Lessons Learned in Lonely-ville

I woke up yesterday morning thinking, “Why did I post that?!”  Do you have those moments?  The ones where you’re feeling slightly crazy, so you do something that you would not normally do?  Or you share something that bares your soul a little more than what you’re normally comfortable with?  Well, Wednesday night was one of those moments for me.  And Thursday morning I was thinking, “Great.  They’re not going to want to be my blog friends anymore.  They’re all going to think I’m a big ole’ crazy baby.”  Imagine my relief when I woke up to find all of those encouraging, understanding comments!  Thanks for not thinking I’m crazy!  Or maybe you do and you’re just trying to talk me down from the ledge.  Either way, you are good friends and I love all of you.

God is so faithful.  And patient.  As I was reflecting on Lonely-ville and your very insightful comments, God showed me several things…

  1. I’m never acutally alone in Lonely-ville.  Although I may, in fact, visit there often, Jesus is always there with me.  The question then becomes, “Is He enough?”  Ouch.  I’m still working on that one.
  2. Even if God allows me to visit Lonely-ville occasionally, or frequently, I have to leave the “Poor, Pitiful Me” t-shirt at home.  I realized that it is not, in fact, required to hang out there.  I just like to pretend that it is because while I’m wearing it, I don’t have to think about anyone but myself and how much it stinks in Lonely-ville.  There are no exceptions when it comes to the “loving people” portion of Jesus’ command.  Lonely-ville or not, you love God and you love people.  Period.  So, I’m working myself up to burning the t-shirt.  Join me, anyone?
  3. God’s Word is so very alive.  And I love, love, love Him for that!  I’m reading through the Psalms, and this morning I found myself in Psalm 84.  Let’s take a look at verses 5-7 and see if anyone can deny God’s perfect timing:
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
The Valley of Baca is a barren, lonely place.  Baca literally means “weeping”!  God looked at me and said, “Put your strength in me.  Remember that you are on a journey – as in moving along a path.  Remember that Lonely-ville is not your destination, but while you’re there, if you’ll open your eyes, you will find blessings raining down all around you!  You will move from one learning experience to the next, growing stronger, until you see me face to face!”  That would be the Down and Dirty translation.
Let me close with The Message translation of the same few verses. 
And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!  God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn – Zion!  God in full view!
If you are struggling, or ever have struggled, with loneliness and self-pity, reflect on these verses (from any translation BUT the Down and Dirty one), and I am convinced God will change your heart.  He is certainly changing mine!
Keep on keepin’ it down and dirty.  Love ya’ll like crazy!

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