set in a family

I wish I had the words to explain the depth of the goodness of this season I’m in… because though it’s good, this season is very hard. And honestly? It’s very, very lonely.

I moved into a new home (that I love and that is a literal dream come true) about a month ago now. My family moved me in right after my birthday and this past month has been consumed with more decorating bliss than my heart can hold. Jesus has been so, so kind to me.

But I would be lying if I stopped there, if I said that life was putt-putting along and that everyday was filled with sunshine and smiles… because the truth is that I never dreamed I would do this alone. I never dreamed I would become a handy woman, one that can nourish plant babes, yet also drill the hooks into the ceilings from which they hang. I think I honestly just never imagined myself doing all of this big stuff alone… and while I’ve enjoyed learning to do myself what the men in my life have always been close enough to do for me, I’d be lying if I said that this season (and all the loneliness that comes with doing literally everything alone) hadn’t worn on me. And the loneliness I feel has a way of making my heart teeter on the edge of bitterness.

It isn’t that I’m bitter that I’m not married, I truly love to live alone (with my lil animals and plant babes of course) and love to have a space that I can decorate and fill exactly how I like it. This season is a gift in that area. But I think I’ve just been really discouraged that I have no one within 200 miles to call family. I have no brothers here. I have no parents here. My grandmama isn’t here. I don’t even have a distant aunt or uncle in this state. My sinful heart has the tendency of overlooking all of the gifts I have been given and getting frustrated that Jesus hasn’t given me the gift of family here.

As the Lord normally does when I ungratefully vent to Him, He reminded me about a verse in Psalms that moves my heart deeply.

“A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” -Psalm 68:5-6

Friends, we serve an incredible God. He’s a God who knows the heartbreak of loneliness firsthand and doesn’t just tell us to suck it up when our hearts feel its sting. And though Jesus knew loneliness on a level that we never will, He isn’t a one-upping friend that tells you how much worse He had it just so you’ll minimize your pain and move on. No, He’s a God who has truly experienced the depth of that pain and promises to us that one day He will wipe all of the tears from our eyes… and until then, we can walk this earth knowing that God moved heaven and earth to be with us and to set us in His family.

Because here’s the whole reality: I may not have any of my blood relatives in my city, but I’m surrounded by an army of God’s people that cheer me on, love me deep, and challenge me in my walk. I have people that love me enough to correct me, teach me, pray for me, listen to me, point me to Jesus, and hold my hands up when I’m too tired to hold them up myself. And the people that do that for you? The people that push you towards Jesus? Those are your people, the brothers and sisters, the family that Jesus has given you. God’s Church is God’s family. They’re His people. And no matter where you are, you are a member of His family, His bride.

No matter what lies your heart may whisper, you are not alone. Maybe you just moved to a new city and don’t have many friends yet. Maybe you just got married and are trying to figure out the new balance of friend time. Or maybe you’re a lot like me and have been praying for a friend group that hasn’t happened yet, though you’ve made every single effort to bring people together. Community is hard and I feel ya, sister (or brother, LOL).

I just want you to know that Jesus is cheering you on. I’m cheering you on. And God Himself is in you, making even the most lonely seasons ones of deep, abounding joy. The Lord loves to draw near to His lonely babes because our hearts are made in His image. He Himself is a communal God. But He loves us too much to give us over to the good gifts of friends when the Good Giver Himself is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. If your heart is as lonely as mine, rest knowing that our God hurts when we hurt and laughs when we laugh… and is loving us deep with every gift that He gives or withholds.

You are not unseen, unheard, or uncared for. You don’t have to try to earn your spot at the table. You have a place, you matter, you have a God who will never leave or forsake you, and you have a family here on Earth called the Church. So, let’s walk in joy as we serve and worship a wonderful God who sets our lonely hearts in families and never leaves us in our loneliness.

All my love,

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