Loneliness and Serving Others


person in hospital gown using walking frame beside hospital bed
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As mentioned in an earlier post, for the first time in my life, I was living alone. I was not accustomed to silence in my home. I always had my kids, grands, or a blaring TV from my ex-husband when I came home from work. Silence was only something I could hope for. But now, I had more silence than I could bear. I did a LOT of talking to God!

When I first moved into my apartment, I did not have extra money for the luxury of cable television or the internet. I remember going a full year without either. I would go to the local library to use the computers and I could borrow DVD’s for free with my library card. That was my entertainment. I have loved God’s Word since I was a teenager, I never get tired of it so I studied my Bible, listened to worship music on CD, listened to Bible teachings on my phone…I was just “hungry” for more of God!

I still had some incredibly lonely days. It seems that Sundays were the most difficult for me. They were difficult because we always had family dinner on Sundays with the kids. My Ex-husband was a very good cook and liked to cook so we ate good and enjoyed the family on Sundays. Of course I could visit my parents after church, and most of the time I did. But, there were times that I literally would feel panic sweep over me as the weekend approached. What am I going to do? Who will I spend time with? What if everyone has plans already? My daughters were young women, moms, and had their own families and I never wanted to be a burden to them. They deserved to have their time with their own family and friends. Although, they were more than happy to have me around and include me in things. I appreciated that. They let the grands come and stay the night occasionally and my heart would flood with JOY!

Loneliness is an emotion that weighs “heavy” on you. When you do not have a special “someone” to love and share intimately with, there is this “hole” on the inside. I spent 22 years in marriage (between both marriages), so I really had no idea how to live successfully as a single. I was a “fish out of water” and I would use social media as a means of “community” and “connection”. It helped but I knew it would not sustain me very long. I am a relational person who thrives on connections with people. I had to figure this out. I had to create a new life for myself so I asked God to show me how.

Psalm 32:8 (TLB) – I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.

One day while at the library, I decided to read the postings on the community bulletin board. I saw something that caught my attention – HOSPICE VOLUNTEER! I decided to give them a call. I went in to investigate the opportunities they had available and towards the end of the conversation; I mentioned that I was a licensed minister. The coordinator was thrilled to hear that! They only had one Chaplain serving a large region of patients and she asked if I would be interested in meeting her. I said “Of course! I’d love to!” Well, I ended up with an apprenticeship and she was soon confident that I was skilled and prepared to see my own patients. I became a volunteer Hospice Chaplain.

If you are hurting, broken, in despair and feeling hopeless; Can I suggest that you find a way to serve others? There is something about heartfelt service to those in need that revitalizes the human soul. I now had something to look forward to that was meaningful to me and to my patients and their families. Sometimes, I just listened as the families shared emotions, sometimes I offered words of comfort, sometimes I prayed with them or for their loved ones, and sometimes I said nothing…just a gentle touch on the hand was sufficient.

Luke 6:36 (KJV) – Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful

Yes, I was reeling from divorce; but their pain put mine in proper perspective. My family was well and healthy, I wasn’t watching my loved ones deteriorate before my eyes, my parents could recognize me when I walked in the room, and I wasn’t having to make end of life decisions for the people I love most in this world.

God used this opportunity to bring healing to my life by re-directing my focus.

Don’t just sit there and sulk over what is gone. Create new opportunities for yourself and get out there and be PRODUCTIVE! LIVE! Divorce only ends your life with your permission.

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I am a woman who suffered the devastation of divorce and thought my life was over. But, God had another plan...

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