Muse & Meander

Shaping a Genesis week from the chaos of my life

Don’t let solitude become a security blanket

I made a new friend this summer, and I’d like to introduce her to you.  Amy Williams writes every spare minute she has.   She’s working on some novels (speculative fiction) and she writes a devotional blog that I love.  A few weeks ago, she wrote something that resonated so loudly with me I asked if I could  share it here.  She was gracious enough to say yes. So, please welcome guest blogger Amy Williams. This is a repost (with permission) that was first on her blog August 12, 2013.

I’m an independent person. I always have been, from the time I was a little girl. I don’t need much to make it through in life. I’m not really the sort of person who requires socialization or a circle of friends. It’s easy for me to be on my own, and by that token, it’s easy for me to isolate myself. I live like a hermit anyway, alone in the middle of nowhere. And now I don’t even have a cat to talk to, as they’ve all either died of old age or got carried off by owls or coyotes. And while I like the quietude of this lifestyle choice, sometimes the silence lies and tries to convince me that I’m isolated because I’m alone. And there’s a big difference between being isolated and being alone, between being independent and being lonely. I don’t necessarily think that isolation is bad. It just depends on your motives. But if you’re going to live a life that’s solitary–and even if you don’t–you need to be aware that lies get louder in silence. And you need to remember that even if you enjoy being on your own, you still need people.

Today’s verses are Hebrews 10:23-25. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

I’ve been running wild the last couple of months. Actually, running wild is sort of a constant with me. I’m always dashing from one thing to another, rarely standing still. But that’s me, and I’ve got a lot of plates spinning. So for the last few months, I actually haven’t been able to go to church. I’m fortunate to attend a church that streams their services live, so I’ve watched when I had the opportunity. But streaming online isn’t the same as being there in person. I got to go this weekend. And being in the service, surrounded by friends and family in the blood of Christ reminded me just how much I need people. When I’m on my own, busy and bustling back and forth from crisis to crisis, it’s easy for me to think that I’m okay without sharing life with people. I’m functioning just fine, after all. But there’s more to life than just functioning. There’s more to life than just surviving. God didn’t put me here to just make it through another day. He wants me to thrive. He wants me to grow. He wants me to live. And while I prefer the silence sometimes, silence isn’t always conducive to growth. And you can’t experience real friendship if you don’t invest in other people. It’s a risk, yes, because people are people. But it’s worth it.

Pastor posed a question in his message yesterday, asking us to think about the people who’ve loved us the most in our lives and what our lives would look like without them. That’s difficult to even think about. And my first thought was that I didn’t have a whole lot of people who loved me like that, and that’s when I realized I’d been shutting myself away too long. Because that’s a lie. I started making a list of people who’ve loved me, who’ve made a difference in my life, and needless to say it’s very very long. It was much longer than I expected it to be. I have been very fortunate in my life to have many, many people come alongside me to support me and love me more than I deserved. But when you get so busy with your nose to the grindstone, it’s easy to forget the people who’ve invested in you. So for the rest of this month, I really want to focus on friendships and relationships in life and how important they are. Granted, I’m not going to change the way I live, unless God tells me I need to. But I don’t have to shut myself away from people. Living a quiet life is good. Having quiet moments is essential. But when the quiet changes from a refuge to a security blanket, you’ve got a problem.

Don’t cut people out of your life. If you were sufficient on your own, God wouldn’t have made other people. And, yes, God is sufficient for you as your friend, your maker, your God, your Lord. But if it was just supposed to be you and God going through life without any other interaction with people, why are there people around you? God designed us to invest in each other. So don’t run away from it. Embrace it. Yes, that means you’re taking a risk. Yes, that means you’ll have to give up some time alone. But what are you really here for?

7 comments on “Don’t let solitude become a security blanket

  1. Abby:)
    September 4, 2013

    Thank you for this post ❤

  2. savvysheep
    September 4, 2013

    Good post! I agree…that’s why I just got a part-time job in the library. I had begun to feel like the whole sum of my relationships were online interactions, and I don’t want to be a hermit forever. Solitude is nice when you need to think and work, but community is important, too.

  3. LauraJane
    September 4, 2013

    That is great! I always seem to prefer to be alone…work alone…be at the horse barn alone…but we really do need people. I think it is safe to say I get enough of people at school, eh?

    • Crystal Thieringer
      September 4, 2013

      You’re the only one that can answer that, LauraJane. I know that I walk alone (well, with a borrowed dog), and work alone (though I love Skype), this was a good reminder to me!

  4. Pingback: Give friendship a chance | Muse & Meander

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This entry was posted on September 4, 2013 by in Amy Williams, Today's Guest and tagged , , , , , , .

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