ISOLATION: Even When We Feel Most Alone– We’re Not
By Sally Tippett Rains
Isolation, quarantine, loneliness, fear… if you are feeling any of that right now, this is for you. If you are having a great day, pass it by, but remember it for later in case you need it.
Today I’m thinking of a few people…
- Someone in the hospital. You are facing the one of the toughest times of your life, yet due to COVID-19 you can’t have your loved ones around you as you wish you could for support.
- Someone whose heart is breaking due to a circumstance you can’t control. You want to scream and yell; cuss and throw things. And you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone because no one truly understands.
- Someone who has had a medical procedure done lately– procedures/surgeries. So much pain is involved, whether it is the awful physical pain, or the fear of what the future holds, or even the fact that you feel you are like no one else. There is no one who truly knows what you’ve gone through.
- Someone who is missing someone either by distance, disagreement, or death. It’s hard to put into words just how much it hurts every day not to have that person next to you to have fun with, talk to, and just live with.
- Someone facing a big change. There is so much uncertainty in the future, why can’t it be like it used to.
- Someone who just wants to be happy, but you feel the world has gone mad. You feel like you are just all alone out there trying to live your life but there is so much unhappiness, anger and sadness. You just want your old life back…Maybe you long for the past but really want a new future.
If you fit into any of those categories have you on my mind today; and in my prayers.
COVID-19 is the most bizarre thing any of us has experienced; but something similar happened 100 years ago, as described by author Robert Kessler:
“Cities were gripped with fear: school was canceled; theaters, places of worship, and other places of “public amusement” had been shuttered. That month alone (Oct. 1918) 195,000 Americans died, making it the deadliest month in American history; the killer was none other than influenza… perhaps the second deadliest disease outbreak in human history. Though the pandemic lasted just 15 months, 500 million people worldwide fell sick and it killed between 3-5% of the world’s population.”
So we are not the first to experience this. Think about it: if 3-5% of the entire world were lost, that means 95-98% of the world SURVIVED.
Our ancestors survived, obviously or we would not be here. So you have survival in your blood. You have strength and boldness in your DNA. You will get through this and it will be a great story to tell YOUR grandchildren some day.
We are fighting to survive the virus– and many other things that life is throwing us–and many of us feel isolated and alone. We are all fighting unknown (or known) battles and we sometimes feel all alone in our personal struggles.
Well as you guessed I’m going to say you are not alone because God is here with you.
“Well He’s not helping me!” you may be thinking.
Sometimes in anger about situations that we did nothing to deserve, we get so mad at God. So mad! But as my wonderful and late friend the Rev. Phil Niblack once told me:
“It’s ok to be mad at God. As long as we stay in a dialog with Him, He understands. He is our Heavenly Father and just like our earthly father we get angry and even sometimes lash out. But guess what? He understands just like our earthly fathers and He is always here for us no matter what.”
On some days when we are angry or scared, it’s hard to read the words “God is good.” But it’s true. On our worst days, it’s good to remember God is good. He is Good when things go right and He is good in the midst of our isolation.
God does not cause bad things to happen to us, but if we allow Him to, He will be with us throughout. I’ve had many times I felt isolated, like I was the only one going through something. Most of the times things turned out ok– and all my worry was for nothing. But sometimes it didn’t go my way. Sometimes I prayed so hard and it was not meant to be. I know that’s happened to you, too.
During those times we can choose whether we want to be mad at God or whether we want to lean on Him and have Him help pull us through. Believe me I’ve made both choices and trusting God and letting Him help me is the best.
Ricky Ricardo used to say to his wife, “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.” During my toughest times I trust the Lord even though I don’t understand His plan. I know there will be a day when I get to Heaven when He’s got some “‘splainin'” to do. On that day it will all make sense.
Even when I am in a room by myself writing this I am not alone. God is guiding me with what to say and hopefully how to say it.
Even when you are all alone reading this right now, you are not alone. For one thing I am thinking of you and praying for you and most importantly God is there for you.
Sometimes it seems things pile up. “What else can happen?” I never say that because I well know that more can and might happen!
“Oh you have gone through so much” people say to people who have gone through a lot. OK, many of us HAVE gone through a lot, but nothing will put you back in your place that you are not the most unfortunate person in the world as hearing other people’s stories.
During times when it seems like everything is falling apart I think about Caroline Kennedy and all her family went through. OK, I’m not so pitiful.
But when something is happening to us– like you in your present situation–it’s happening and you are going through it. It is unique to you, and difficult– but it’s not something that is impossible to overcome.
There’s a saying “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”
I don’t believe He brings us to our negative situations, but I can honestly say I would not be here today had God not brought me through my situations and I’m sure many of you can relate.
When people pray for us, if we are putting our life in God’s hands we can feel lifted up by those prayers.
You know how some days you are just so stressed out and you can’t find a peaceful place no matter what you do– and then the next day, or maybe a couple hours later you feel a surge of energy and somehow you are able to pull through? I call that being “refreshed.” Sometimes when I am at the end of my rope I need to get refreshed.
Jumping into a cool swimming pool does it for me– and believe it or not, on a particularly bad day for my family one of my sisters and I spontaneously jumped into a swimming pool with our clothes on! We became so refreshed; we laughed and splashed and it was an unbelievable rush as well as a soothing relief.
You may not be able to jump in a pool but you can imagine yourself doing what helps elevate your spirits. You might get “refreshed” by a brisk walk, a bubble bath, getting some “Word” (looking in the Bible or referring to your favorite verses), calling a friend, or taking a nap.
Remember you are not alone. You can make it through anything life hands you– and you are YOU so you will do it with grace and dignity. You will choose happy and allow fun to creep into your seemingly bad days. You will continue to strive for Excellence as you face what you are facing– realizing you are not perfect and should not aim for perfection. Leave that to God.
We can only do the best we can do– but we sure can do our best. I’m thinking of you today. If you are going through something, try thinking of others. Drop someone a line, a card, or give them a call. By helping lift others we ultimately raise our own spirits.
Our tough times remind me of one of my favorite movies. In the words of Terrance Mann from Field of Dreams: “There’s something out there and if I have the courage to go through it what a story there will be to tell.”
You can do this whatever you are facing. Have the courage to do it and what a story you will have to tell!
I’m praying for you. Choose Happy.
” I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
“…And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”- Matthew 28:20 KJV
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” — Isiah 41:13
“Information helps you to see that you’re not alone. That there’s somebody in Mississippi and somebody in Tokyo who all have wept, who’ve all longed and lost, who’ve all been happy. So the library helps you to see, not only that you are not alone, but that you’re not really any different from everyone else.” –– Maya Angelou
“You can not be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.” — Wayne Dyer
Decide today if you will accept the challenges you are facing.
Do you want to feel sorry for yourself for the present conditions you are facing or do you want to live and be bold–one day looking back on this and being amazed at how you got through it.
If you choose being bold, make a list of ways you are already doing this. Once you write it down or actually say it you will be surprised to see how much you are already doing to succeed.
Deciding to make it through a disaster is the first part of survival. Those who say “this was the last straw” or who think they can’t take one more thing, are the ones who wither up. But you won’t do that. You are determined to make it.
The day I stop and realize all that has happened to me and say, “wow, I can’t believe that happened” is when I fall apart. It is giving me permission to be down in the dumps– because look at all I’ve been going thought. But survivors are the ones who may let it get to them for what I call “fifteen minutes” –which can be one evening or a few hours on the couch during the day– but then they get up and go.
The more positive you are, thanking God for your blessings, the stronger you get. Once we fall to blaming and pitying ourselves we lose our strength.
You are strong. You are doing the best you can– and you are doing a great job.
You are actually killing it if you think about. Keep going!
Choose Happy. You can do it!
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Sally Tippett Rains is a motivational speaker, inspirational writer and author of 13 books, including Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation.
Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation