For the greater portion of this year, I have felt alone in some area of my life. Through each phase of the season, I’ve learned to find the beauty in solitude. Now, it took longer for me to realize this and become comfortable in it than it will take for me to write this or for you to read it, but since I’m here, I wanted to share the journey with you. So come, sweet suga, let’s take the rare opportunity to dig into Valencia’s business (lol)….
We live in a culture where people do just about anything to avoid being alone. We have what I call situationships (kinda sorta not really baes)...which don't serve much of a purpose outside of surface level companionship. People get into (or stay in) relationships (friendships, significant other, etc.) that hurt more than they heal…to avoid being alone. People have accepted less than what they really deserved…to avoid being alone. Life changing mistakes made….to avoid being alone. Participated in things that you really didn’t want to do…to avoid being alone. So many decisions...some bad, others may have been good...all because we don't want to be by ourselves.
Today, I don’t mind being by myself. At this point of my life, I lowkey prefer it (because who has time for people, you know? lol jk). However, it hasn’t always been that way. So I’m not coming down on anybody for what they’ve done in the past to avoid being by themselves. Being alone is….scary….and it gets scarier when you’re dealing with spiritual stuff that you can’t see. Now if you say anything about being alone in church (especially in the singles ministry lol), you’ll probably get reminded that God is with you, get a good 'God bless you', and sent on your way. But, that doesn’t always push back the pains of loneliness. Fighting (or simply waiting) for a promise from God is a bit better when you don’t feel like you’re fighting alone. Nobody likes being the oddball out. I’m not bashing anybody for wanting friends. I have friends. Friends are good things to have (lol). But what I’ve learned is that sometimes, God will isolate you to increase your dependence on Him AND to enhance your story for His glory.
Around May, God made me a promise concerning law school and He also told me I’d have an apartment. For the next few months, I was in the hardest faith battle I’ve ever had, because for various reasons, I felt like everybody I typically depended on to fight with me had their own priorities to handle. I was alone. I felt like nobody really…got it. Like, I’m trying to walk on water out here...but it’d be really great if somebody stepped outside of this boat with me, you know? I’ll reveal all of the lessons I learned during that time in future posts, but we’ll just summarize it here and say that 1) JESUS DID IT!!! and 2) it was during that time that I realized a new level in my Christian journey. There were so many days and moments that I had to go to God for myself by myself (in the most extreme of ways) because I either felt like nobody cared or I was simply faced with the fact that nobody was there. Nobody’s in that apartment but me & Jesus, so we had to have quite a few chit chats & check ins for me to make it through that battle alone. And because He's God, He carried me through that...and sat me right in front of part two.
Once I moved back to my hometown, I moved my membership to a different church. This…was…a…BIG…deal to me. I’m a church kid, but I’m also my mama’s baby. If I was in home, there was a 97% chance that I was sitting next to my mama on Sunday. That’s just what we did (we're lowkey known as a unit lol). We’d been at the same church for the better portion of 22 years….and God tells me that it’s time for me (just...me) to move so I can grow and really be free. Before, He moved us as a unit. Now….it’s just me. So once again, I’m having to stand on God’s word…by myself (and if you stand there long enough, you wonder if He actually said it). Everybody asked why I was leaving. Some seemed to understand, others just didn’t want me to go. Yet…I had to do what He told me anyway…when it did, but didn’t…make much sense. At this point, God has literally separated me from what I’ve known all of my life…and dared me to stand on the fact that His word is enough. So what did I do? I stepped on out there all by myself…and once again found the beauty in battling alone.
The beauty in battling alone is simple: you find your strength in your solitude. It is when we take time to settle (and silence) ourselves that God can speak the loudest…because we don't have to filter His voice from the voices and opinions of others. Going through those situations alone has created the strength that I have today. I've learned that you will have moments (or even seasons) where you will have to stand on God’s word on your own. Everybody won’t get it. Everybody won’t be there with the support that you need when you need it. They’re not supposed to. I have found that when God preoccupies those around you, it’s because He wants you to hear something straight from The Source. He wants you to lean on Him. Depend on Him to keep you from drowning in whatever is trying to take you out. Recognize that people come and go, but The Father will always stay. Some people haven’t moved forward, or taken the next step toward their destines because they don’t have anybody to take that step with them. Could it be that God wants you to take this step on your own….to see if you actually believe that He’s really all you need?
One day, I went to church (what a surprise lol), and during the service, they had what us church folk call a praise break. I’d cut my little step when the preacher told us to grab a neighbor & dance, and eventually let my neighbor’s hand to resume clapping etc.. Then, God messed around & spoke, y’all. He said, “how about you go for it one more time by yourself…just because you had to battle by yourself.” BAAAAAABY I WENT IN!!! (hahaha) Who was around me didn’t matter, who looked at me didn’t matter, whether the musicians kept playing (or nah) didn't matter, what people could’ve said didn’t matter…because you don’t know what my battle was like, so you surely can’t judge this here praise, k? That’s another beauty in battling alone: your victory/praise is enhanced, because the battle was enhanced.
If you’re scared to do something that you know God has told you to do because you’ll be alone, I dare you to trust God. Be honest with Him about your fear, and take that step anyway. If you are fighting a battle that nobody seems to understand, or you’re in a season where it seems God has isolated you, I dare you to trust God. Seasons of solitude bring a different level of strength out of us. It was through seasons of fighting for myself that I gained the strength necessary to fight for those around me. I’m a better fighter because I had to fight on the front line alone. I am more confident in my ability to hear God for myself because I had to hear Him for myself. I’m now comfortable being alone because I now know that what’s in me. I know what I have to offer. There’s a better you on the other side of this struggle. The person that you could be in 6 months is depending on you to make that step into another dimension of strength and faith. You’ll never know if God can keep you from drowning…if you never step out of the boat. Take a deep breath, say an honest prayer, and remember that even if you’re fighting on your own, you serve a God that refuses to lose. As His child, you wear His name. So because He can’t lose (with or without an army), you can’t lose (with or without an army).
Background Music: Oceans - Hillsong. This song PULLED ME THROUGH! Hopefully it'll give you some peace too...
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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