Alright ladies, we’re gonna dive into something I know every single mother grapples with- loneliness.
Going from coupled to single, especially with kids, is no easy feat. Even if your previous relationship was not great, chances are you still felt like you had someone. Someone you had history with. Someone you made plans with. Someone you envisioned a future with.
And when that someone is gone, it’s the most unnatural feeling at first. Rediscovering your identity in Christ is absolutely critical to the healing process, but even the most healed and healthy among us still deal with the desire for intimate fellowship with a man.
God knows that desire is a real thing. In fact, He puts desires in our hearts that cause us to seek His plans and His purposes for our lives, which could include a future relationship. When it comes to these desires, Psalm 37:4 (NLT) says, “Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” That sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?!
HEART CHECK: NOT ALL THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART ARE FROM GOD.
The only way to know if a desire is from God or not is to seek a life of honoring Him first. In doing so, you end up on the receiving end of His protection and provision. If a desire is not from Him, it’s a temptation, which He has the power to protect you from. But if a desire is from Him, He promises to provide it to you when you delight in His plans for your life, over your own.
(Win/Win for you in the Heart’s Desires Department.)
What does all this have to do with loneliness? Feelings of loneliness often relate directly to our unfulfilled desires, whether they are godly or not. Conquering loneliness involves understanding the root of our desires, and surrendering them to God as His plans unfold.
7 Ways to Overcome Loneliness As a Single Mom
Defeating loneliness is important, because it puts you in a right frame of mind to view situations wisely. Being lonely puts you at risk for under- or over- emphasizing your kids’ needs but it can also be a hinderance when it comes to entering into a healthy relationship down the road. Think of it this way– It’s far better to start a relationship with someone because you want them in your life, rather than settling for some guy’s attention because you feel like you need someone.
CHECK YOUR HEART. Psalm 146:3-4 (BSB) says, “Put not your trust in princes, in mortal man, who cannot save.” Now I’m not saying any of ya’ll are trying to seek a man for salvation from sin, but putting trust in another human being to save you from anything, including loneliness, is a recipe for disaster. The deep needs of the soul can only to be fixed and filled by God–you can be assured that anything else you attempt to put in that sacred place will come up way short. If you ever find yourself saying, “I need a man to feel complete,” you are right. That Man is Jesus.
TALK TO GOD. Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Prayer is not about begging God to do something, uncertain if He even notices. In the book of Samuel, Hannah prayed desperate, ugly cry prayers to God. She held nothing back from God when it came to her heart’s desires. God is willing and able to heal us from the pain of loneliness, whether by changing the nature of our heart’s desires, or fulfilling them in His time and His way. Prayer is about surrender, knowing God hears you, knows what’s best for you, and will do something about it.
FIND PEACE. After that verse about bringing your needs before God, Philippians 4:7 goes on to say (NLT) says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Loneliness is a HUGE threat to your peace. It makes you stress about being alone forever. About whether your kids will have a godly man in their lives. About why that guy from high school started (or stopped) watching your Insta-stories. But when you trust God to handle your needs, He promises a peace that keeps you steady, despite whatever thoughts may creep into your head. A heart guarded by peace is extremely valuable, because it will help you discern who is worth trusting in the future (because a man who himself has peace in Christ will understand that he needs to protect yours).
THE WARFARE OF WORSHIP. Let’s get real. Temptation is a real thing. Triggers are all over the place and can leave us one text away from getting involved in something we’ll eventually regret. Psalm 149:6 says, “Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands…” Worship isn’t just for opening up services on Sundays- it’s a spiritual weapon of war, to be used at any time we need to call upon the Hero of Heaven to empower us in battle. Feeling isolated? Worship. Imagination racing? Worship. Tempted to text your ex? Worship. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love to belt “This is how I fight my battles!” alone in my closet in situations like these. But even quiet prayers of gratitude, declaring all God is in His might, have their place in these situations. However you do it, a lifestyle of praise makes dealing with issues like loneliness so much easier.
TAKE A TIME OUT. I know we all have songs and movies that we love. But we have to be aware of the effects they have on our emotions, and choose accordingly. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NLT) says, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.” So if listening to old BoyzIIMen slow jams or watching “The Notebook” leaves you feeling lusty or lonely, maybe think twice. Otherwise you are sort of just torturing yourself…
LIVE YOUR LIFE. Life does not begin when a man enters your life (just as it didn’t end when a man left your life). Psalm 34:8 (NLT) says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” Taking refuge in God means trusting in His plans, and waiting on Him while He knits things together. But waiting is not passive! When we wait on God, He frees us from loneliness to truly enjoy Him, and what He’s put on the menu In the buffet of life. So go paddle boarding. Sample Ethiopian food. Learn to make a crazy good lavender latte. Whatever. Just stop waiting for someday to enjoy what God has for you right now.
FIND YOUR PEOPLE. Isolation and loneliness go hand in hand. When you are alone, you feel alone. When you feel alone, you may retreat from others and end up being more alone. It’s a nasty cycle. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT) says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Verse 12 even goes on to say, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Feeling lonely has less to do with you missing out on a relationship with a man, and more to do with you missing out on the kind of fellowship in community that can help you withstand these (and other) attacks. Ask God to help you connect with a supportive small group, a trusted friend, or encouraging family members who will walk alongside you and your children in this season.
What things have you done to try to combat loneliness in your own life? Leave a comment with your suggestions!