The Lonely In Families

in , , by Rhonda, February 07, 2022

"I feel forgotten," she said.

I nodded.  She missed a few weeks of our Bible study, but she was back.  The study ended twenty minutes ago, but we were still talking.  

"I would never wish divorce on anyone," I told her.  "But I can tell you I have learned to know the Lord and lean on Him in ways I've never experienced before."

I actually meant it.  Two years ago, those words couldn't have come out of my mouth.  The end of a twenty-year marriage was beyond sad.  It was traumatic.  I was simply trying to survive each and every day, let alone grow my faith.  

Yet, here I was, two years later, consoling another woman going through her version of my trauma.

"My daughter has severe separation anxiety," she said.

I could relate.  There were night, many nights actually, when both my daughter and my son slept with me.  It was the only way to fight off the loneliness.  Looking back now, its kind of sweet.  But at the time, it was simply survival.

A third woman approached us.  "I overheard you talking.  I hope you don't mind, but I am moving in a few months because my husband left me."

I pushed a chair towards her to sit at our round table.  "Please, join us," I said.

She proceeded to share her version of my past as well.  The three of us, with our Bibles sitting on the table, formed a bond as we talked about getting through it, the mental health challenges, and the need to work yet be with our children.

I was afraid to join a Bible study because I thought I would be judged due to my marital status.  I decided I would give it a try, not expecting it to be great, but instead looking for any benefits at all.  I'd been reading Purpose Driven Life, and I listened to Pastor Rick Warren's words around the need for fellowship and community.  For the first time in my adult life, I put myself out there in a church setting.  I dropped the "church face" and I went just as I was, with a decision to be real.  I expected it to be painful, but I thought perhaps I could get something out of it.  

Much to my surprise, I've found a wonderful group of non-judgmental women who are honest, real, and yes, hurting.  Each of them are hurting in their own way, and when I leave my weekly Bible study, I almost feel as if I've been to therapy.  The first few sessions were hard as we were getting to know each other.  There were so many awkward pauses and unsure responses.  But now, we have to take turns talking since each of us seems to have so much to say.

I'm grateful to the Lord for such an unexpected gift to this quiet introvert.  

He truly sets the lonely in families.
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