Lonely at the Park - Drawing Near to Jesus

"There's a difference between feeling lonely and wanting to be alone," I tried to explain to my husband.

The day had been difficult and filled with another solo trip with Aria to one of the nearby parks.  Over the last two weeks, I had play dates with other mamas including someone from our new church and someone from the Peanut app.  But, as an introvert it was difficult initiating conversations or not feeling like I was a burden on these other mamas (I'll probably need to address that in a different blog post).

So, after a morning of watching Aria toddle around and sneaking not so subtle glances at the mom tribe sitting in the shade, it goes without saying that I was in tears as I took my frustrations out on our counters with some multi-surface Pledge.

It has now been one month and two days since moving to St. Louis and I have never felt as lonely as I do now.

I am in a brand new city with so much to see and do and I'm surrounded by so many other mamas; yet, I still feel lonely.  In those moments of loneliness, as I try to hide my tears from Aria and those moms who look so content with their own groups, I typically do one of two things:

  1. Text my Charleston tribe about how much I miss them while I blink away tears
  2. Remember that this is only a grain of sand compared to how Jesus must have felt while on earth and that I've ignored His friendship lately

I've never tried to be Miss Popular, but I have always had a handful of friends who were physically nearby who could walk through life with me.  Sometimes I relied on these friends just to get through the day and other days I would be the one pointing them to Jesus as the only way to survive the day. But, now, hundreds and hundreds of miles away from those I call friends, I am experiencing a new loneliness and I know it's a lesson from Him.

In those moments of my human weakness and when not relying on God, I am reminded of these verses from Hebrews:

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. " (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)

I haven't been leaning into God every single day with every single need or praise over the last two months. I did pray a lot about Him stopping us from moving states (selfish, I know). I also prayed a lot about safely driving 12+ hours two times with hardly any stops. I also prayed about Matthew having a graceful start at his new job. And, I even prayed about that rash that wouldn't leave Aria for a week (it's still there). But, I've been lacking in my one-on-one time with Him. I've prayed throughout the day, but I haven't been intentional about giving Him the place He deserves.

I haven't drawn near to Him.

I can blame the dozens of boxes. Which are now all empty.
I can blame the toddler that demands my attention every moment that she is awake. Who now naps for 2 hours every day and rises at 7:15 am like clockwork.
I can blame my husband for moving us states away and disrupting my schedule. Who, well, you get the idea. . .

I can blame so much, but at the same time none of it will be valid.  As a mama who is finally fully off her medicine for postpartum depression and anxiety, it is now so important to fully rely on Jesus during those days when this world feels too lonely or difficult. As a mama who is human, all I can sing over and over again is In the morning, when I rise give me Jesus. . . and take proactive steps to lean into Jesus and draw near to Him when this world becomes too much.

Now, my friends, are you feeling lonely?

Do you not know this Jesus whom I speak about throughout this post? I would love to share how He has changed my life and given me new hope.

Are you a follower who needs accountability? I would love to pray with (and for) you right now.

Are you simply struggling and don't know what to do? I hope you'll confide in me - I may not have the answer to your need right now, but I know someone who does.