Is Anyone Else Lonely?

The original title of this blog post was ‘On Loneliness’. ‘On Loneliness’  you see, is beautifully detached.  It’s an academic meditation on a problem I’ve heard about, a problem for people ‘out there’.

But the hard thing about loneliness is that it’s not ‘out there’.  It’s personal.

There are lots of things I feel ashamed about. Anorexia’s a big ‘un. But you know, it’s easier to talk about eating disorders, than to say ‘I’m lonely’. Both make me feel ashamed.  But loneliness feels worse. Because loneliness is the thing that no-one else gets. It’s the thing you can’t say.  An unforgivable admission. A spreading stain of weakness that causes others to step away (further).

I’m choking on the words because I don’t want them to be mine: ‘I’m Lonely’.

But sometimes, I am. Sometimes I feel like it’s just me and there’ll never ever be anyone else. And even when there are others –   I can see them laughing and warm, but I just can’t reach.


Loneliness drives so much of what I do. The busyness.  The noise.  The lists.

The radio, humming in the background.

The flickering TV.  I’m here.  I’m in the world.  I’m not on my own.

The Blackberry, flashing.  Tap, tap, tap. Are you there? Do you need me? Tell me you need me. Tell me I’m not alone.


The fear of missing out – on the parties I should be attending, the invitations I should be receiving, the cards I should be getting, the messages I should be picking up.

Of stopping and being still and calling into the darkness and hearing – nothing.


I have good friends.   Two sets of wonderful families. A beautiful husband, whom I love.

But it’s not enough.

I need to be known. Drawn in to a relationship that’s bigger than me  – eternal, overflowing, uncontainable and irresistible. A Father who will never let me down.  A husband who will never leave.  A friend who will give their life for mine.

If I go up to heaven, you are there;
If I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
If I dwell by the farthest oceans,
 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.

Psalm 139:8-10







20 thoughts on “Is Anyone Else Lonely?

  1. Your honesty amazes me everytime when I read your blog. This helps me to take off my mask, even though I think I am an honest person. Yes, I feel lonely too. I feel I miss out so many things from life and I feel different from everybody else. But I know that God holds me up in His hands and He promised to finish His work in my life. Sometimes He let me to see not only the back side of the patchwork but the front as well. In those moments I realise He is still in my life and is working in secret, making beautiful the common.

  2. 40 years ago last Sunday I became a Christian. I thought that would mark an end to my loneliness. 40 years on I have learnt every single one of us is lonely – we yearn for a closeness other people around us, much as they might love us cannot give us. Recognizing that is the first step to recognizing the truth of psalm 139.

  3. Oh yes…
    So much of my journey at the moment is the battle of loneliness. And you’re right – it feels shameful.

    Sometimes I think about how lonely it is to not be a Christian though – and it is a greater loneliness.

    Fab post, once again :-)

  4. Are you sure you haven’t been snooping around my brain recently?!

    Lots of your last few posts have really hit where I am at the moment. This one especially. And it’s encouraging to know its not just me. It’s so often one of the hidden struggles – admitting to two of my closest friends last week that I was struggling was one of the most shameful things I’ve done. And yet you’re right, the gospel really does answer it. Our God really is THAT wonderful!

  5. Thank you so much for daring to put into words what many of us think but are too ashamed to say! we spend our days trying to fill them with anything to avoid the lonliness when actually we sometimes need to stop as the only person who can fill it is God. :-)

  6. Hmm I was thinking about that earlier when I was out. I was sitting there thinking ‘this would be so much better, so much more fun if I wasn’t on my own.’ I still had a lovely day but it makes me sad how much I have to do alone these days.

  7. Hi Sarah – no snooping, I promise! Isn’t it weird how this is the thing we find most shameful?

  8. BreakslikeCrystal – that’s a good way of putting it: doing something fun but feeling like it’s so much less without someone to share it with.

  9. You’re posts are so inspiring Emma. Thank you. I’m also reading you’re book at the moment. Great job! I’m learning lots.
    Just wandering if you are on twitter? x

  10. Thanks Jess: I’m not on twitter at the moment, thinking about it but haven’t yet made the leap!

  11. Yes, I can relate to being lonely. I appreciate your honesty and transparency about how hard it is- and the guilt/shame that it is easy to feel for admitting it or feeling it.
    This is my first time visiting- looking forward to following your blog. God bless you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *