I'm a "people-person" by nature. I enjoy being around people so much so that I thrive in the presence of others. There are some who consider themselves loners and prefer to keep to themselves. It's not that I don't enjoy the occasional solitude - time to think, read, meditate or process - it's just that I am energized by the opportunity to entertain, interact or engage with people.
Only recently has God been teaching me that it's okay to be "alone." And sometimes it's more than okay - it's necessary.
"When they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples." Mark 4:34
Is that what it takes? I have to get completely alone with Him in order to be able to be His disciple - to be taught what it is He needs me to learn. Mostly, these lessons include a long, hard look in the mirror. Instead of looking to others for security, affirmation, or even my identity, I'm forced to face the reflection of my own flawed self staring harshly back at me. Despite my desire for people in my life, I'm coming the realization that I must first be secure in my own self before I can truly offer myself to others.
"We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves!" - O. Chambers
Is it truly possible that I might not know myself?! Would I dare recognize the pride, laziness, jealousy, insecurity or flaws within? Am I willing to accept the distinct reality that I am not who I need to be?
Dare I look within and realize God cannot fully use me until I let Him deal with me...
"When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation , disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship - when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us." - O. Chambers
Here's the truth. When I am "all alone," I am not ever really alone. Being all alone is ridding myself of all the distractions that keep me from Him. I can confidently claim He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). Yet the required solitude actually allows me to more fully experience His presence. This is where He deals with my soul. This is where He shows me the things within that I have refused to see or acknowledge. This is where me and God - alone - deal with it.
All alone isn't so scary. In fact, it will be rewarding if I truly embrace the opportunity to let it be just us. If through the suffering or heartbreak I am stripped of all of "me" then I've allowed Him to have His way with me and will then be able to experience the fullness of His will. In my case, that allows me to be back in fellowship with others - people whom God allows me to share my experience and what He's done for and with and through me.
I'm facing the solitude today. Yes, all alone can be lonely. But I'm embracing it and holding onto Him.