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Learning about loneliness from my students

This series on loneliness ( scroll down to October 9) began with a devotion I wrote for Proverbs 31 Ministries: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devotion-author/van-walton/

Today I was already prepared to post my next thoughts on loneliness, until one of my speech students hijacked my blog. What she had to say in her speech blew me away. Her understanding and maturity, brought about by her own life’s hard knocks caused me to sit up and listen. This blog is dedicated to R. B.  Today she is my hero!

I gave my students a prompt: Choose a quote that speaks to you. Memorize it. Weave it into your story and challenge your audience to change the way they live.

So R.B. began by asking us if we were familiar with loneliness. Of course many hands went up. She admitted she had also experienced loneliness.

Let me stop here. R.B. is a beautiful, much loved and respected young lady. She is hard working, honest, a good friend to all, humble, an amazing example of a Christian young lady  and a true follower  of Jesus. She not only speaks her beliefs. She lives them.

Looking in on her life, one would never imagine she had ever experienced loneliness. She has 3 siblings and lives within a large loving family.

After admitting that she is familiar with loneliness, she reminded her audience that the disciples feared facing loneliness after Jesus’ departure. In fact they went into deep denial concerning his announcement. You know the one when he said his time on earth was short.

R.B. told her story of a time when the announcement was made that someone in her life would be separating from her. The news she received crushed her. Then her mother read to her from John 16 reminding her that, like the disciples, she had an advocate and a friend who would guide her in truth during those times of loneliness when she would miss the one who had played a major role in her young life.  

My young, yet mature, student convinced each one of us that she believed Jesus’ words. She learned to lean on the Holy Spirit and trust her Father in heaven allowing him to be her Daddy here on earth.

She invited the Holy Spirit to fill her empty places allowing Him to comfort her and give her counsel. She learned to depend on Him, just as Jesus had encouraged.

Loneliness is a debilitating emotion that crosses all lines. Adults and teens, men and women, rich and poor all understand the worthless and hopeless feelings loneliness presses into our hearts.

But Jesus knew and He did not leave us to suffer in solitude and seclusion. Read His words of comfort and believe:

“I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer. But now I am going away to the one who sent me… It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

The truth is, friends, we have a friend who will never leave us. He reminds us we are never abandoned, never alone. He brings peace and helps us pray. He prays for us when we cannot!  

R.B. felt abandoned until she heard the truth. Let’s believe that God’s Holy Spirit is here to stay. He is our friend. We can turn to Him in times of need.

Here’s an assignment for you, to fill your time during moments of loneliness. Look up Holy Spirit, Counselor and Advocate in your concordance. Read what the Bible says about the Friend Jesus left us when He returned to the Father.


Van Walton

2 Responses to Learning about loneliness from my students

  • Mary T says:

    Van, although it doesn’t happen very often, there are times when I feel alone or lonely, which can be two different feelings, e an I. A crowded room. Typically this happens when I am in the midst of a situation that is making me sad or with people whom I feel do not see things quite the way I do. During these times, there are moments where I just sit back quietly and wait for the time to pass, but there are also moments where I immediately begin to discuss the situation with God. It is in these moments that I feel lifted up and stay an active participant continuing to express my concerns and voice my opinions… with a great confidence and peace in knowing that the Holy Spirit has given me back my voice, His voice and assuring me that I am not alone nor should I feel lonely for He is with me always, until the end of time. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect!

  • Van Walton says:

    Love it – your reflection, that is. I too carry on two conversations at a time- one with those around me and one with the Father who is always with me! What a treasure we have!

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