Alone But Not LonelyBy Kristina Kozakova
|Photo by Dreamstime|
Last autumn I fell in love. The guy I loved said everything I’ve ever wanted my guy to say. He and I stepped into a relationship that grew from genuine friendship. I felt like everything was the way it’s supposed to be, and my heart was full of assurance and hope.
Our relationship felt right. I was absolutely happy for a few months. After the first rush of excitement had quieted down, we were faced with the harsh reality. We were both students, and we struggled through complications of our different paths in the future. We started fighting for our relationship and we were fighting hard. I had a lot of hope for us because we prayed together a lot. Somehow, praying together gave us a satisfying sense of completing an item off of a “proper Christian relationship” checklist. But we were still lost. Finally, after a couple of exhausting months, the one I thought I really loved left me. He said, “Sorry. But you are just not the one.”
As he was driving me home for the very last time, I was staring out the window into the vast nothing. All that I had believed I could count on - my heart, my passion, my optimism, and my belief in some divine plan that God is supposed to have for me - disappeared. We approached my house. I said, “Goodbye,” and he said, “I’m so sorry.”
A million thoughts rushed through my head as I watched my love drive away: Why did God leave me when I needed him the most? We prayed together! We were so good! Why didn’t he hear us? I had never felt so unneeded and unimportant in my life. I never considered myself weak or easily broken, but there I was – giving up.
People say that the heartbreaks you experience in your youth often seem like the end of the world at the moment, but eventually they become just memories. I strongly believed that I would never get there. Even after I got over the words “you’re not the one” that rang in my ears every day for months, I still felt crushed. The deep awareness of my aloneness convinced me that I could never connect with anyone ever again. I wanted to stop aching. My usually optimistic and hopeful nature was protesting against my heart that just didn’t want to heal. I decided to look for active ways to pull myself back up.
I prayed a lot, even when I did not want to, because it was the only proactive thing I could think of. Most of the time it did not feel like I was being heard but somehow the prayers were still therapeutic. I did not want to stop searching for God because he was the only company that actually warmed my heart. Slowly but surely, I started to enjoy my time with God more than ever before. Each day of searching for peace was pushing me to change my perspective on loneliness. I’ve realized that my season of aloneness did not mean I had to stay so lonely.
I did not want to waste my alone period on being sad and miserable or waiting for something else to happen to me. Being alone was once the scariest state for me to be in. But I found that it does not have to be painful or feel hollow and meaningless. I found out that there is a lot of wonderful time to be spent with just me. I started to journal a lot and found joy in writing and hand lettering, which I still love to this day. I wrote to find out who I am, once again: what do I believe in, what do I like and why, what are my favorite places, moments, sensations, flavors, songs and sights. I tried out different ways of worship and prayer – I sang to Him, I talked about Him, I wrote in my journal as if I were talking to Him and I went on walks, imagining He is right by my side. I did things that I love, I did them a lot and with joy. I bought myself flowers, read in coffee shops and learned to feel complete in my own company.
I believe that your life does not have to be any less magnificent on your own. I am thankful for the relationship that left me so alone that I had to find God. If I have learned anything in my short time on earth, it's that I will never find happiness in love if I have not found it on my own. Loneliness does not say anything about who I am or that something is wrong with me. That alone season was a gift. Even though it didn’t feel like one at first, I decided to treat it like one. Now it is one of the most wonderful memories in the history of my relationship with God.