My foot was tap dancing as I waited for someone to answer the phone. I knew asking for a refund for a concert ticket was a long shot, but since I found out I’d have to go by myself, I just didn’t want to go anymore .
Finally, a lady answered, asking how she could assist me. I told her I would like to return a ticket, and she replied that they don’t usually do that, but she would take a look. As she typed in my purchase number, she started asking questions.
“I see that’s for a Gospel concert. Are you a Christian?” she asked.
“Yes” I said.
“That’s going to be a powerful concert. Why don’t you want to go?”
I went into a long explanation of what happened, summed up by “I don’t want to go alone.”
She gasped and said, “Oh, sweetheart, you know that you are never alone!” She proceeded to tell me so many things that I truly needed to hear, and I was definitely convicted by them. “Value alone time,” she said. “It’s so precious and needed, and you never know what God will do in that.”
It turns out that I had called the wrong ticketing agency to refund my ticket, but that call was just right for me. A divine phone appointment, if you will. She spoke such truth to my heart and unknowingly convinced me to keep the ticket and go.
Honestly, that conversation brought up something I continually struggle with: the fear of being alone. Don’t get me wrong; I’m very much an introvert and crave time by myself — the beach, coffee shop, going for a walk, etc. It’s more of the alone-in-a-crowd thing. Alone and feeling like I’m alone. I’ve eaten by myself at a restaurant only a handful of times, and each time I feel like people are staring at me. I’ve never been to a movie by myself, but I always admire people who do. Even walking in the mall alone feels strange to me.
I have definitely grown in this though. I had to. When I first moved to Florida, I was completely alone. I didn’t have a job yet, and I didn’t know anyone here. It was just me and Jesus, and as hard as it was, I learned to love it. I found my favorite spots. I adventured alone. I visited churches alone. I did everything by myself. It was a hard season, but it was so valuable, and God taught me a lot then that I know He wants to remind me of now.
Here are some things I took away from that time:
There is no shame in being alone.
I remember feeling as if people were staring at me. They probably weren’t, but even if they were — who cares? It’s actually nice to sit by yourself in silence. You can think about things, get work done or even people watch (my favorite). The only thing awkward about it is when you make it awkward.
God speaks in stillness.
Jesus was alone a lot. He would go and pray in solitude because He needed that quiet time to commune with the Father. If He did that, how much more do you think we should be doing that? Going away to a quiet spot just to be with Jesus is the most beautiful thing. There are so many precious things for Him to say and do in that still place.
He is closer than ever.
Even when you can’t feel Him, He is present. His presence is always with you; you can’t escape it. Thinking about that when I’m by myself makes my heart just burst. In the physical I may appear alone, but I am not at all alone spiritually.
So I’m done with this fear-of-being-alone thing! Who’s with me?!
God does something so special in alone time. Now, we need community and all that (I’m not talking about doing life alone.) I’m talking about taking time by yourself. Time to recharge. Time to refocus. Time to do something you love. There are some amazing things for us in the solo things to come.
Here I am grabbing your arm, saying, “Oh, sweetheart, you know that you are never alone!”