even friendships with coworkers, and going to work provides a break from what is, for some, the monotony of a single lifestyle. With social distancing, that important source of emotional support is eliminated. Many singles now work from home, and feel an additional layer of isolation.
Some singles, who are believing God for a spouse and have decided that this year, 2020, is the right time to venture out into the dating arena, have an added reason for frustration. My friend Cheryl gave voice to this frustration. She posted on social media, an imaginary dialogue between her and the universe that captures what some singles feel – “Cheryl: I think I’m ready to date again…. The Universe: Oh yeah? Release worldwide virus preventing all human interaction. Cheryl: Well played.” Many singles feel like Cheryl.
For singles who have elderly parents, COVID-19 comes with the extra concern about their health and wellbeing, and in many cases, an inability to see or visit them. For others who are caregivers for elderly parents and relatives, the fear and concern is palpable, up close, and personal.
Social distancing and the quarantine have literally forced some singles to face their fears, the fear of being alone. Many singles have worried for a long time, about what the future holds and whether they are enough, by themselves, to meet that uncertain future. Social distancing has forced a confrontation between them and their fear. For many, this is a great thing! They have seen, first hand, that God is more than enough, and that they truly can do all things through Christ!
The COVID-19 aloneness is a new type of aloneness. It is an aloneness that separates and isolates. It is an aloneness that leaves us feeling sad and discouraged. It is a lonely aloneness. So, how do we overcome this new type of loneliness? Here are five practical steps we can take to experience God’s victory over loneliness even in the quarantine:
5 WAYS TO OVERCOME LONELINESS DURING THE QUARANTINE
- Remember That This is Temporary
We must constantly remind ourselves that this is temporary, and transitory. Post COVID-19, there will be a new normal and restoration of social connection. There will be a COVID-19 vaccine and medicine, which will make social distancing unnecessary. It’s not a matter of if, but when. God already knows the formula for the vaccine and I believe that He will download it into someone in the global scientific community who hears His voice.
- Stay Connected Through Social Media:
God is so good! He has blessed us with technology that provides so many fabulous life-like ways to connect online. We have Facebook, YouTube, MeetUp, Zoom, Skype, Facetime and so many other online forums and applications. Today, you can “attend” three or four church services every Sunday, from the comfort of your home. You can have “in-person” meetings, attend star studded concerts, enjoy comedies, and stay connected with your friends and family right from your couch. Take advantage of these opportunities.
- Commit to Helping Others
The best cure for loneliness is to help others. God created you to be a blessing, so blessing others fulfills one of your primary assignments on earth. It gives you a sense of purpose and wellbeing that is critical to emotional health. Plus, it cures loneliness by connecting you to those you are helping, and to others who are engaged in helping others, who in turn support you and help you. What can you do? Maybe sharing a word of encouragement with a single mom struggling to homeschool 3 kids, a scripture to comfort those who lost loved ones, prayer for those on the frontlines, a music video with a friend, or a note of thanks in the mailbox for your mailman.
- Determine to Practice Solitude
Solitude is a spiritual discipline that has gone into disuse. It is being alone with God by choice! It cultivates the presence of God, gives you divine insight, imparts the heart of God, gives you a kingdom mindset, and is indispensable for crucifying the flesh. Solitude realigns your vision; helps you tune out the static and focus on God, builds godly self-esteem, promotes personal brokenness, demonstrates total dependence on God, and leads to conception in the spirit. Jesus practiced solitude and left us a model to emulate – Mark 6:31-32, 46.
- Choose to Give Thanks
A thankful attitude is a proven antidote to loneliness. Being grateful is to remember, memorialize, and treasure the people, things and relationships that give our lives meaning, and to express appreciation to and for them. During this quarantine, be intentional and purposeful about giving thanks to God and people for your many blessings.
CONNECT WITH OUR ONLINE RESOURCES
Connect with us on Facebook, YouTube and MeetUp for encouragement and available resources. Check out our videos and see comments from our live online audience.
- Facebook link: https://m.facebook.com/…/Mot…/The-GraceTalk-278617079640728/
- MeetUp link: https://www.meetup.com/Saved-Singles-Summit/events/
- Website link: https://gloriagodson.com/
Join our new private Facebook group: WHOLENESS IN SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY: https://www.facebook.com/groups/838682316624528/
PRAYER: Pray this prayer with me: Today, we take authority over coronavirus and oppose its spread. We curse this virus, like Jesus cursed the fig tree, and command it to die. We weaken its molecular structure and destabilize it’s spread mechanism. We pray for all those infected and sick at home or in the hospital. Father, we send your word to heal them, and deliver them from destruction. We pray for God’s wisdom, insight, understanding, and revelation for researchers in the global scientific community to develop a COVID-19 cure. We pray for national, state, and local leaders, for wisdom, sound judgement, and good counsel as they plan to reopen the nation. We pray for national repentance and call America back to God - Amen.