Chaplain's Corner: Leaving Loneliness

June 2019

Loneliness is a universal experience that most people struggle with at some time in their life. For many people, it might be just a temporary feeling that comes and goes but doesn't last that long. However, some people experience loneliness so often that it leads to emotional and physical pain in their lives.

Some people tend to feel loneliness more than others because of the circumstances in their childhood. For example, growing up with an unaffectionate or overly critical parent, or having been bullied as a child. Others might experience loneliness because of a traumatic event in their life such as divorce or the death of a loved one. And others might experience loneliness because of moving away from established, long-term relationships to a new location. And many people feel lonely even in their marriages because the relationship did not produce the closeness they expected or because of hurts that have built up over a period of time that led to both people closing off their hearts and communication with each other.

Not only does loneliness affect our emotional and mental health, but it effects our physical health as well. Research shows that loneliness contributes to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and arthritis, and that lonely people are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

That's the bad news. However, the good news is that there is a cure for loneliness. The first step is to form a relationship with God, the Father, through Jesus. Sin has separated us from God and each other. But Jesus came and took the punishment for our sin that separated us from God so we could be forgiven and have Jesus actually come and live on the inside of us and begin to experience His love for us. I know this is true because I have experienced it. I was so lonely that I hurt at times, even though I was with people most of the time. But when I surrendered to Jesus and allowed Him to come and live in me that all began to change. It says in the Bible that Jesus came to "heal the broken hearted" and that He "sets the lonely in families." He does this by healing those wounds on the inside of our hearts by leading us to people who will truly care about us and be our friends.

A simple prayer is this if you have never surrendered to God: Lord Jesus, I know that I have tried to live my life without You. I ask You to forgive me for this and to come and live in my heart and direct my life from this point on.

If you already know Jesus as your savior, then I would suggest the following:

1. Stop destructive self-talk such as telling yourself you are unlikeable;

2. Study the Bible and meditate on scriptures that depict God's view of you and love for you;

3. Make the effort to be with other people, such as joining a ministry or charity to help others. As Jesus said, "Give and it will be given to you." Sow seeds of friendship with other lonely people. There are plenty of lonely people out there. To go further in depth about loneliness, go to rightnowmediaatwork.org and search Loneliness." There are many resources there to help you.

To contact me, if you want to talk to me about this, or anything else, my personal cell number is (513) 505-3761; my personal email is richfemia7@gmail.com. Anything that we talk about is confidential and will not be shared with anyone else.


Thank you,

Rich Femia
FSE Corporate Chaplain

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