If you’ve never heard the song “Never Alone” by Barlow Girl, take a minute to listen to it in the link above. That’s what this blog is about today…
Except that we’re not.
The song so aptly describes how I have felt at certain times in my life.
Alone; not heard…
Abandoned by people, and more importantly by God.
As a widow, it would be easy for me to fall into the trap of being bitter from feeling let down and alone by family and friends. But we’re so not alone. He’s with us. He’s right here.
In our joy, in our sorrow, in our pain and disappointments…
Creator of the Universe…
We are truly never alone, even if we feel like we have no one to turn to…
I have a part-time job now at a women’s retail store, (you know I love clothes, and I like the discount that I get even more) and I came across a woman the other day while I was working.
I greeted her as I do all customers, but she just looked so sad. She then told me she was depressed… I was busy and wondered if I should inquire… After all, I was at work, and I had things to get done. But there was something about her that compelled me to talk to her.
I asked her if she was okay, and she said,
“No, I’m a widow.”
She looked at me as if challenging me to make some flippant remark or give her my condolences. I looked at her and simply said quietly, “I’m so sorry, I am too.” Her eyes locked with mine, and there was a moment of understanding, of sisterhood, of pain, and loss and the gut wrenching sadness that comes from losing a husband too soon.
She came a little closer to me and shared the story of how she’d lost her husband of thirty-two years. It was an embolism, and he died in her arms. I immediately began to pray, asking the Lord to tell me what to say to her. I needed to help her, I felt compelled to help her, but I had no idea how.
She then told me that she’d attempted to take her life four times. She said that her life was pointless and my heart ached for her. She said that she couldn’t get out of bed, and said she was useless and no one was really there for her like they said they would be, and that she was alone.
There’s that word again; alone.
In a world absent of Christ, it can really seem as if you’re alone. Even as Christians, we may go through times when we fail to feel the presence of God. We feel like we don’t hear him, we feel like our relationship with him is dry or distant….
We feel alone.
“I waited for you today,
but you didn’t show
No. no. No.
I needed you today,
so where did you go?
Told me to call,
said you’d be there,
and though I haven’t seen you,
are you still there?”
(Lyrics from Never Alone: by Barlowgirl)
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever wondered if God was there?
I felt it when I was in the emergency room and the nurse told me that I was likely having a miscarriage and to go home and wait to lose my baby. I felt it when the mysterious stomach pains that my husband was having turned out to be cancer. I felt it when my oldest son; my introduction to motherhood, rejected me, moved in with his father and refused to talk to me for almost a year.
I have felt alone.
But here’s the deal folks…
Feelings don’t dictate absolute reality.
God tells us that we are never alone.
“It is the Lord who goes before you.
He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
There’s a lot going on in that passage. “He goes before you…” What does that mean exactly?
I would imagine ( though I’m no theologian) that if God goes before you, he’s in front of you. He’s in front of the situation, or problem. He goes before you, and prepares the way. He knows what’s going to happen already, but he goes before you to prepare it for you. He will be with you… He won’t leave you, and he won’t forsake you. According to my trusty Siri, the definition of forsake means to “leave someone who needs or counts on you, to leave someone in the lurch.”
We’re not alone folks. Because he’s here.
He’s preparing the way, he’s walking ahead of us just as a Father would to make sure that the passage is safe for his child. He won’t leave us… Because he wants us to count on him and he will never betray our trust.
“And though I cannot see You
And I can’t explain, why….
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You’ve placed in my life…
We cannot separate,
cause You’re part of me,
And though You’re invisible,
I trust the unseen.
I cried out to with no reply
And I can’t feel You by my side
So, I’ll hold on to what I know,
You’re here, and I’m never alone…”
(Lyrics from Never Alone: by Barlowgirl)
The lyrics to the Barlow Girls song is so succinct and true. We may not feel Him, we cannot see Him, but we are never, never alone. We have to hold onto what we know and not what we feel, because our feelings can deceive us into believing something that just isn’t true.
So what did I say to that poor brokenhearted widow?
I stepped away from what I was doing and I asked her name, I looked into her eyes and I said this…
“Your husband, wouldn’t want you to be sad. He wouldn’t want you to try to take your life. He’s gone, and it stinks, and I’m so sorry for that, but you’re still here. You have a purpose. You have to persevere and discover what that purpose is and live in a way that your husband would be proud.”
She was now in tears and I put my arms around this virtual stranger, that I saw just a little bit of myself in. I told her it would be okay. Because someday it would be. I encouraged her to seek some counseling, and I told her what days I worked and to come back and see me, and that I’d be praying for her.
I hope she comes back.
I’d like to take her to lunch or out to coffee and share with her more. I’d love to tell her about Jesus and offer her the opportunity to grieve with hope.
She felt alone.
We all have at some point.
But we as Christians are never alone, even in the darkest times of our lives.
I thought I was alone when my son rejected me, but God used that situation to allow me to truly trust him for the outcome of that relationship. It hurt and it was hard, but he’s turning eighteen next week and he asked that we spend it alone, just us… He wanted to have some quality time with me; and this mamma’s heart is full… I never thought we’d get there. God was there…
I thought I was alone when I was told I was having a miscarriage, and I wasn’t happy about being pregnant if I’m honest. But through that scare, the Lord allowed me to see how much I really wanted that baby, and she is one of the greatest joys of my life today. I don’t even know what life looked like before her. I love my Sara Bear. She makes me laugh when I want to cry at times. God was there… He knew I’d need her.
I thought I was alone when we received a cancer diagnosis and then ultimately losing my husband after fighting it for two years…. But God used the illness to give me the courage to share my writing with people; something I would never have done prior to that. He has given me a voice through my experience and pain to minister to and to encourage others… God was there…
At different points in my life, even though I knew better, I thought I was alone…
But I never was.
He was always there.
I can see that now.
He’s still here…
Whispering to me…
He loves you too.
No matter what you’ve done, no matter what you’ve been through.
We need only to quiet ourselves to hear him and to trust him; even during those hard times.
We have to believe what the Bible says about Him, and not what we see or feel;
because our feelings can’t be trusted, but God is worthy of our trust.
You’re never alone.
Be blessed friends