“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”-Mark 12:30-31
This is a hard one for me to write. To put into words. To express what I have felt for so long.
Most of my Christian walk has been spent alone.
By alone, I mean for the most part, it has just been me and Jesus in this whole thing.
I come from a family of (mostly) non-believers, and in the last three years since becoming a lover of Jesus, I have spent my time in the church alone.
I drive myself to church, alone, on Sundays. I tend to sit alone in the pews. Every holiday service, I am usually the only person who is by themselves in the church. & for a little while, it really really hurt.
Sure, I have been in life groups and have served and through that I have made some really awesome friends at my church. But either we would go to different services, or they would not be able to come that time, etc so I would often end up by myself.
The first Christmas service alone was the hardest. I remember the parking lot was filling up and we were having to wait in a long line so people were dropping their families off at the front of the building and I remember feeling a pain in my heart I had not felt for a while. One of loneliness and a reminder that I had no family to participate in this with me.
But I swallowed the pain, and went on inside by myself. I ended up having the most wonderful time and praised the Lord with those around me. Even though I was there alone on Christmas Eve, God reminded me that I was never truly alone.
After a while of going in it alone, I really started to find peace and confidence in this.
I found myself more focused on talking to people I had never met before and being focused on the Lord and His message. In my loneliness, I found so much more than I ever thought I would.
If you are feeling discouraged today, and lonely as you make the drive into the church parking lot along, I pray that you remember that with Christ we are never truly by ourselves.
I hope you find strength in your time with God.
I hope you see the joy God has when He sees you worshiping Him even when others do not choose to.
I hope you feel the love He has so freely given us, even in our hardest times.