On Loneliness in a Time of Facebook

For Lent I gave up my personal facebook account. It’s been a good spiritual exercise thus far for sure. Truly not seeking out the validation of friends has been an experience that has stretched and grown me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Not to mention the time I have for other things.

It’s also served to highlight my isolation since our move. I love living here and I know leaving our old community was the right choice but I had quite a few IRL friends there. Here? Well, I have a few co-workers but they all live a half-hour or more away. And there is the one mom at my kids’ school I kinda know. And then, my kids’ teachers. That’s it. That’s all folks!

99.9% of the time, that’s more than what I need. Sometimes it would be nice to have someone to go down to the beach with or share a cup of coffee with, but the reality is, I live in a community with almost nothing in common with my neighbors. We have an overwhelming sense of community but very little sense of companionship. No one in our neighborhood has kids my age and the wives are all military wives who are transient in nature and therefore stick close to their own, I get it. And as an outsider, even if you’re super outgoing (I’m not) it’s difficult to break in. All the “newcomer” stuff is geared to the military (much of it happening on base, where I cannot go).  Even the autism community meets publicly quite a ways away and has thus far managed to meet only when I have to work (I never get enough notice so I can ask off). So, finding friends with much or anything in common is pretty difficult, even one or two.

In this situation, when one closes oneself off from an avenue of social media, it’s quick to become lonely for one or two friends to talk to occasionally.

And then this is where John 3:30 comes in. In admitting I need a few friends sometimes, I am admitting I need Him. I need Him to open doors I can’t open myself to make this happen. And maybe it won’t happen his Lent, but I have to trust in His will and as I allow Him to increase, and decrease myself, I am sure it will all work itself out the way it is supposed to. It’s something I would have despaired of a few years ago, but now, can be at peace with. I’d like to take credit but I’m sure it’s all Him. For sure I would be much lonelier now without both facebook and God!

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