One of my favorite musical groups is the Gaither Vocal Band. Two years ago, their tour made a stop in Minneapolis. My husband bought tickets for us to attend. These seats were amazing! We were three rows from the stage. Nothing beats hearing David Phelps sing while sitting that close to the speakers! I think the music of the Gaithers’ is largely ignored by modern day Christians. I’m sure some churches still sing songs written by Bill Gaither since many are found in hymn books, but the southern gospel style music performed by the Gaither Vocal Band and those who are associated with them isn’t very popular among many in the area of the country where I live.
A few weeks ago we traveled to Indiana for our son’s wedding. Our oldest and youngest were riding with us. I made it clear that any music they may want to listen to would need to be heard through headphones. There is nothing like long road trips to work through my extensive playlist of Gaither music. I have listened to these songs MANY times. I know the lyrics. I know which group member is singing which part. I can even picture many of them since I’ve watched the You Tube videos so often! At one point, a song titled Where No One Stands Alone began to play. The song was written by Mosie Lister, a talented gospel song writer who recently passed away. I had heard the song often, but that day, the following lyrics pierced my heart and I fought back tears as I sang along:
“Like a king I may live in a palace so tall
With great riches to call my own,
But I don’t know a thing
In this whole wide world
That’s worse then being alone.”
When I was a young mom with four kids under the age of five, I dreamed of just having five minutes alone. When the kids grew a little bit, I found I had short moments of alone time, but those moments weren’t my own. They were spent doing the never ending mounds of laundry that were always taunting me, baking desserts to put in lunch boxes, cleaning bathrooms, picking up toys, grocery shopping, and all the other tasks that come with being a full time mom. I soon lost even those moments as, one by one, we pulled our kids from the public school system to homeschool them. Hours were spent gathered around our dining room table covering all the subjects that my children needed to learn.
But one day I blinked my eyes and my older daughter was getting married. Another blink found my younger son moving to another state to complete the internship requirements to graduate from pastoral college. Another blink found my baby moving to her own apartment forty miles away. That blink was followed with one that saw our oldest move into his own apartment. My husband’s job became time consuming–and much of that time was spent in another state doing whatever it is he does for work. (I still don’t really know what to tell people when they ask me what he does) Suddenly, I found the alone time I so desperately wished for years ago to be a regular part of my days.
I told myself I would find things to do. I had house projects to work on, another wedding as our son was getting married, a grandbaby on the way. Surely these things would keep me busy. They did for a while. We even threw in a move of our own to add to the
excitement stress of our lives. Weddings, births, and moves behind us, I now find myself alone more often than not. Moving, especially, has contributed to this as I left behind the few friends I had in the town we had lived for twelve years. The move closer to my husband’s work has been such a blessing to him. I am thankful he no longer has the long commute he once had. (Although now he no longer works from home very often since he is just a few minutes from his office) I know I will especially be thankful this winter when he is not on the roads as much. But his job takes up most of his time and I see that only increasing as his career is moving in a direction where he will advance.
All that said, I have to admit that I am often lonely. Facebook, Twitter and other electronic communication just isn’t the same as having someone to meet for coffee and really talk…face to face. I’ve never been a person who needs a ton of friends. I’ve always been an introvert. Yet, I am learning that being introverted doesn’t necessarily equate to enjoying being alone the majority of the time. Besides, even though social media can be a wonderful thing, it can also contribute to feelings of depression and self hatred. I am trying to cut way back on the time I spend on those sites. That does add to the loneliness, though.
Jesus said He will never leave me. I understand, even on the days that I find myself crying tears of loneliness, that He is right here with me. I have tried to remember to go to Him more and more in those times. Still, it is hard to not desire human connections with other ladies, especially those who may understand the stage of life I am in. I trust that God knows what He is doing in bringing us here, though. I wait to see what those purposes may be, all be it I may not always understand and wait patiently.