i was born as the last child in a family with three sisters. i never really considered myself the youngest (probably some pride showing there), i would just say that i arrived late. But i grew up with no brothers in the house. This was the greatest injustice in my young mind. No one understood me, and no one wanted to play with me… If they DID want to play with me, it usually involved Barbies or getting dressed up like a girl. Don’t laugh, it would’ve happened to you too.
Anyway, i grew up kind of feeling alone. But this loneliness gave way to something unexpected. i have found that loneliness enables those who bear it to receive a special blessing. In the case of my neighborhood friends, and especially my cousin, Jon, i began, at a very young age, to develop deep friendships, and very real devotion. These are gifts that i don’t think would have been possible if i had never been lonely.
David Wilcox explains some of this in his song “That’s What the Lonely is For.” He says your heart is like a mansion or castle, with a bunch of rooms. We fill the rooms with people. When we feel the “draft” from an empty room, the temptation is to question why God gave us so many rooms with no one to fill them. We say our heart has been designed poorly, and we start “fixing” it by building walls over the doors to those rooms. But your heart was not designed poorly. All of those rooms are there for a reason. When you notice an empty room, He has placed it there for a reason… that’s what the lonely is for.
So, i have lonely. And i know that God hasn’t put that lonely there for no reason. The question becomes, am i brave enough to embrace the ones he chooses to fill those rooms with? That’s a tough one. When i was young, it was scary to walk up to those doors and ask people to be my friends. When i asked Lori to marry me, it was REALLY scary. It feels like it’s scary because i don’t think i have anything to offer these people. But “the Lonely” already let me know i have a room available. Instead of dwelling on yourself and your own pitiful shortcomings, let all those empty rooms give you the freedom to invite the people God has given you deeper in. Give them a room to stay in. Invest in them, and let them invest in you.