You are not alone: God has promised to never forsake you, to never abandon you. He walks with you every step of your day because he desires your fellowship.
“No matter how lonely I may feel, I know that God is walking alongside me.”
I heard these words a little over two years ago from a woman named Odelia. At the time I was in Arequipa, Peru, at an elderly home for those with no family. Every inhabitant there had lost one or more of their five senses, leaving communication amongst the community difficult and scarce. I wondered at how lonely that must be - to spend your final days surrounded by people, but unable to communicate with them. My sister Frances and I found a friend in Odelia that day. She regaled us with tales of her youth, corrected my Spanish, and told us the story of Our Lady of Arequipa. Her stories captured my mind, but her vulnerability captured my heart. She shared that she had never married, had no way to find her siblings, and had no children to call her own – there was very little physical companionship in her life. Yet, she was not afraid of her days. She declared boldly that she was never alone because God walked with her through this life. Every day when she woke-up He grasped her hand and guided her through the day. He gave her gifts of sight and hearing to glorify Him in her words and actions. He was her constant companion. She told us happily,
“One day, God is going to walk me straight to Heaven.”
Loneliness is no stranger to us. As these days of quarantine continue to pile up on one another it is easy to feel isolated - to struggle with the reality of the situation. It is during times like these that we must remember that God enters into our struggles. We will never outrun his loving dominion. As we read in scripture,
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Do not be discouraged. God has given us companions in this life for when we feel we have none. God made his son just like us so that we would have someone to cry on, to lean on, and to entrust our frustrations and sadness in. God made Jesus human so that we would have a companion. He has answered all our cries and prayers with the accompanying presence of his son. Even up on the cross, he did not leave Jesus alone - Mary was at his feet, sharing in his suffering. We too can turn to our Heavenly Mother, clinging to her like a child when we are scared and afraid. Let us not also forget that we have a merciful Father to whom we can turn to, the Holy Spirit who lifts our souls and assists us on our journeys, a guardian angel to protect us at our every turn, and a legion of saints and angels standing at the ready. Some days our Earthly lives may leave us feeling alone, but we must always remember that God has given us Heavenly companions to walk alongside us every step on our journey to Heaven.
Fellowship with God
Not only has God given us companions on our journey to Heaven, but he has also promised that he will never abandon us. We see this in the book of Deuteronomy,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
If God says it, there is no reason to doubt it: He desires your fellowship. You have been made in God’s image, able to care, love, and understand, so that you could have a relationship with our loving Father. Genesis tells of a time when Adam and Eve heard the voice of God in the Garden of Eden - He came to walk with them, to be their companions. This is what God wants of you and what Odelia so beautifully expressed. God is with her always. He gives her gifts and in return she glorifies and grows closer to him. It is a loving relationship that flowers because of her understanding. We too can have this with our God. We are God’s greatest creation. He did not put us on this Earth just to forget about us. He continues to challenge us, to strengthen us, to walk with us when the going gets tough. He gives us gifts so that we may recognize that even in the lowest moments he is present. Like a rainbow at the end of a storm, God is there.
So even when our hearts are weighed down with discouragement, and it feels as if God is far away, remember that you do not walk this journey alone. God’s heart is moved by our suffering. He rewards us in our sacrifice and holds us tightly amidst the storms of our hearts. His heart opens to ours and breaks along with it. He does not watch from a distance, he is there right alongside you.
I challenge you to look for God in your days. It is a humbling and peaceful experience that will often take your mind off your trials and tribulation. Show Him gratitude for the highs and the lows - he has walked you through both for a reason. Reflect on what he may be trying to show you, create for you, and lead you to. Putting Him at the center of your actions is a beautiful reminder that He is present in everything that you do - that He has not and will not forsake you. I also challenge you to remind yourself every day when you wake up that God is reaching out to grasp your hand. He holds it tightly in His and guides you through your day. He knows where you are going and will lead you confidently there. Abandon yourself to Him. Glorify Him in each step that you take. Take comfort knowing that He is present and leading you straight to Heaven.