Lifeway is one of my very favorite stores. And one of my favorite places altogether. I could just browse their aisles of books for hours…And I generally do. I also tend to buy stacks of books at a time and let them sit on my shelf until one one them catches my eye again. One of the latest books I’ve read, “Connected,” by Erin Davis certainly came at the right time. I don’t believe in coincidences, but I do believe in God moments.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, then you know where I’ve been when it comes to getting connected and my struggle with loneliness.
Not only does Davis share her own story of dealing with loneliness, but other women of all ages across the country share theirs as well. Never have I related to a book more, especially as I am experiencing the season firsthand.
Davis looks at the bigger picture of loneliness, which is something I’ve never stopped to think about much before. She talks about how society handles it, how we see it, some of the causes and how we deal with it. And then, she goes into the Biblical aspects of it, of course. More than that, loneliness is almost always related with sin, or the guilt and shame that are equated with it. When we confess that, it doesn’t have the power to control us and we can start to move forward.
She also explores the difference between being alone and loneliness, which is something we tend to confuse a lot. In this crazy technology-centered world we live in, we’re constantly surrounded by noise- screens, schedules, friends, family. When we don’t break away to spend time with God, that’s when we start trying to handle it on our own. Jesus had alone time – it was crucial for His ministry and it should be with ours as well.
“If we want to be less lonely, we must make time to be alone – we’ve got to find a way to turn away from all that’s on our plates and walk toward peace,” Davis says in the book. We have to slow down and let our souls find rest.
“When you are full, you are able to pour out. And when you pour out, you are likely to find yourself connected. Go figure,” she adds.
Vulnerability. Honesty. Rest. These are just a few of the necessary things we need to not isolate ourselves from the world. But, the most important is turning to God. We can’t do it on our own we can’t save ourselves. And a lesson to be learned in all of this is that we have to be willing to give and love others, even when we don’t receive anything in return. That’s a freedom we can hold onto.
“You are not alone. God is always with you. You are not ignored. The God who sees is watching. You are not disconnected. You are tethered to God and to His children. You don’t have to hide. Your relationships can’t go deep until you peel off the mask,” she concluded on the last page.
My biggest takeaway from this book is that in order to do relationships the right way – the way we are designed to, we have to know others and be known. Yes, that’s risky. Yes, that requires being brave. But, isn’t that the best way to do it?
I have a friend and a mentor, an encourager and a prayer partner for several months now. She was the first one I confessed to about how I was feeling. She let me know that she loves me and she’s here for me anytime….But, more than that, she wanted me to know that God is always there and even when it feels like no one else is there, I can turn to Him and He hears me. That’s comforting and it’s changed the way I view people and friendships. Those are just bonuses in the kind of friendship/bond we have with God. That’s a promise.
That’s all for now,