Unloved and Lonely

sunriseDuring my freshman year of college, I had a wonderful suite-mate who was a missionary kid. This was her second year of college in the States; the rest of her education had been in boarding schools. I’ll call her Susie.

Susie was incredibly smart. Although the same age as I, she was a year ahead. And on this day, the sophomore was as lonely as the freshman.

I was in her room listening as she poured her heart out. Her parents had recently left again for the mission field halfway around the world. Her brother was in a European boarding school. She missed her family terribly. It seemed like no one loved her.

Could anyone comfort this lonely young lady?

I couldn’t help at the time—I didn’t know her all that well yet.

Were Susie and her roommate close? That was a moot point since the roomie wasn’t around.

But Someone else was.

ID-10039512Susie grabbed her guitar (one of her many talents) and began to play. Soon she was singing an old hymn—“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine . . . my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou.”

Soon she was murmuring, “Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me.” When she began saying it her tone was fierce, even desperate. As she continued, her voice reflected not questioning but assurance. She knew the love of God. She’d been immersed in it for her entire life. She called on it from her pit of despair that day.

The love of God relieved her loneliness. Susie knew she was loved. And that she wasn’t really alone.

Feeling unloved is a huge factor when we feel lonely. Since it’s internal, it doesn’t matter whether we are physically alone or physically with others. We feel unloved, so we feel lonely. Inside. Where no one else can see.

cross in handsIf we have never internalized God’s incredible love for us, we are a target for attacks of loneliness. People in this condition always run to other people when they feel unloved. And if others aren’t available (physically or emotionally), the loneliness can quickly become overwhelming.

Even if we have experienced the depth of His love, we can easily forget it and succumb to loneliness. Sometimes it can be a struggle to remember Paul’s prayer: “That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.…” (Eph. 3:18-19, ESV).

God loves us. Deeply. Without reservation. Without regret. Even without the input of other people.

And knowing that love can help us not to fall into loneliness.

this is part 4 of a series on loneliness


Part1|One is the Loneliest Number

Part 2|Alone Does Not Equal Lonely

Part 3|Lonely in a Crowd

Part 4|Unloved and Lonely

Part 5|Lonely in our Selfishness

Part 6|Love Fights Loneliness

Part 7|Love is Laying Down Your Soul

Part 8| Misunderstanding “Laying Down Your Soul”

Part 9| Unknown and Lonely

Part 10| Lonely in a Good Marriage

all illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net