Silence is golden.
If that is the case, then sometimes I live in a cage made out of gold.
I live on a mountain, up a winding road, on the outskirts of town. It's beautiful, yes, but sometimes incredibly lonely.
Yes, sometimes I feel trapped by the peace and quiet that surrounds me - for it often brings neither quiet nor peace.
OK, I am grateful that I don't have to work. But retirement can be a mixed blessing. Having time on your hands is a gift, until you find yourself unable to fill the hours with any meaningful goal or activity.
Have you ever questioned your place and purpose in the world?
It seems that my father's death has triggered a sadness that has lingered deep within my soul. Like a hidden leak in the pipes that goes unnoticed until the ceiling caves in.
Watch out, Chicken Little.
Lately, my solitude has felt like a weight on my shoulders...
Now, don't get me wrong. "The Hub" is a great companion. Easy to get along with, kind and thoughtful - he is an easy conversationalist. So it's not his fault.
It's not him.
It's some other grief that seems to have invaded and gripped my heart.
What am I mourning?
I miss my dad. Not how he was the last few years, but just for the fact that I had a dad. I keep feeling like I should have said more or done more. I remember too many memories, and long for the chance to re-do some things. Now it's too late.
I miss my mom. Because she doesn't want to be alone, we are shuttling her between my brother, sister, and cousin to take care of her. I spend time with her when I'm in town, but if I was still living there, she'd be staying with me. And we don't talk as much as we used to.
I miss my sons. Yeah, they're off on their own lives, as they should be, but still. After 9 years, I have not completely settled in my empty nest. My *mom feathers* are still ruffled. I can't quite get comfortable. Sometimes I still miss the old days.
I miss my grandbeagle, Marty. Sometimes he's the only one who can bring me comfort. His fur is healing.
I miss my old house, my friends, my familiar routine. After almost two years, I am still not *at home* in my new home.
And, I miss me.
Truth be told, I'm not even sure who *me* is supposed to be anymore. I'm almost 60, and I'm having an adolescent "identity crisis." Wondering why I'm here, and who even cares.
But you know something?
Somehow, this doesn't feel like a physical depression, it feels spiritual.
Yeah, it feels like an attack.
I've prayed. Oh boy, have I prayed. Late night prayers, middle-of-the-night prayers, first-thing-in-the-morning prayers.
To sum them up, it goes something like this:
"Lord, I hurt."
I'm not sure how He's going to solve this one. Maybe He won't. Maybe He has a purpose for this ongoing thorn. Evidently, He still has a purpose for me, 'cuz I still keep waking up!
But I'm not living abundantly, at least not like I define it.
This current *wilderness* is made so much more difficult because of "The Hub." He serves as a stark contrast to my weary. He is thriving up here. He loves the isolation, the stillness, the solitude.
Sometimes I starve.
So, what to do?
I'm not sure if I'm going to post this or not. It's pretty raw. But if you're reading this, something inside me (the Holy Spirit, no doubt), prompted me to take a courageous leap of vulnerability and hit the publish button.
Why, I wonder.
Perhaps for this reason.
To let you know, if you are struggling, or suffering, or just feeling lost and lonely and sad, you're not alone.
I get it, and I'm with you.
And I am not the only one.
One of our deepest needs as human beings is to know that we're not alone in the universe. Think of all the technology involved in searching for intelligent life on other planets.
How silly we are.
We need only search for intelligent design. And we need look no further than a bookshelf to find the Intelligent Designer. He is there, permeating every word in His Word.
Maybe I've lost sight of that.
Maybe the solitude has fooled me.
Maybe it's not a prison after all, but rather an opportunity to seek the Presence. A chance not to focus on the stillness, but on the still, small voice.
Maybe there are no bars, but only an illusion created by the enemy so that I will stop seeking The One.
Maybe the solitude, the sadness is a gift, an invitation to find the Man of Sorrows, the One well-acquainted with grief.
The One who experienced separation from the Father, so we would never have to.
Maybe only by feeling so terribly lonely can I ever hope to understand that I am truly never alone.
Maybe, just maybe...He is more than enough.
I have written this post, sitting in a parking lot in town, rather terrified to go back home and face the quiet.
But in the writing and the reflecting, a Voice has been speaking.
Over and over, His Truth has overwhelmed me:
"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
OK, Jesus, let's go home.
Come unto Me...
"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go...for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15, NASB)
"Do not let your heart be troubled...I will not leave you as [an orphan]; I will come to you." (John 14:1, 18, NASB)
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)
"They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you..." (Jeremiah 1:19, NIV)
"One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him..." (Psalm 27:4, NIV)
What lonely battle are you facing today?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Laura at PLAYDATES WITH GOD
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Hazel at TELL ME A TRUE STORY
Jen at SOLI DEO GLORIA
Jen at UNITE
Kasey at WALKING REDEEMED
Rachel at WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS
Judith at WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY
Rosilind at A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS
Jenifer at WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY
Beth at THREE WORD WEDNESDAY
Lyli at THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY
Crystal at THRIVING THURSDAY
Bonnie at FAITH BARISTA JAM
Laura at FAITH FILLED FRIDAY
Wanda at THE FRIDAY FIVE
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Mel at ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS
Sandy at STILL SATURDAY
Barbie at WEEKEND BREW
Salina at HEART REFLECTED
Janis at SUNDAY STILLNESS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"