Friday, March 6, 2009

I'd Rather be Alone


I have to admit it, I like being alone. I like not having to interact with other humans. Since being laid off from my job three months ago, I’ve spent much, I daresay, most of my time alone. Some of the interactions I have had during this time have only worked to reinforce my feelings. I really do like being alone. Being alone means that I can avoid the hurt, rejection, altercations and confrontations that seem to be part and parcel of human interaction. And I have to tell you, I’m not good at any of those things, nor getting over them when they do inevitably occur. In fact, I dread having to deal with the negative things. I detest misunderstandings, and even more, I loathe deliberate injustice, cruelty and unkindness. I have no tools in my belt to deal them, and I end up in a destructive whirlwind of emotions that I can’t seem to take captive and make obedient. At least, not for too long a time.

Alone is safe. It is comfortable. Responsibility and expectation are what I make them, and there’s no one looking over my shoulder, judging, criticizing, or being offended by what I do or don’t do. Safe. Safe is nice. So nice, that I can see how a person can become a veritable recluse. Alone in a bubble of a world. And outside the bubble can be so disconcerting that fear can take over, making a person believe that there is nothing worse than having to face the dangers of being with other humans. It can become paralyzing.

Not to worry, it hasn’t gotten THAT bad for me. Not yet. And thankfully, beginning next week, I will be entrenched in a new position, and with that, I will have to face all the fears that come with being with many strangers who will need to learn to work together in a very intimate setting under circumstances that may be stressful and difficult. But I’m more than willing to walk right into this new experience, and count it to be the next assignment that God has for me on this life’s journey.

Still, I do like being alone. I like not being in the potential line of fire that comes with being with other people. I really like avoiding hurt, rejection, altercations, and confrontations. But in avoiding those things, I inadvertently avoid other things as well…among them, fellowship, growth, love and the ability to touch others in ways that may change their worlds for the better. And honestly, I love that more than I love to be alone.

God puts people in our path that sharpen us, encourage us, exhort and uplift us. They are the people who stay firmly planted by our sides when the wind of adversity blows our worlds apart. They are the friends that stick closer than a brother. They are easy to talk to, to share laughter and tears with, they don’t get offended easily, and they don’t mind telling the truth IN LOVE. They are a joy and a gift that God brings into our lives. Proverbs 12:26 tells us that we should, “choose our friends carefully.” Not everyone can be a friend to everyone, and not everyone can be a friend. Webster’s dictionary calls a friend, “A person you know well and regard with affection and trust.” Affection and TRUST. I can trust my friends, and put away my fears that I might get hurt. But I am learning to choose them carefully. To step into relationships one foot at a time. I'd rather proceed cautiously than realize later that I threw that caution to the wind and have the wind blow the bitter failure of the relationship back into my face. I believe it behooves all of us to use godly wisdom when establishing relationships with others. And with that, understand that relationships with humans come and go like seasons. It’s okay for a season to end and another to begin. It’s natural, and even healthy and a necessary part of growth.
Those with whom we can have that true God-ordained fellowship are rare and precious. I’m blessed to have several amazing brothers and sisters in the Lord that I can genuinely call FRIEND. One thing is certain. Only Jesus will ever get the honor of being my best friend. He is the only one who will never leave nor forsake me, knows my heart, and will always have my best at heart. He has proven Himself over and over again as the one who deserves the title of Best Friend in my life.

We really cannot grow as men and women of God if we draw into ourselves. Helen Keller stated, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Sometimes, being with others is like, oh, carrying our cross and sharing the fellowship of His suffering! Sometimes, no matter how cautiously we may proceed with people, we may find ourselves in a position of pain, mistrust or misunderstanding. Hey listen. If Jesus went through it, we will too. It’s not fun or pretty, but keeping Him in mind, we can always forgive and love, and move on if necessary. These are opportunities to learn and grow, and be better people for each circumstance we live through. It is by our trials and forging into the victory that we are able to understand with compassion what someone else is enduring and thereby intercede for them and minister to them.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Isn’t this the truth of the Gospel? To be instant in season and out, ready to show forth the Father’s love to someone in need? And if I must suffer trials, pain, rejection, and the rest in order to be of use to my Father that His Kingdom may be glorified by one whom He may be able to love through me, then so be it.

So Lord, fall like fire, soak like rain. Burn away the chaff, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me that there might be something useful in me for Your glory. Teach me your ways, show me your paths, and help me to learn my lessons without so much grumbling, complaining and whining. Help me to get to that place where I learn my lessons well, that I might be rewarded with the tools of the trade that help me to build Your Kingdom so that You might be glorified! Thank You that Your perfect love casts out all the fears that tempt me to retreat from the hard things. Thank you for Your courage and strength to move forward into the next assignment with the confidence I have in YOU!

5 comments:

  1. Kathy, you put beautifully into words that which the LORD has worked into your life. Thank-you for your honesty. I also like being alone, perhaps for slightly different reasons. The Lord is pleased with us when we venture out of our comfort zone, holding onto the knowledge that He is within us, and He is powerful!

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  2. Teach! Teach! This is really encouraging. I was just talking about this with Maria the other night; the whole idea of privacy, how the Devil gets us to use phrases like, "my time, my house, my car, my, my, my." When, of course, the Word clearly tells us that God provides all and that we are stewards of His gifts and resources. So yeah, often we'll have to step out of our comfort zones if we're allowing Him to manage our time. It's painful because we're so used to our own ways of managing time. I appreciate your prudent way of putting things and, like Robin said, your honesty. Keep writing candidly so that we all can continue to examine the issues of our hearts.

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  3. btw-Robin happens to be that person in my life who literally prayed me into the Kingdom way back when. Really good subject for a blog--how prayerful diligence can be that ministry that brings someone into the Kingdom. She knows, but I'll tell her again, I'm forever grateful!

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  4. Oh yeah, this def hits home for me. I'm a recluse by nature. In the past, the easiest thing for me to do was to go into that place of seclusion. Talk about liberating! But in my liberation, I was really held captive. I was held captive by the fear of exposing my insecurities. However, as I continue to grow by experience, I learn that the easier thing to do is usually the wrong thing to do, and the more difficult thing to do is usually the right thing to do. So, at this point, fellowship is still difficult and uncomfortable for me, but I know how much I've been blessed when put in those situations, and how much others has have been blessed as well. Ps-who's blog is this again, mine or yours? Thanks for letting me share!

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