Today Patti will be sharing part two on Embracing Solitude.
In speaking with a ministry wife who had been recently widowed after decades of marriage and fruitful ministry with her husband, she revealed a very thoughtful perspective in just a few words. “I am learning to embrace the solitude.” In explaining further, she told me that she thoroughly enjoyed the big, busy, full and exciting life that she had shared with her husband and she had a lifetime of memories, but she had been feeling rather lonely in her aloneness. She did not want to remain in that state so she inquired of God what was left for her in her remaining years? Certainly, it could not be a life of only missing her sweetheart?
She revealed to me that God had answered her, slowly at first, and then in a constant stream of purposes and might she dare think, anticipation? While their life together had been full of all good things; family, friends, ministry and travel, she remembered that there had not been a lot of alone time.
What she has done was embraced the solitude of alone time to think, read, pray, study, observe the community around her, engage with the familiar people that she is surrounded by, to ponder her legacy, to write, to laugh, to cry, to encourage, to inspire. Oh, she still misses her sweetheart every day and holds dear to those times of their lives that were full of activity. But God has left her here to live out her days and she is determined to embrace all of them. Alone but not given in to be lonely.
So, what have I learned from her to take into my alone time?
I think, I read, I pray, I study, I observe the community around me, I engage with the familiar people that I am surrounded by, I ponder my legacy, I write, I laugh, I cry, I encourage, I inspire. I embrace “me” in the midst of being alone.
My husband loves to share Philippians 4:8 with anyone that asks, “What shall I do?”
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Quite frankly, that can keep one company throughout even the loneliest of times.
To get you started…What is True? God loves ME! Now you try!
I still feel lonely at times and the loneliness settles in around me even in the midst of people. But now I have a plan to embrace it. Will you?
I pray what Patti shared of this pastor’s wife friend will challenge you to allow God to do a work in the midst of your loneliness and you can embrace the solitude.