By Cynthia S.
Weaving ourselves into community or communities isn’t always easy. Technology is a thread which makes it possible for us to virtually stay in touch, but it lacks the capability of really connecting us. Instant connections on digital platforms don’t fully meet our innate need for connection. We were created for connection (Genesis 2:18). Think about it, technologies are being created to make us feel connected. However, statistics reveal that people are unraveling into spaces of loneliness more than ever.
As leading ladies, we are surrounded by more people than most. Our time is spent intertwining the threads of our personal, extended, work and church families together in unique tapestries. It can be a challenging task to balance it all. Impromptu and routine expectations can lead us into neutrality as a bit of a coping mechanism. Either we find ourselves “all-in” and deal with the stressors of being over-committed or we feel ourselves neutralizing and drifting into isolated spaces. Too much of a good thing or too little of a good thing can open the door to feelings of isolation. Sustained isolation can trigger feelings of loneliness. Thus, the need for balance.
I’ve traced a common pathway to loneliness although there are other triggers. Some loneliness is symptomatic of your Western culture which teaches us not to reach out or not to be too needy. Unfortunately, some loneliness is linked with personal loss, hurt, abandonment, trauma, or social anxieties. I will interject here, that Jesus is a Healer! He can meet you in places of prayer to heal you and He can work through anointed individuals to safeguard you from loneliness. Most of us can relate to the type of loneliness which is a result of our callings where confidentiality limits what we can say. Often, the complexity of our callings can make us feel that others just wouldn’t understand; thus we become voiceless and feel alone.
It is okay to create time to be alone. Luke 5:16 states, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Jesus Himself felt the pressure of relationships in the communities He served and, in the expectation, to meet multiple needs. He was surrounded by people who desperately desired His presence. Jesus withdrew from his relationships to be alone to pray. Jesus modeled how a portion of our alone time can be spent to maintain mental health. I like the fact that he withdrew to be alone, which is necessary, but He did not align Himself to feelings of loneliness. He balanced His public life by taking breaks and creating time to pray in His private life. We, as leading ladies, can benefit by doing the same. In moments when we are alone, we shouldn’t view ourselves as lonely because Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake us (Joshua 1:9). Acknowledging that we are never alone, as our position in Christ, helps to decrease the feelings of loneliness from a spiritual standpoint.
From a natural standpoint, we can confront loneliness by focusing more on the authenticity of our relationships. As leading ladies, our lives are interlaced with all kinds of relationships. Again, Jesus modeled this for us in His relationships with the 72 He sent out into ministry, the 12 disciples He called to follow Him, and with an intimate group of three at the transfiguration. Jesus stewarded many kinds of relationships in His life, and He invested Himself creatively in each one. Braiding authenticity into our relationships will cause them to be more meaningful and fulfilling. Weaving Jesus into the center of our relationships and staying mindful of which relationships truly need us, in each season, will cultivate more authentic connections.
We can pray for balance in every relationship while investing ourselves fully into four. It’s a common life model and it protects your energy. Our most important relationship, which is the center of every other relationship, is Christ. Next, I reserve a cord for a wise mentor in my life like the biblical Deborah. She was a woman who was discerning and full of revelation. We need wise counsel to help navigate us in life. I also reserve a relational cord for a close friend who can walk along side of me like Naomi did with Ruth. Their relationship grew through shared experiences, accountability, and was governed by reciprocity. Finally, I reserve a cord for a relationship where the Spirit is leading me to nurture someone like an Esther figure. She was someone who was open to wise instruction detailing how to step into her life’s calling.
Leading ladies, God needs us to find balance in our lives. He is calling for us to keep Him as the center strand in our relationships, to remember that He is always with us, and for us to pay attention to how we are investing ourselves into our relationships. We can do all of this with the help of each other and through prayer.