By Traci Bolden

Traci was born and raised in Louisiana. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Louisiana State University, Shreveport. She served as Center Director for Care Net Pregnancy Services counseling women and families facing unplanned pregnancies. She and her husband have been associated with Care for Pastors for 12 years. In February 2023, she joined the staff as a faith-based counselor. Traci has been a Pastor’s wife for over 32 years and has a heart for serving women. She and her husband, Robby, have been married since 1990 and have three daughters, Kristen, Kaitlyn, and Hannah.

    Can I Trust Anyone?

    Monday, April 01, 2024

    If you have served in ministry for any length of time, the feeling of loneliness can become all too real all too quickly. We may begin our call to ministry with excitement and enthusiasm serving the Lord through the gifts He has given us, naïve to the schemes of the enemy, when suddenly the feeling of isolation can become tempting to embrace. When a relationship of trust has been broken and fear sets in, we begin to withdraw from those we thought were our friends. We busy up our day going through the motions, still serving, but allowing the whispered lies of the enemy to slowly build a wall around our heart brick by brick.

    Loneliness is what we experience when we isolate ourselves. But loneliness, at times, has less to do with the actual physical presence of others and more to do with feeling disconnected, misunderstood, or even rejected. God created us to be in relationship—in relationship with Him and in relationship with others. We cannot fully live out the life God has for us without being in relationship with Him and others. Is it no wonder that the enemy uses loneliness as such a persuasive tactic to keep us ineffective?

    I have heard it said many times, “There is no one I can trust.”  I have personally said these words myself. The father of lies is so quick to swoop in and fill our unsettled thoughts with feelings and emotions that keep us secluded, tucked away from much needed support and encouragement from others who could be praying with us and speaking the truth of God’s Word into our deepest wounds.

    If it seems overwhelming to navigate your way through loneliness, you are not alone! The first lie we tend to believe is that we are alone. The enemy knows that if he can isolate us and convince us that no one cares, he can deceive us, confuse us, make us fearful, and separate us from the very thing that God may be wanting to use to bring healing into our lives. It is important that we remind ourselves of what we know to be true. Even when others have walked away, God’s attentive eye is ALWAYS upon us. In 2 Timothy 4:16-18 we see that even if everyone else deserts you the Lord will stand at your side and strengthen you.

    The Bible is filled with scriptures that remind us that God is always with us:

    • Matthew 28:20 says, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    • Joshua 1:9 tells us, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
    • Again, in Hebrews 13:5, “For he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    Yes, it can be difficult to be vulnerable, even with the Lord, when your heart is desperately hurting. When you desire for someone to step into your struggle and understand the pain you have been carrying, know that Jesus understands loneliness more than anyone. He is inviting you into His presence so you can experience the gift of peace that only He can give. John 14:27 – “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Jesus was despised and rejected and He withdrew to lonely places to pray and be comforted by His Father (Luke 5:16). Trusting is not easy when you are weighted down with disappointment, but when we seek God in those places where no one else is allowed to go, we find Him patiently waiting for us so He can bind up our brokenness and offer hope that can only be found in Him.

    Be careful to not become so lost in your loneliness that you miss the intimacy of God’s healing hand. Don’t allow isolation to hold you hostage, away from the necessary vulnerability that could be the motivator for change in your life or a window of hope for others. Instead, consider for a moment…Who else needs to know they are not alone? Who else needs to hear your story? Who else needs to see authenticity in a relationship?

    Let the temptation of loneliness be a gentle reminder for you to draw closer to God and to the people He has purposely placed around you. When you feel lonely, seek God’s presence. No one will ever meet you in your heartache and solitude the way Jesus will.

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