Alone. Solo. Single. Solitary. Stag.
Those words don’t exactly bring to mind joy or fulfilment, do they?
Sure the idea of a nice quiet day spent doing only want you want sounds nice but if you’re like me- as soon as the noise dies down the walls close in.
We long for a time with no obligations but we dread a time with no distractions.
So we turn on the television, scroll through social media, call a friend or run to town. Anything to keep our minds and hands busy.
Because when you’re left alone you have only yourself for company. Time to think of only your own needs, your own dreams, your own flaws, your own shortcomings.
So you avoid it. Or at the very least you don’t make time for it.
But you should.
One-on-one time is the quickest way to get to know someone. And to nurture the relationship once it’s formed.
You go on date nights with your spouse, girls’ night with your friends, and fun days with your kids. You make time to cultivate all the different relationships in your life. Except the one with yourself.
Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Even painful. But those times are absolutely necessary if you want to take the next step in life. That leap of faith. And many times we’re so busy doing the urgent we neglect to do the important.
It’s in those moments alone you’ll come face-to-face with yourself. You’ll see things you love, things you’d like to change, and things that make your head hang low.
And believe it or not… that’s a good thing. It’s called self-examination. And it’s something we’re instructed to do as followers of Christ.
I Corinthians 11:30-31 says, “That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”
Self-examination is crucial. It won’t provide salvation. Only God can do that. But the first step in any recovery is acknowledging there is a problem.
In Psalm 69:5: “My sins, O God, are not hidden from you; you know how foolish I have been.”
Yes, He does. But do we? Do you?
And before that in Psalm 32:5, we hear, “When I did not confess my sins, I was worn-out from crying all day long.”
In order to confess, you must be aware. In ordered to be healed, you must realize that you are sick.
That sounds heavy. And the opposite of loving yourself, doesn’t it?
When you already have so many guilts, so much negative self-talk why spend time focusing on it? Why not try to see the good? To find the things you love about yourself? Why not focus on those things?
Because God’s Word says He is the Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. And you must start there. With His grace. His love. His mercy.
And once that love and grace begins to wash over you, you’ll see the good. You’ll find the joy. You’ll know the peace.
But that brokenness… it’s something you must come back to often. To remind yourself where you came from. And where you may go again.
We humans seldom fall in love with perfect. Perfect scares us. Instead we fall in love with real. We fall in love with honesty. We fall in love with transparency.
When you learn to spend that time alone searching yourself. And being searched by God. You will also learn to love yourself. To love God. And to love others.
Don’t hide from the ugly. Hold it out. In hands wide open to the only One who can bring beauty from ashes.
Love yourself enough to spend some time alone taking an honest look at your heart, your mind, your actions. And when you find something you don’t like. Something that you know breaks the heart of God. Have the courage to let it break your own heart too.
Because it’s in that brokenness that you’ll find your purpose. You’ll find your calling. It’s in that brokenness that you will be made whole. And where you’ll find faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.