February 20, 2014

on being alone

My roommate has been out of town this week, and it's revealing what I already knew to be true . . . I don't love being alone.

When you're home alone, suddenly ordinary noises become magnified . . . like the ice machine, or the light in the fridge (yes, it made an amazingly loud sound the other night), or just the normal creaks and groans a house makes in the middle of the night.

I was by myself for most of Tuesday, and by the evening I just felt this yearning to be social. I was excited to go to work on Wednesday because that meant I would be with people all day.

That's how I know I'm an extrovert.

I can really only handle about 12 hours of being in isolation before I start to go cray cray. There is such a thing as thinking too much or being inside your head too much, you know?

I really really really want to get married and have a family one day, but right now God has me in a different spot. I have an amazing roommate, amazing friends, amazing community that He's gifted me with and I'm so thankful. But I'm telling you . . . if I never get married, I don't think I'll be able to live alone.

Sometimes I think I need to suck it up and say something like, "it's OK, I don't need people, all I need is God." And it's true that He is to be our sustainer, our fulfillment, our lasting joy and source of life. But there's so much that I'm missing when I start to think that I don't "need" anyone or anything . . . as if I'm supposed to live in a vaccuum.

It's comforting to know that God designed us as relational beings. Even He didn't design me to be an island. So when I start to feel the pangs of loneliness, it's OK . . . it's normal.

I read a post on the Gospel Coalition that highlights this:
(see the entire post here)

"God said something quite profound about the man. Perhaps the most profound statement uttered about humanity in all of human telling, second only to explaining that male and female are uniquely created in the image of God.
What was this statement?
"Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone . . .'"
(Genesis 2:18)
Before the Fall had touched and defaced humanity and creation, God said there was something that was not good. It was not good for man to be alone.
But what might we have said to God in response to His statement? I know what I would say:
"But God, I'm not alone. I have You, what else could I possibly want or need?"
God did not forget or overlook the fact of his own sufficiency. He wants to show us something very important about us, what God made us to be. Man was made for another, like him, but different as well. And it was not good without . . . her.
God made us in such a way that even in our sole relationship with him, we are not as we were created to be. Yes, that is very curious, even startling, but it's what God said.
Just as God is a community of Divine Persons, man as God's unique image-bearer in creation must live in a community of human persons. And the first community of human persons that God established is the communion of husband and wife called to enter a union of intense physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy of love which is life-giving, just as the Trinity is life-giving. This human pro-creative union will bring forth the third member of this human trinity after their own kind. A baby. A new generation God-imagers.
This is what God gave us to satisfy and solve the original problem of man's solitude.
Jesus is Lord of all creation. We must hold him above all and before all. But we don't hold him alone. We honor the Lord of all creation by enjoying, glorying, observing, and participating in the wonder, beauty, majesty, and fullness of His creation.
Christians are not  gnostics nor solipsists. We live in our Father's world. And we do so with others."

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