Loneliness, God, and our Crutches

Some of this will be obvious to you all, but I’m sure some folks here will connect with this. Feel free to skip the preamble and go to the questions below.

It’s always been my quest to let God shape me and to become the man He would have me be. Tonight it kinda clicked for me that all the setbacks I’ve had and most of the real sources of pain in my life* are from some unholy thing taking residence in my mind right where God should be. I realized I can identify many of the struggles in my life by a tic or crutch I used.

Here are some examples:

When I was young I was afraid to make myself vulnerable (I still am), so instead of asking out girls I liked I sat on my hands. My tic was retreating into myself. Puberty + other problems had me in a lot of inner pain and it was unbearable, so I’d repeat in my mind “mercy, mercy, mercy God” all the time. In college I was stressed and lonely, and my crutch was eating rich foods and drinking alcohol. When I’ve craved intimacy (including nonsexual intimacy) my crutch has been porn and masturbation. When I think about how I possibly embarrassed myself or wronged somebody my tic is a physical tic. When I developed anxiety and I was tormented by doubt and guilt and the thought that I wasn’t saved, I didn’t have a tic because nothing helped. I did however reassert my faith in spite of my feelings. That’s one example I have of relying on God over a crutch.

*Note: I have been blessed not to suffer much personal tragedy so forgive me if my issues seem small.

I think this all has a lot to do with the chemistry of the brain. When something is off (loneliness, fear, hunger, etc.) our brains make us (perhaps via pain) correct it. This video has the basics (yes it’s TedX but it’s fine):

For me the loneliness was a constant in all these things. And along with my crutches, I would further isolate myself when feeling these pains. And that just fed into it. The brightest times in my life were ones where I had fulfilling and steady relationships. The biggest strides I’ve made were accompanied by less loneliness regardless of how I related to others.

So basically what I wanted to discuss was this:

How do we replace our crutches with God?

Can we overcome chronic loneliness through a relationship with Christ?

How do you break yourself out of the cycle of loneliness? How do you connect to people meaningfully?

How do you guys pray in times of pain and/or sinful urges?

1 Like

Better question to ask: How do you pray in times of joy and what thanks do you give to God when you see him working in your life?

As to the rest, simply have an honest conversation with God. Tell him all that ails you. Then, have the faith and the trust to know he will guide you out of it. Change can be uncomfortable and scary. Have a conversation about that with him as well.


OP reminds me of some other previous poster.

But regardless… @DevoutChristian… or whoever you are.
Have you tried doing volunteer work to help those who are less fortunate than you?

Sid Lidz:
Religion is a crutch. Only cripples need crutches.

Arthur Lidz:
A crutch isn’t bad if you need it, Sidney.

Danny Lidz:
All of us are cripples in some way.

1 Like

To give my own answer I’d say… prayer is number one. The seasons of my life when I’d felt the least moved to sin and the most ready to do God’s will were when I had an almost constant conversation with God throughout my day. It was like a constant acknowledgment of Him and His goodness. Sometimes when it’s tough all you can say is the name of Jesus and all you can do is ask for mercy, but that’s enough. These days I’m more given to ask for strength.

As for loneliness… I still struggle to feel truly known by others. There are many people I love who love me back. I have good friends, but none that really know me the way I want to be known. I guess that kind of relationship may just be for God or a spouse.

People seem to forget God is not just there for you in the bad times, but also in the good.

Yes, all of us are cripples in some way but we are also so much more than that. In God’s eyes we are each miracles.

I am reminded of a story I heard and it really resonated with me:

A woman was lamenting that she wasn’t as smart as her high school classmates. No matter what she did, no matter how hard she tried she just couldn’t master math or science.

She wanted to be an astronaut. That was her dream.

She deemed herself a failure. A reject.

Until one day someone said to her, “God gave you exactly the intelligence that you need to fulfill His purpose for you in this life”.

And that really puts it all in perspective, does it not?

We all have a purpose in this life. We have been given all of the tools we need. God’s plan. Not MY plan.

How many people wake up each morning to food on their table, a roof over their head and family who are healthy and well?

What is it like to have cross words with a loved one only to have a knock on your door telling you your loved one has been taken from this world?

Every day. Each and every moment is a gift.

And, remember, in times that are too much to bear… God will carry you. Like “Footprints in the Sand”. What is too much to bear is only known to you and to God.

An attitude of gratitude. What did this day bring? Not the failures but the gifts God brought no matter how small they may seem.

The focus should be on Him. Trust and faith.

That is so True D! You hit on exactly on what I was meditating about! So many times we forget these simple perspectives to take them for granted! When we acknowledge God and to be thankful, and walk on the path daily it is only then you realise you are living in Gods world not the fallen one, and that is a huge difference! Thanks for sharing that I really appreciate your thoughts!

1 Like

Old Adage: Your destiny often waits at the end of the path you took to avoid it.

1 Like

I wanted to meditate a little more on your question in hopes that I can offer you some quality advice or suggestion as to how you can over come this roadblock.

Many years ago I had a similar problem, however my problem was not attributable of fear of loneliness but fear of abandonment. After losing someone close to me due to an illegal drunk driving accident, in which it took me many years to work through my anger issues and recover from. After a few years of my fiance’s untimely death in which I thought I was done grieving with, I starting dating again. However I had issues in my relationships and none of the relationships I was involved with ever worked out. It was at such time a friend who was a christian suggested I seek God to help answer what had ailed me so I started attending church to seek fellowship with other people. After many sessions while attending study groups where opening up to other people, became a cathartic experience, it is then I heard with more clarity of what I was avoiding in dealing with my problem. My problem was with forgiving and through that process I not only learned to forgive, but also discovered how to have a relationship with God, by opening up my heart and how to communicate with him. (More on this in a bit) but my point is that which serves as obstacles sometimes we can’t come to certain realizations on our own, or through our meditations and prayers, but its by engaging in fellowship with other believers in which God may speak through to reach you.

The questions you might ask yourself is: What are you doing to stay productive and makes you happy? Are you serving God in the way you are suppose to? What God given talents do you have and are you using them appropriately to serve God? Is there a traumatic issue that you experienced in your earlier life that hasn’t been properly addressed or that you are ignoring or not aware that you are ignoring?

If you are loving yourself first, then naturally you will attract more people to you due to your positive disposition. Having a sense of community is important and defining this for yourself by way of participation will cure your fear of loneliness.

Lastly the best way to hear Gods voice, and it works for me, is I make a concerted effort to connect with nature, like going on a hike, canoeing, or ride a bike somewhere to which I can appreciate a more natural surrounding. God is in all living things and going somewhere where one can just hear nature speak is also hearing God in his most natural form. Not only is getting away from the noise and going somewhere to stimulate your senses is beneficial for your health, but also is good for recharging the soul to clear your perspective for when you return to face your issues. If you do this enough times Loneliness will not be an issue. Once you can distinguish in more succinct terms to separate between the physical and the non physical and that we are spiritual beings walking the Earth in temporary vessels then you will be able to identify more acutely the connection that God is trying to show you. God is every where, in animals, a gentle breeze through the trees, a distant dog barking, a butterfly floating effortlessly, fellow Christians sharing their views or a hawk screaming out a signal while perched on a nearby pole, are all signs of communication that God will use to reach you.

I hope this helps and gives you some perspective as you look at tackling this. Cultivating your faith is hard work, but the rewards are great if you remain vigilante in this pursuit!

To the OP, there is just a little TMI in the OP. Don’t hurt yourself.

To the OP question: In what I now look at as the adolescence of my faith (undergrad years) I was a shy kid with fear that I would fail God.

Three principle/action pairings that helped pull me out of the muck:

1: That which you fear controls you. Every week do something that is (acceptable to God) that is outside of your comfort zone. Examples for me were asking out a girl, or public speaking or music performance.

2: Worry less about what God wants you to be/do, and just do something that is within the 98% of Gods knowable will in the Bible. A pastor once replied to my inquiry about how to know God’s will for my life by saying: God cannot steer a stationary bike; start moving and God will guide you.

3: When you have dug yourself a 300 foot deep pit… Simply turn around and start digging a set of stairs out, filling in the pit as you go. Move toward God, he will bless you and reach out to you; If you are saved, God is your Father and wants good things for you, Christ is the Good Shepherd and is responsible to deliver you through this life, and the Holy Spirit is inside you, with you to help you.

I am not countering or invalidating the importance of others here who exhort you to pray and listen. I am simply flipping that coin and pointing out that you have to use the talents (pun intended) that God gave you to participate in the process.

That is a lot of words. Simply put down something bad and do something right. Watch for God to bless it. Repeat.

May God bless you, but remember Jesus did not coddle, he forgave and called to righteous living and action.

1 Like