Crushing the Weight of Loneliness

As I write to you, it’s still Christmastime. I’m nestled in my armchair in front of the fireplace and next to our tree, shining with its lights and silver ornaments. I’ve got coffee to sip and Christmas music playing, and I just spent extended, very needed time with the Lord.

It seems like the picture-perfect scenario—and it is a lovely haven—but this wasn’t a time I planned with eagerness. Instead, I found myself going to the Lord in desperation for some kind of life-preserver, because my soul is heavy today.

Recently I’ve felt that soul weight more often than I’d ever like to admit. I think the weight’s name is Loneliness, and sometimes Loneliness invites Despair to stay awhile, too. I must’ve lost track when they arrived, because they feel like a part of me now. I wake up, and Loneliness is there. Despair lingers when I turn off my bedside lamp at night.

The enemy tells me to carry the weighty burden by myself, in silence. That’s what I’ve been doing—daily dragging it along as the fear of reaching out and getting to know people grows and my insecurities deepen. The father of lies (John 8:44) has found this gaping hole of worry and anxiety in which to tie my heart into a paralyzed knot. I know that God is with me, but I’ve listened to Loneliness and Despair for so long that it feels like they’re my personality now. And no one wants to befriend that, right?

Immanuel: God Still With Us

Do you know Loneliness well, too? Does Despair visit often? Have you ever felt as though your soul is gasping for air as it’s crushed beneath those weights? You’re not the only one who feels that way. More importantly, we have Someone who never forgets about us.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us) (Matt. 1:23, emphasis added).

We focus on this verse in December, but it doesn’t lose its truth or effectiveness come January 1.

Jesus, Immanuel, was God with the people in Bethlehem when He was born. He became flesh and dwelt among humanity. But He didn’t cease to be God with us when He ascended back into heaven. To this day, He remains with us.

Because of Immanuel, we are never, ever alone. Jesus delivers the crushing blow to the despairing feeling of loneliness. He is God. He is with us.

I curled into my armchair today to meet God in His Word because I needed to be reminded of that. Immanuel is here. Because of Jesus, I can have hope, joy, and freedom from the enemy’s weights that try their best to change my name to Useless and Hopeless. It’s in God’s Word to us that we find promises to grab onto and hold tight.

Run Toward the Promises

When you feel utterly alone, take your pain and run straight to these promises we have in Immanuel, God with us:

Promise: Immanuel will not forsake you. Because of this promise, you can take courage and be strong in Him.

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:7–8).

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).

Promise: No matter what happens in your life or in this world, Immanuel’s steadfast love won’t leave you. Because of this promise, you can know that you are cared for with an unshakeable love.

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from youand my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you (Isa. 54:10).

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Promise: Jesus, our true and better High Priest, understands the emotions and temptations we face in this life. Because of this promise, you can know you aren’t alone in your emotions and struggles—and you can look to Jesus for deliverance, mercy, and grace.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:14–16).

Promise: Immanuel, God with us, is also our Mighty Warrior and Reigning King; He goes to battle for us, and He promises victory. Because of these promises, we can rest confidently while we trust our King to battle on our behalf.

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah (Ps. 24:7–10).

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).

I love the way Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth said it in a recent Seeking Him podcast: “The God who created and sustains the universe is always with you. . . . Are you living in the reality of God’s nearness? Are you letting His presence transform and encourage your heart?”

Today I’m asking that Immanuel would lift the weights of Loneliness and Despair and fight my battle of discouragement. Will you do the same? Will you take the weights that burden your soul and leave them at Immanuel’s feet?

God is with us. Hold tight to that promise in 2017.

About Author

Samantha Nieves

Samantha loves grammar, lazy lake days, iced green tea, and writing about the glorious gospel truths that transform our everyday lives. A northern Indiana native, Samantha now lives in South Carolina and serves as the social media manager on the Revive Our Hearts staff.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • CarissaD.

    Thank you so much for this! I needed it today.

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Grateful to hear that! Thank you for reading. Draw close to Immanuel, and He will draw close to you!

  • Sarah Wiggins

    Thank you so much for this!!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment, Sarah!

  • Rose

    Thank you so much for this, I have been struggling lately with this exact problem and this was a great encouragement.

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thankful to hear that, Rose. Let’s cling to our good and loving Immanuel together.

  • Tanya

    Thank you so much for this post! This is exactly what I have been struggling with for a long time! Please pray for me. God bless!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment, Tanya. Lord, help us to draw close to you—and to hope in you, our kind, faithful, loving, Immanuel!

  • Elizabeth

    Great post! Thank you for this!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment, Elizabeth!

  • Pau Garduza

    ¡Gracias por estas palabras! Durante un año he sufrido de soledad y depresión, y aún cuando sé que Dios es bueno en cada momento de mi vida, leer esto dio un gran consuelo a mi vida, he recordado Sus promesas y su gran amor por mi. GRACIAS!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Pau,
      ¡Muchas gracias por su comentario! Agradezco tu honestidad, y estoy muy agradecida que Dios te alentó.
      ¡Y me encanta que me escribiste en español! Necesito la practica. Un abrazo a ti!

      Mi esposo es de Puerto Rico y él me ayudó un poquito. 😉
      Samantha

      • Paulina Garduza

        GRACIAS 🙂 Yo soy de México, yo igual necesito practicar pero el inglés jeje, saludos (:

  • Anna Vaca

    Amen! Thank you for sharing! May God continue to bless you Sister!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment! Keep seeking Him, Anna!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment! Keep seeking Him, Anna!

  • Janero

    This post is so great! Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and heart with us! 🙂

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your sweet comment. It’s an amazing thing that God uses our struggles and turns them into encouragement for other believers, isn’t it? Grateful!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your sweet comment. It’s an amazing thing that God uses our struggles and turns them into encouragement for other believers, isn’t it? Grateful!

  • Andrea

    Thank you so much! This post means a lot. I have been struggling with loneliness and discouragement lately. I am so thankful that God has given us abundant promises in His Word!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment, Andrea. I’m grateful to hear that God encouraged you. And I’m right there with you—so thankful for who He is and all that He promises us. He’ll never leave us. Let’s cling to that truth!

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Thank you for your comment, Andrea. I’m grateful to hear that God encouraged you. And I’m right there with you—so thankful for who He is and all that He promises us. He’ll never leave us. Let’s cling to that truth!

  • KristinePearl Infante

    Thank you so much for these encouraging words, Samantha!!! You truly are a blessing to me and so many other girls.

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      You are so sweet, Kristine. Grateful for your comment and encouragement. Always happy to hear from you!
      I hope your semester is off to a good start! xoxo

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      You are so sweet, Kristine. Grateful for your comment and encouragement. Always happy to hear from you!
      I hope your semester is off to a good start! xoxo

  • Reese

    Thank you for this post!! It really means a lot to know that I never alone because I always feel like I am.

    • Samantha Loucks Nieves

      Reese,
      Thanks for sharing. I’m praying for you right now. That you would draw close to Immanuel and that He would give you eyes to see the people He has placed around you—or that He would bring a sweet friend into your life.

      • Reese

        Thank you that really means a lot! ——————————————–

  • Morgan

    This helped me a little… For awhile now, I’ve been having a hard time feeling like God is with me. Satan is up to his old antics. I’m trying to keep praying, reading the Bible, listening to my Christian playlist to try and keep my mind on God. But it’s pretty hard, my head keeps getting filled with lies. And I think I nearly had a panic attack about an hour ago because of this. I’m just trying to have faith that Jesus is taking care of it. IT’S SO HARD, THOUGH, and nighttime is always the worst. My head keeps getting filled with scary thoughts, doubts about my faith, and all that (it’s pretty much like those OCD intrusive thoughts, y’know?). Please pray for me.. And you know, I feel a bit better now that I’ve shared this. Satan seems to love to keep us suffering in silence.

  • Lost

    Samantha, you forgot worthlessness. That is with me, too, along w/ hopelessness. If only I had a nickel for every time I’m told that “you’re not alone.” It feels like I am. For my entire adult life, I’m 52, no one has been here to give a reassuring hug, to hold my hand when I’m afraid, to go on a walk, to sit w/ me at the college football games I love. I know Jesus is here, but I don’t feel it. I have not felt joy or happiness in a very long time. Honestly, I wish most days I wasn’t here.

    • Michael

      In my life I’ve lived many days and nights in loneliness and felt useless. Many times I wanted to take my own life. Now as I try to walk closer to God , I know he’s really there and he slowly is changing my life. My depression is gone and the more he opens my eyes to his truth, the better I feel.
      I will pray for you and ask God to bless you.

  • @Emily

    This helped me so much. I always feel like I’m totally worthless and I get really lonley. Anyone else know the feeling? Cause I’m feeling it more often than im feeling much else right now. I just turned 13, and that makes it hard, cause everyone expects you to be growing up. I don’t want to! and that makes me lonley! Am I the only one who has ever felt this way?

    • @Emily

      HELP!!! ( What I forgot to add to my post!!!)

    • ChristianGirl

      No I don’t think you are,@Emily. We all experience loneliness at some point in our lives. I’m a senior in high school and have been lonely as well. Look to God and He’ll satisfy you. Also, don’t worry about growing up now, you’re still so young. Turning 13 doesn’t mean you have to grow up now it just means you’re a teenager now. You don’t have to grow up now.

      • @Emily

        ChristianGirl, that is so helpful to me right now! thank you.