Alone with Solitude

Hi there dear reader!

How are you? I do hope that you are well. It is fall here in the Midwest. As leaves fall away, I am reminded of all that we’ve fallen into, the new habits, rhythms and ideas of what life can be.

I recently got sick with COVID. In the midst of this season, I got used to my new routine. Classes helped me forget the uncertainty swirling around me. When I start adding in things, my time got full.

Over the past few months since starting school, gentle nudgings about rhythms emerged. Words like solitude continued popping in my mind but not finding their way onto my schedule. Now, being in a medically mandated season of aloneness, I find myself experiencing solitude.

I had this misnomer of solitude. I always imagined people who went to go find solitude were loners or hermits. Extreme, I now know, but for so long solitude held this connotation of weird, out of place and even isolated, like someone far off in the woods who didn’t want to be around people. Why in the world would anyone want that, let alone voluntarily seek it? And why would Jesus encourage it and mystics write about it as a key spiritual discipline?

Turns out, my idea about solitude is all wrong. When we enter into solitude, we are not escaping or retreating from something. Rather, we are tuning into the very thing that is around and surrounding us the choosing to join in on it.

Imagine this for a moment. You go to visit a friend. You show up at their house and the instant you walk in the door, they take your coat. Before you can say thank you, they realize you have nothing to drink and insist on getting you something. Now, they are in the kitchen, rattling off all the options. You follow them only to find every drink is on the counter. You start to ask how they are, when your friend realizes that you may need ice for you drink but there is none in the house, so they leave house to pick some up. You didn’t even get a chance to say hi before the very friend you have come to spend time with is gone!

That is how life can get with God. We can get so caught up in what we are doing to get closer to God that we actually miss being close. It is this that solitude ushers us back into. Not a space of being alone, but a space of being with the One we long to know.

Turns out, the answer is stilling ourselves and being in the moments with Him. Moments where it is just you and God at home sitting on the couch. When dishes are getting done or the pages of a book are being flipped. In this we get to lay down the thing we think will take us closer to God and actually be with Him.

Jesus invites us into a simple space to be with Him because that’s what He really wants is to be with us. It may have taken quarantine for me to figure this one out, but I do hope it doesn’t take that for you. If you feel lead to, take some time this weekend to sit and be still with God. You may find that the solitude is the very thing your soul needs.

Thanks for reading dear reader! Please, if there is any way I can be praying for you, email me or leave a comment. I’d love to lift you up!

Until next time grace and peace,

Danielle

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