“Solitude is the furnace of transformation.” ~ Henri Nouwen, author of The Way of the Heart
When I was coping with my midlife divorce, I often found myself alone. Not just alone for a few hours in the day, but alone, alone. After our last child left for college and the divorce was final, I was alone, for the first time in my life, really.
I married during college, so I went from my parents’ home, to college, to a home with my husband, which soon filled with children. During those years, you pray for even a few minutes alone! You go in the bathroom and lock the door for a few precious minutes of solitude!
But after the divorce, I was the only one in my house. And since I worked from an office in my home, I didn’t have the daily camaraderie of fellow employees, either. That alone time was a huge adjustment.
All I could think about during this period was how everyone except me was “happily sharing life with someone else.” While my husband and his girlfiend seemed to be at a perpetual party having a wonderful time, I was sitting in my home trying not to feel lonely and depressed. (And I am a person who has always cherished my alone time!)
The Gift of Solitude
Let me tell you from where I am now: don’t wish away that time by yourself. Use it. Surrender to the quiet. Don’t rush to fill it up with meaningless activity and stuff.
You have been given this gift of solitude. (Okay, it’s been forced on you!) It can be a difficult, scary, disorienting time, but it can also be a very, very enlightening time.
Pretend you are on a life-transforming sabbatical, and think deeply about life’s “big questions”. If you believe in God, listen to His voice in this time. Try to let your new life purpose find expression. You simply cannot reflect deeply in the hustle and bustle of full and busy days.
Find your own transformation in this season with just yourself. You will be amazed at the deep, beautiful, powerful truths you can discover!
“As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone.” ~ John 14:13a (The Living Bible)
Thank you, this is what I have found too. My time alone has been richly, richly blessed and I’m not in a hurry to leave it because the reality is that for me it has meant more time with God who has cared for me, protected and provided for me, far better than my husband ever did. I didn’t just become husband less either; I had to leave my home and live in bedsits, I lost my job and I broke down emotionally. I’m still learning to trust Gods merciful provision ( from food to a bed) and yes, tears and heartache coupled to rejection, and how insignificant I sometimes feel, are still part of my journey. But Paul talks in Corinthians about staying single as it allows us to give undivided devotion to the Lord. I really love this aspect of singleness; 1 Corinthians 7:34-35. Jesus is such an able husband! I do get moments of desire for a new man but do not think God is calling me to marriage again at this time. I also find it’s mostly a reaction to something g my husband is doing or does to me, not a wise place to make a life changing decision from. I have started a degree in theology and presently studying Identity and LGBT. I’m planning to use narrative and poetry (Poetic Medicine I call it) to allow people to express from their inner narratives and be listened to; by reading their stories and responding with didactic biblical story, and loving biblical wisdom, that helps each individual to see the most fruitful and blessed and holy way they can choose to live their lives. Presently I’m starting to use narrative to help a single mum I had been seeing before the virus outbreak. We can use… Read more »
How your article hit home and your readers response touched my heart. I am in that alone time and it allows me to build up my relationship with Jesus. He had always been there waiting for me to put Him in the forefront. I do go from the thankfulness if freedom to the pain of rejection but realize looking Back (not too long ago) God was protecting me and has a better plan for my life that I would not of found unless my ex husband went off to find his “happiness”. I have to be honest I yearn for a soul mate but I’m letting Jesus pick him not me !
Thank you so encouraging in my journey.❤️