• Mandy

solitude

Updated: Jun 1, 2018


Week 3 of Alive is here!


One of the most valuable ways we can feel alive more often is through solitude. Alone time is something I’ve had to learn how to enjoy. I love being around people; they give me energy and life! God gives me energy and life as well, but in a different way. He restores my heart and soul through still, quiet, alone time with him. It’s amazing how much clearer we can hear God’s voice when we set aside time to let him teach, love and fill our hearts.


Quiet time in solitude has a way calming my soul. As we enter into a quiet space, we can let go of the weight of our thoughts, anxieties, and to-do lists. We can let go of the heaviness of life, and allow it to slowly shift from our own shoulders to Jesus’. Solitude has a way of transferring my focus from me, MY needs and MY wants, back to God. When I don’t pause to be in solitude, I find myself missing out on what God cares about most; loving him, and loving others. There is value in living our lives closely to the way Jesus lived his, and solitude was a regular part of his life!


I’m a list person, and as I’ve reflected on coming alive through solitude, I’ve decided to share a short list of the lessons I’ve learned, and ways I’ve grown through undistracted, alone time with God.


Time in solitude has taught me:


1. God is in control

I have to repeat this truth to myself on a daily basis. Actually, make that on an hourly basis.


Our plans for our lives will never beat God’s plans for our lives! No matter how amazing I think I can plan out my marriage, future children, holidays, job titles and more, my plans will never be better than God’s plans. Ever. The reason I believe this is because he has outdone my plans more times than I can count. If you take a step back to reflect on your life, I bet the same is true for you too. Aren’t you glad you didn’t marry THAT guy or girl you thought you wanted to marry when you were younger? Yup, me too. God is in control, and he has our backs. We don’t have to worry.


We may not understand why things are happening in the moment, but we can rest in knowing it’s for his and our good. He always has the bigger picture in mind.

The sooner I jump on God’s bandwagon, the sooner I have peace and joy. When I live my life like God is in control (because he is), I am more willing to go with the flow of life and relax, even when a situation is stressful or unpredictable. Retreating in solitude has a way of reminding me to slow down, trust God, and let go.


His ways are higher, and they are also better. God is in control, and I am not.


2. Humble confidence

Insecurities have a way of creeping into our minds don’t they? Our negative, self-destructive thoughts linger around as uninvited guests, and they need to be kicked out of our party! Alone time with the Lord has taught me how to combat insecurities, and believe in how valuable I am, even if I may not feel it.


Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “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 nor forsake you.”


As believers, Christ lives in us, and his resources never tap out. I feel tremendous, humble confidence knowing I can go to an almighty, loving father who makes his home in my heart. He will NEVER leave us! We can go to him for strength, boldness, courage, forgiveness, peace – the list goes on. All we have to do is ask! Our humble confidence doesn’t come from our own efforts, but from a God whose confidence is effortless.


We have a fighter in Jesus, and he wins every single round of our battles against insecurity, doubt and fear. We can trust and believe in his power within us, and approach each day with humble confidence.


3. To be raw with God

I have prayed my fair share of fluffy, impersonal prayers, but I’ve learned God longs for more from us. He wants us as we are, exactly as he’s created us. Solitude with God has taught me how to be real with him. Have you ever been tempted to pray a prayer you think God wants to hear instead of what you really want and need to pray? I’m convinced he loves us through our fluffy prayers, but longs for our authentic ones.


Time in solitude has helped me better understand who Jesus is. Reading scripture, sitting in silence and journaling in a quiet space alone has opened my eyes to how relatable and relational faith can be. We don’t have to be a certain way when we are in solitude with him, we just need to be ourselves with him.


If I’m feeling angry, frustrated or hurt, I’ve learned to openly talk with God about it. I’ve prayed my fair share of, “God, what the hell is this?” prayers. I used to try to censor myself, but over time I realized censoring is pointless! He knows what we’re thinking. Being raw with God is as freeing and alive as anything I’ve ever experienced, and I pray we all have the courage to rip up the fluff and throw it in the trash. Let’s get real.


I encourage you, with all of my heart, to spend time in solitude with the Lord. He can teach you, love you and restore you in ways only he can, and it is always worth it. Time alone with the Lord is always time well spent. We feel alive when we let him in.


I hope you have a wonderful week!


Reflections:

  • When can you set aside time for solitude with the Lord?

  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who encourage quiet time with the Lord?

  • How can we get real with God this week?

#palmsofjoy

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