Loneliness, Purpose, and Freedom

Loneliness, Purpose and Freedom

If you recall, and for those of you just joining us, I conducted a survey several months ago to put me in touch with the greatest needs and aspirations of the Purposeful Singleness community. I again thank those of you who responded! Your input is invaluable.

I want to reiterate some of what I wrote in the follow-up emails, to give opportunity for discussion in the comments below. Many of you wrote insightful and thoughtful responses to me, and I would love to see you post those responses here for the benefit of others.

Through the survey results I discovered that the positive aspect of singleness most of you treasure above all others is freedom — freedom to choose what you do with your time and resources, to be spontaneous, and to serve God and others were just some of the freedoms many of you mentioned.

By far the greatest challenge of singleness most of you deal with is loneliness — lack of companionship, and feeling disconnected from others, walking into church alone, not having someone to do things with, and making decisions alone are some of the down sides of singleness many of you expressed.

It was interesting that many of the same persons expressing the exhilaration of freedom in their lives also described the suffocation of loneliness. At first glance it seems those aspects of one’s life that allows much freedom also opens the door to feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness from others.

At first I thought this was just a given, and that to have the freedom we all so much desire and treasure, we must also suffer the loneliness that seems to go with it.

But I don’t believe that needs to be the case.

Purpose Eradicates Loneliness

What if I told you the answer to loneliness is not necessarily having more people in our lives or even one special person, but in finding and living the unique purpose for which our loving Heavenly Father has designed and created us to fulfill?

In other words, loneliness = lack of purpose.

I know what you’re thinking: relationships are important, and I unequivocally agree. Not regularly connecting with other people creates a loneliness only remedied by deeper or more contact with others. God designed us that way.

Answer to Loneliness

But the loneliness that is soul-crushing, that could drives us to near suicide if we allowed it to take over, can be remedied by finding purpose in our lives just as our lives are right now. If we believe in a God who is sovereign and has our good at heart, can we not also trust that He designs and orchestrates our lives to be the perfect stage to live out the purpose for which He created us?

Purpose Gives us True Freedom

When we know our God-ordained purpose, we are set free to pursue that purpose and a life that will ultimately be the most fulfilling to us. I believe this is the abundant life Jesus promised us in John 10:10. True freedom is being who we were created to be, not what others expect of us, or even what we expect of ourselves and our lives.

Since God’s purpose for us is all about serving Him, knowing and living our purpose often brings us into community with those whom God has called us to serve and to serve with. It is in living our purpose that we find connectedness with God and with others.

So what do you think?

I asked these questions in my emails and really appreciated the responses, but want to ask them again here to give opportunity for discussion:

Is it true for you that the most positive aspect of singleness is freedom, and the biggest challenge is loneliness or disconnectedness from others?

Those of you experiencing soul-crushing loneliness, if you felt like your life had purpose and would be able to find out what God designed and created you for, do you think it would help eliminate or reduce your loneliness?

Those of you who don’t experience much loneliness except for the occasional times when you’ve not had as much opportunity to be with people, would you say that ultimately it’s because you feel your life has purpose and meaning?

Related posts:

Welcome to the new Purposeful Singleness!

If you’re a regular visitor to the Purposeful Singleness website, or were in the past, you’ll notice right away the site looks different! As many of you probably know, the site went dormant over the last number of years, but is now being resurrected for our continued conversations about living lives that are purposeful and meaningful, as God created us to live! I hope you’ll come often to join in on the conversation!

friends

What’s the Same?

Most of the Articles from the old site have been moved here, and you’ll find them under the Articles menu item at the top of every page .

If you are receiving the daily Chronological Bible Reading Schedule by email, you will continue to receive those, and eventually the information about the schedule and links to the readings will also be moved here.

There will continue to be a Bookstore, but please be patient as titles are added. A number of good books for singles have been published recently, so stay tuned for links to those.

In full disclosure, all items you purchase through our Amazon links (not just the books we link to) provide Purposeful Singleness with a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thanks so much to you who use our Amazon links to do your Amazon shopping!

What’s Different?

Like many sites, Purposeful Singleness has moved to a blogging platform and format. Instead of weekly devotionals there will be regular blog posts of various types, including some of the same inspirational nature as the prior devotionals.

There is no discussion board or forum, but there is the opportunity for comments after every article and blog post. I’m looking forward to continuing our conversations and discussions in this new format.

What’s Coming?

One of the first new features coming in the near future will be the introduction of Life Coach Shari Baer, who will assist anyone interested in discovering their God-given purpose and in writing a personal Purpose Statement. I have found this to be extremely beneficial to me in getting “unstuck” and finding direction into the very work and activities which God designed and created me for and which make my heart sing! I’m eager to share this opportunity with the Purposeful Singleness community!

Many have asked me over the years to put together devotional books for singles, so the first of those will also be available in the near future. These books will compile some of the devotionals published on the website in the past, but edited and updated and published as both Kindle and paperback formats so you can take them with you and read anywhere, as well as give them as gifts.

Further down the road is the possibility of having a membership section to the website where conversations aren’t exposed to the public, and where we can form real friendships (the emphasis being on friendship rather than dating) and engage in online courses and Bible studies together.

Please be sure to subscribe to our mailing list, if you haven’t already, to receive information on these exciting new developments as they take place!

Introductions

I’d love if you’d introduce yourself in the comments below, or say “hi” if you’re a former PSer! I’ve missed my interaction with all of you and look forward to picking up where we left off, as well as meeting many new people as we intereact here on Purposeful Singleness!

Our Longings, God’s Fulfillment

We have many God-given longings that we’d like to have fulfilled. We often think that they can be fulfilled only by another human being. While God does use other humans to demonstrate love to us, He also wants to fulfill these longings with Himself. Consider these Words from Scripture as you identify your personal longings and God’s promise of fulfillment.

God loves you more than you will ever know


I want to be loved. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I want to belong to someone. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself. (Psalms 4:3)

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)


I want to be cherished. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (Isaiah 43:4)

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)


I want someone to fulfill my heart’s desires. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)

I want someone who will always love me, no matter what. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-89)

I want someone to be with me through the hard times of life, and to protect me. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (Isaiah 43:2)

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalms 32:7)

 


I want someone I can draw strength from. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. (Psalms 29:11)

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (Psalms 31:24)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

 


I want someone to be with me when I am afraid. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

I want someone to comfort me. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalms 34:18)He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (Psalms 147:3)

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18)

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

 


I want someone to help me with life’s burdens. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalms 55:22)

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

 


I want someone to hold me. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually. (Psalms 119:117)

 


I want someone to be with me. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9)

 


I want someone to live with me who loves me. The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders. (Deuteronomy 33:12)

I want someone to make me happy. For the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

I want someone to protect me from those who would harm me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. (Psalms 31:4)

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. (Psalms 31:20)

 


I want someone to shower me with nice gifts. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

I want someone who inspires me. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)

I want someone who is always consistent. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. (Hebrews 6:19)

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

 


I want someone who will pray for me. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

I want to be able to call someone when I’m in trouble. The LORD will hear when I call unto him. (Psalms 4:3)The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (Psalms 34:15)

The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. (Psalms 34:17)

 

Related posts:

Steps to Contentment

  1. Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even of the weather.
  2. Never picture thyself under any circumstances in which thou art not.
  3. Never compare thine own lot with that of another.
  4. Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than thou dost thyself.
  5. Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God’s, not thine. The heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. “The Lord will provide.”

—Published in G. F. Maine’s A Book of Daily Readings

Related posts: