This year has been a pretty lonely one, you could say. You question this. It's true my children often talk to me two at a time. I guess they think that because there are two ears on my head, I can hear and comprehend two completely different conversations at the same time. Multi-tasking is a must, but I've gotta admit even that one is next to impossible for me to do well. They are getting older and are all three very bright, intelligent kids, but the fact that mom can still only really listen to one person at a time doesn't phase them.
Even with all of that conversation, lonliness has been a faithful companion in 2014. It's true that even working as a nurse in a school surrounded by 800 kids and 70 wonderful staff members, the reality of being the only one around with a medical background can leave a lonely mark.
-Driving to and watching hours of practice and games, even when there are incredible parents of other players around you, lonliness can come along.
-As a 30-something standing over my husband, looking at a group of physicians and demanding the best care for him while taking in what they were saying, and having to make life-impacting decisions(again)...lonliness hung out.
-For many months of the year, pushing him around in a wheelchair was lonely, at times even ostracizing, as others in a crowd either disregarded the handicap or stared with remorse. That was eye-opening, I tell you.
-Listening to a nurse tell me over the phone how my husband really wasn't doing well and possibly needed to move to a different unit late one night made for a very long, lonely night. I laid there questioning if I be a good mom and stay home for my kids or be a good wife and be there as a lookout for him.
-And even, dare I say, in church...A place to worship with other believers...loneliness finds it's way there, too. Because how many of those people really know what's going on in your life? And if they did, what would they think?
-Seeing others being given assistance when you are working so hard just to stay afloat and hold things together, inside thinking "Hey---see this family? I'm drowning over here," When in reality you have no idea yourself how others could give you any help. That is lonely.
-And to be brutally honest, all that has happened this year has made it one of the hardest and loneliest seasons of marriage in 18 1/2 years.
Am I asking for pity or anything of the sort?
NOT AT ALL.
Because I'm here to say that despite this fog of lonely that's been hanging around this year, never before have I been more certain that God is with me.
At Christmastime we hear of Christ being called Emmanuel, meaning "God with us." And that doesn't just encompass Him coming to the world as a baby. It means He is still here. He is with me in every situation, every decision I have to make. With each lonely minute I feel, I am not alone at all. He is with me, and He isn't leaving. I will cling to Him and He's not letting go.
That is the source of the joy and excitement in my family. We are not alone. We are celebrating Emmanuel.
"Through these trialsYou’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me..."