“God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land” (Psalm 68:6).
The holidays can be such an isolating time for many of us with chronic illness or disability. Everyone seems to be planning and rushing about. Everyone is excited. . . Everyone but us.
There are parties to attend and magical places to visit. There are relationships to begin or rekindle. Everyone is brimming with anticipation. . . Everyone but us.
We are often alone. Even those like myself who are blessed with immediate family who care, are often left alone frequently at this time of year. Our loved ones rush off to attend one function or another. They come home laughing and full of stories and smelling of fresh air and woodsmoke and evergreen.
If we keep them from going so we don’t have to be alone, well that’s just a level of guilt most of us are not prepared to step into.
May I encourage you, as I’m encouraging myself this season?
The scripture promises us that God sets the lonely in families. I believe that’s true, because God has proven it in so many ways this past few years. He has connected my heart with others I never would have met had it not been for shared illness. Shared loneliness. I cannot imagine my life without those people. They are brothers and sisters of my heart.
Many are right here on Rest Ministries. All of you are my family–family I got to choose and embrace, not one that is messy, difficult, and absent. A family God hand-picked just for me in this cold and lonely season of life.
I am thankful for each of you. I am grateful for the difficulties that gather us here together in this home on the web. May your days be merry and bright, even when you feel alone. Because you’re not. Not ever.
May God set us in families. May He lead us out of our prisons with singing.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, reach into the lives of each precious brother or sister reading this today. Help them to feel connection and worth. Thank You for the gift of each other this Christmas. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
About the author:
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension, Interstitial Cystitis, and Essential Tremor. She had brain surgery in 2012 and another in 2014 and now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com
How do these communities help you feel less lonely?
This is Jeremy Camp singing “God with Us” reminding us of the greatest gift we have ever been given–the presence of our Lord and Savior. His gift of salvation gives us eternity with God and His Son. Perhaps you have friends and family around you–but even if you do not, God promises to never leave us (even when it feels like He has).
Rest in His presence. It is a glorious place to be. -Lisa