Dreams, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Alone: Blessings in Alone Time

Ps 37-4

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—ALONE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

ALONE

In 1994, I attended eleven (yes, eleven) weddings, and I was a bridesmaid in three of them. At that point in my life, all I wanted was to be a wife and a mom. I was a teacher, which was great, but I was doing life alone. And at that point, a small part of me feared I would always be alone.

During that season of my life, the Lord taught me a few things. First of all, He gave me a verse to cling to—Psalm 37:4. He reminded me that when my desire is Him, contentment will always follow.

Contentment isn’t always an easy gift to choose. But once we cling to it, peace seems to be the surprise gift that tags along behind. What the Lord showed me during that time alone was that my focus could be on Him only, and He was a great place to focus!

I found myself during those alone times. I learned not to dread a Sunday afternoon by myself. I had the freedom to read a novel, or study the Bible. I could play volleyball with friends, on a whim.

I began to see aspects about me God wanted to work on, changes that would conform me into the image of Jesus.

Bench Alone

In those alone times I learned to be okay with not having all my dreams right then. Sometimes God uses those uncomfortable seasons in our lives to prepare us for the dreams He has for us. He scrapes out the chaff we’ve allowed to grow within our hearts, and He replaces it with His clear presence. He enables us to reflect him more accurately.

He prepares us for when He does bring our dreams to fruition.

If I had met my husband before 1994—if I was planning a wedding that year—I would have missed out on some of the gifts He had for me. I would have been into the role of wife, without completely understanding the beauty that comes from putting Jesus first. I would have missed out on the blessings that come from solitude . . .

. . . Of knowing His nearness.

Sunset glory

There were times when the loneliness ate at me. I’ll be honest. Mother’s Day three states away from my mom? All my married friends spending time with their families? Yeah, it was hard.

But, I learned to seek Jesus in those days. And in His presence, I’m never alone.

What about you? What blessings have you gained in the “alone times?” How have you handled times when you didn’t want to be alone but were?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Alone

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23 thoughts on “Alone: Blessings in Alone Time”

  1. I’m still at the stage of discovering the blessings of this alone time in my life, and I appreciated reading your perspective. I couldn’t continue reading past the 2nd paragraph without checking out Psalm 37:4. I’ve read that so many times before, but I hadn’t really thought of it in terms of one of my heart’s desires being companionship! I was just too close to my situation to see this, but I am going to cling to this passage. Thank you from a FMF friend! 🙂

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    1. Patti, I love how the Lord speaks differently to us about verses we’ve read dozens of times. He has a way of knowing what we need to glean at certain seasons in our lives. I’m praying for you today my friend!

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  2. They are blessings! I wrote about that gift of alone too. Perspective and sweet hours with God are what being alone grants most often. Visiting from fmfparty. Grateful to write with you.

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  3. What a wonderful story; you’ve really brought this path to wisdom to life!

    I’m at an end of the spectrum here – very independent, very self-contained, and I was never alone, because I was always God-haunted. As a Buddhist, which I was for many years, or as a Christian, it was really the same. The immanence of God was the foremost thing in my life.

    I was told by many people – both Christian and Buddhist – that they expected that I would eventually become a monk.

    Adjusting to marriage actually made me more worldly, and in trying to adjust to a shared life I put some filters between me and God…which helped neither my wife, nor our relationship, nor me. I didn’t know how to make that transition.

    It’s better now,much better, but it takes constant intentionality. My circumstances make worldliness a bit of a joke; but from the return to the asceticism which is my nature, I can now reach out.

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    1. “God-haunted.” I like that, Andrew. I think we’re all God-haunted before we yield to Him. And interesting that it takes intentionality to share our lives with those around us. I think you’re right. Perhaps you’ve had to work at it a little harder than some, but the fact that you work at it says a lot about who you are. And the fact that you share with so many of us online…thank you for reaching out. 🙂

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  4. SUCH an encouraging post, my friend! I especially needed to read this line: “Sometimes God uses those uncomfortable seasons in our lives to prepare us for the dreams He has for us.” This has been a long, hard month. I won’t be sad to see it go and step onto a fresh calendar page. Yet I know He’s been with me. He’s been so very faithful. This valley, in His hands, will be used for something lovely and good.

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    1. thank you my friend. I’m so glad God walks with us through the uncomfortable times of life. I’m so sorry this is been such a hard month for you. Here’s to September being a little easier, a month of respite for you. It will be interesting to see how God uses this season in your life Sending you a hug friend.

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  5. Jeanne, thank you. I so needed to read your post tonight. This word prompt bubbled up so many emotions in me tonight. And so much THIS:” Sometimes God uses those uncomfortable seasons in our lives to prepare us for the dreams He has for us.” And that Psalm I need to cling to that promise. I’m parked over in the #9 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, I’m so glad God walks with us through those uncomfortable times in life. And that He keeps His promises when He makes them. I hope you have a good weekend, my friend. I’m planning to stop by your site later this weekend. Have a good Friday my friend.

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  6. This is so good. I especially loved this line — “Contentment isn’t always an easy gift to choose. But once we cling to it, peace seems to be the surprise gift that tags along behind.” It’s the peace from contentment that is the gift of knowing Jesus. I’m constantly pursuing that peace right now. We have grounded ourselves from traveling to launch new businesses. My hearts desire is to travel with my family. Ps 34:7 is such an oldie, but it ministered to me this morning. THANK YOU.

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    1. Amanda, thanks so much for stopping by! It seems like we go through seasons as wives where our desires come second in our husband’s leading in our family. Finding contentment in that place can be a hard choice. May God give you peace in this season!

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  7. I like the part about peace being the tag along surprise gift of contentment! It’s so very true.
    I grew up alone, an only child. I didn’t like it, but I later learned that I’d gotten so used to being alone that I did like it after all.
    Then I had a large family and wished I could be alone sometimes! That’s not how this works. And contentment is key. Even this morning (surrounded by family who’ve moved in with me for an undetermined number of time, including Tiny Tornado), I struggled.
    Right now, I’m upstairs in my study, ALONE, with earplugs. HA! God is working in this old gal.
    I’m going to ruminate on your post and verses for a while now. ;0

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    1. Ruthie, it’s interesting how we see how we like what we don’t have anymore. Having a large family is a gif, even though you give up alone time. 🙂 I hope you do find moments to be alone in the midst of caring for your extended family. And contentment? Have a great weekend my friend!

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  8. The contentment part is what really resonated with me – a two-year lesson in the making. I have a 98% grade in that department – striving for 100. Beautiful post. FMF#25

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    1. Good for you! 98%?! I’m not there yet. I’m working on choosing contentment more often though. I’m always thankful when my heart is truly content. Thank you so much for stopping by my corner of the blog-sphere. 🙂

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  9. this is so goooood… i have a sister/friend struggling with this very issue right now, and i am watching her walk through it knowing that my saying “i understand” isn’t the answer she can hear. i’m praying that God gives her HIS eyes to see what He is teaching her in this wilderness-season. thank you so much!

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    1. Angela, it can be so hard to see alone-ness as a gift, but truly it can be. Sometimes the best thing you can do is encourage her to keep seeking the Lord and delighting in Him. It’s as we get to know Him and be comfortable in His presence that the yearning comes more into control, so to speak. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  10. Very encouraging post, thank you. I definitely think that one of the hardest things for us humans to appreciate is that He works on His own time. And one of the most beautiful lessons we can learn from having lived a process of alone-ness is that we were destined to live that period because – as you point out – we still had(ve in my case!) things we need to learn. When we stop being reflective about anything that happens to us/anything we live through is when the problems start, because without reflection we blunder through life without appreciation, focus or direction.

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