I remember a time not too long ago when weekends were incredibly sad and depressing for me, especially Sunday afternoons.
Weekends just seemed to remind me that I was SINGLE. And LONELY. During the workweek, everyone was around on social media and posting about work things. I ran my own little business and felt “connected,” at least on the Interwebs. But on the weekends, the work posts dwindled and the family pics started popping up. Family time. Family chores. Family movie nights. Date nights. Morning doughnut runs.
It just made me feel lonelier. The weekends were quieter. Here in my apartment where I lived and worked alone, states away from my immediate family, weekends weren’t for snuggling with my sweetie a few minutes longer or for waking up and drinking coffee while discussing the day’s plans or for picking up mom for a shopping run or for meeting my boyfriend for dinner and a movie. They were just quiet.
On Sundays, I would visit churches and sometimes never get out of my car as I watched family after family file inside—beautiful couples with beautiful children, smiling and happy and not lonely, not single, not a loser girl in her thirties with a dirty car, half-wet hair, living month to month in a studio apartment with mismatched furniture and chipped plates.
Some Sundays I would just sit there and sob like a crazy person, feeling utterly behind in life and wondering when I’d ever get it together or start making better relationship decisions or if I’d ever get married and have a family or a nice home or a retirement account.
I felt less-than. And so sometimes I didn’t even go in. It would just remind me of what I didn’t have. Of how I wasn’t good-enough. Of what a loser lonely person I was.
Whoa, baby. But seriously, am I the only one who’s ever had these moments???
Or I’d go to the coffeehouse later that day and watch couples and families file by the big picture window, smiling, holding hands, holding ice cream cones, husbands and wives tousling their kid’s hair, holding their little girl’s hand.
Yeah, Sundays kind of sucked for a while.
But they don’t suck anymore.
And it’s not because I have a boyfriend, because he works Friday through Sunday and weekend date nights are almost nonexistent. It’s because I have COMMUNITY now. I do not feel family-less. I have a variety of people in my life. A number of communities I belong to. People to call. Places to go to fill my love tank beyond a coffeeshop and the arms of a boyfriend or, back then, the belief that having a boyfriend would fill my love tank. I have purpose in my life. Jesus is healing me, and I am learning of His love for me. I reached out for help in my depression.
I have girlfriends I can call for tacos.
Today, Sunday, I felt those old lonely feelings creep up. Truth be told, I skipped church today. The friend I go with on Sundays wasn’t feeling well, so I took it as a sign to sleep in. Not that there’s anything wrong with sleeping in on occasion, but this was week two of not going. And the past few weeks I had started to pull away from community a bit, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the change from “solo-live-my-own-life-behind-the-computer-and-at-home” girl to “super-involved-getting-asked-to-serve-and-having-a-place-to-be-each-night-of-the-week” girl.
Anyways, I had pulled back a bit these past few weeks. And I felt loneliness creeping up on me today. After planning out my week, tidying up the apartment, and taking a shower, I decided to go get some tacos and come back to write this weekly blog post, even though my spirit felt kinda sad and lonely. Like old times.
Before I left my apartment, though, I sat in the car and sent a text to a girl in my small group I hadn’t seen in a while, reaching out. Checking in. Then, I sent a couple more texts. Reaching out. As I drove away and reached the taco place, I sent a text to my girlfriend who lives nearby, knowing she’s on a diet plan, knowing that diet plan doesn’t include tacos. But oh, what the heck. I asked her anyways.
And she came.
Everyone needs a cheat day. (I’m a bad influence!)
And while this blog post is getting written a little later than normal and is not the topic I thought it would be, I am reminded of how amazing it is to have a couple girlfriends I can call or text during the week for dollar-taco runs or to attend a meeting or a worship night. How this community pretty all much started when I reached the end of myself and recognized my depression—weeping on my scratchy, carpeted floor; pulling out my Celebrate Recovery Bible and looking for a meeting.
Now here I am almost two years later with a Sunday church home and church family and a friend to sit with; a member of two small groups; a member of a worship team and exercising my passion with cool people with mad talents (whom I also get to practice with on weekends—yay, family!); and a handful of awesome, local girlfriends who know my stuff—like REALLY know my stuff—and love me anyways.
Reaching out was the key. Realizing I couldn’t do life alone was my pivotal point. Realizing I couldn’t pull myself up by my own bootstraps was the first step.
We NEED community. Loneliness is so much more than just being without a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a husband or a wife.
Who can you reach out to today?
Have a great week!!!