I know about being lonely. Life’s loneliness can feel so overwhelming, can’t it, my friend? I know what it’s like to be without a dad this side of Heaven. I know what it’s like as a young woman to feel the burden trying to assume the role of the “man of the house” when there was no man left in the home to offer stability and protection for the widow and the wanderer. I know what it’s like to feel displaced by grief, loss, and disappointments.
But I’ve lived long enough that I can tell you this: there’s more to the story than these things when Jesus is Lord over your life.
Early on, after the loss of my earthly dad to cancer, God gave me this scripture from Psalm 68:5-6 to hold onto: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
I see it. My eyes are focusing, even now, to see that God has set my lonely heart in a family- both through the family my husband I now have and also through the family of God. I see how He has brought me out of much displacement and given redemption to my story.
Sunday night, I saw it through my husband, who while doing the dishes and sweeping the floors said, “I just want to give you and Patrick the best start to the week.” What he didn’t add was, “before I go to my very busy and demanding job,” but in my heart, I remembered that and recognized the immense love of Christ He was showing me and the extension of my Heavenly Father’s arms He was being. I recalled when I once felt the immense burden of carrying the load of loneliness and life as an individual. And with the next thought, I thanked God that He had set this lonely heart in a family, just like He said He would.
I see others who have stories filled with grief, loss, and disappointment who haven’t tucked themselves in the unchanging character of God the Father’s arms. These have run into the sun scorched land by ever changing choices of destruction and also by isolating themselves from God’s goodness.
Not everyone gets a Cinderella story, but no one HAS to live a life of cinders. The arms of God are mighty to save, mighty to hug, and mighty to reshape. Our Heavenly Father never wants us to to stay in the wilderness. He wants us to live in Freedom in His land of abundance, distinguished by His unchanging character and the unfailing promises of His Word.
Your life may be full of painful ashes and pictures that did not turn out as perfectly as you had envisioned. But you don’t have to let those ashes cremate the rest of your story, my friend. Arise, my love. The grave no longer has to have a hold on you. Don’t run in rebellion because you didn’t get what you thought you would. The land at the end of that road is dry and crusty and will consume you with the fires of ruin. Instead, run to your Heavenly Father. He will lead you out of those ashes as a risen song bird because He will unlock the piece of your heart that needs the assurance of hope that there’s more to your story when He is Lord of your life.