Loneliness as described in Webster's dictionary, is being without company,cut off from others,not frequented by human beings, sad from being alone, producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation. I have yet to meet a woman who doesn't desire "alone" time. But this wasn't what my friend was referring to. She was talking about what Harold Rupp quotes in the book, "A Woman in her Home", "loneliness is not so much a matter of isolation as of insulation."
There are many circumstances in which I have found myself insulated from others.
I have felt the deep loneliness of location - often separated from family.
I have felt the loneliness of aloneness - in a strange land, pressed on every side by many people.
I have felt the loneliness of wife hood - when my husband's tasks took him away, often and long.
I have felt the loneliness of motherhood - when no one understood. or could lend a helping hand.
I have felt the loneliness of friendship - when the phone doesn't ring and my box is empty
I have felt the loneliness of standing up for what is right - while others mocked, laughed, and looked on with pity.
I have felt the loneliness of deeply involved decisions - which no one else could solve.
At times I still experience loneliness.
The hardest thing to do during intense struggles, change, disappointments, pain, weariness, all of which can take place in the day to day life of a wife, mother, employee etc. is to continually reach out to others. It is during these times that we sometimes insulate our hearts in a defensive nature assuming that we will be protected. When in actuality we are allowing the disease of loneliness to have its perfect breeding ground.
One of the distinct characteristics I noticed in experiencing loneliness in my own life was my focus had slowly shifted from pleasing God to looking at myself and allowing my circumstances to dictate how I felt rather than God and His word. I needed more than ever to reach out to others, attend a weekly bible study or mom's group and yet during these times I have every excuse in the world not to go, not to reach out, not to risk the possibility of feeling worse.
Dee Brestin in her book, "The Friendships of Women" states,
Intimacy is risky. No doubt about it. If I reach out to a woman to whom I am drawn, she may reject me. If I tell a woman that I love her, that I cherish her as a friend, she may respond little (or not at all). If I open my soul to another, trusting her with my dark side of failure, she may draw back in shocked silence (or she may tell others). If I love out of the overflow of my heart, promise another unfailing love until the day I die, then I have bound myself before God( and I bring upon myself His wrath if I break my vow) Risky. Risky. Risky.
It is risky, but as I shared with my friend, "God never leaves us, nor forsakes us." I encouraged her to begin attending the ladies bible study in her church. I told her, "It will take courage to fight through the walls that have been built up in her heart, but God will be waiting at the door." I prayed with her and reminded her that "she is not alone!" I am anxious to hear the report.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2