There is a certain hollowness that comes and goes. Sometimes it passes by as quickly as a cool breeze disappears from a hot day and other times it lingers endlessly like the grey of the cloudy northwestern sky.
Loneliness is an interesting thing because it doesn’t always truly reflect a person’s surroundings. Many of us are blessed to be loved and cherished by friends and family who hold us near to their hearts but a transparent barrier can rise up unexpectedly, allowing us to see those who care for us while being distanced, unable to feel the warmth of their love.
It’s a tricky thing, loneliness. Its purpose is to make us each feel alone and prevent us from using that common isolation to unite ourselves. Everyone experiences the ache of loneliness from time to time but it tells each of us a different story to make it seem like we’re on our own.
It’s different for everyone, leaving some quickly and hovering over others for stretches of eternity.
I don’t think it ever truly goes away. Community is certainly a great medicine to use against it but, at least for me, it’s not an impervious shield.
Community, whether with a spouse, a group of friends, a church family or anything else, is only a temporary aloe to soothe the longing within each of us to be fully known and understood. Something that will only truly happen once we’re standing face-to-face with the one who wove us together, thought by thought, hope by hope… dream by dream.
Its a day I wait for with expectant anticipation, its the thought of that day that renews my strength in the moments when the ache is great. To be held, comforted, and welcomed home by the one being who intimately knows my heart and loves every corner of it, even the dark ones, the ones that hold all the brokenness I carry.
To have my head lifted and my eyes stared into by someone who has seen the darkness that I still struggle to overcome and the light I so desire to be and embraces all of it. Who has known me from my first breath and lit a small flame within my soul that has finally turned into a blazing fire. A father who is proud of me and who will look at me at the end of my life and say, “Oh how I have longed to meet the woman you have become, how excited I am to have my child back in my arms.”
The only other one who has access to the ever-running script of what I hope my life will amount to. The only other person who has heard every crazy monologue I’ve said to myself as I’ve tried to piece together my place in this vast universe.
The only one who knows every dream I’ve ever mulled over in my head and never thought any of them were too big even though I have, again and again.
I am loved well on this earth, better than I deserve, oh but sometimes the ache is so great. I used to feel guilty about this ache, ashamed of this deep yearning but I think it’s something we’re meant to feel. It’s our reminder that even now, even when everything around us may be perfect, there is still something greater to come. For this world is broken no matter how perfect it sometimes seems. Even when we’re surrounded by the greatest community, the ache can still come and it’s ok. It’s human.