The Secret Place of Loneliness
Homeschooling is a lonely profession. Although my background, personality, and the way God designed me lends itself to be the “perfect” homeschool mom, I still struggle. It is lonely to wake up and be responsible not only for getting the kids ready for the day, but we must also “do school.” There are no other moms to chat with before school or get coffee with. I don’t have a “break” from my kids nor do I resent any of it.
My personality lends itself quite well to being a homeschooling mom. First, I love to be at home. Its crazy, but my joy and peace comes from being at home. I take much comfort in not going anywhere or doing anything. Next, I am an introvert. I don’t need much human contact to feel fully alive. I’m very content sitting on my bed reading a book or watching a show. Finally, I love my children. I really, really love them! They are fun and funny. Most days they are crazy silly and creative and I love being their mom. It is a huge honor to be able to stay at home with them and even more of a privilege to teach them.
With all of that, I still get lonely. And homeschooling truly does create a lonely aspect to life. Over the years, especially in the past few months, I’ve begun to see this lonely season in life (yes, it is just a season), as a way for me to enter into God’s secret place. Moses talks about this place in Psalm 91 and calls it a refuge.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4)
My mother babysat growing up during the summertime. One family had two daughters. One of the daughters was around my age and we became fast friends. Her name was Stephanie.
I loved sleeping over at Stephanie’s house every so often! One of the coolest things about Stephanie’s house was underneath the stairs going down to the basement was a hideaway. They had cleaned that space out and put together a secret place. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. There were soft, cozy pillows and Barbie dolls. What else do you need as a nine-year-old little girl? Nothing. I felt like it was the perfect little hideaway.
As a mom of five, with a crazy life, I wish I had a hideaway sometimes. If we had stairs in our house I could clean it out and put a bunch of pillows in there. I might not want the Barbies, but I most definitely would want some blankets. I would call it my “Napping Secret Place.”
The secret place of God is not secret. In fact, it is not hidden at all. It is found in the Person of Jesus Christ and the fact that God has always wanted to dwell with us. John 15 talks about this abiding and living in Christ. So when I’m feeling lonely, could this be the perfect season for which God hides me away and speaks to me?
What if God uses our lonely seasons to show us more of himself? What if our loneliness is the tool God uses to speak to us? Often God whispers to us the hope, the love, and the joy we need during the times when we are alone.
I’m not saying don’t seek out friendships or relationships, but I am saying: If you find yourself in a season where you feel very much alone, remember God sees you. In this secret place God might be speaking to your heart. Lean in. Listen close. Be ready to learn the lessons from loneliness He might have for you.