So I’m reading a mens book, or I suppose it is a book mainly directed toward an audience of men. The thing is, I was told to read it while at a girls small group with the topic of relationships. “Wild At Heart” is a book that exposes some of the secrets and depth of a man’s soul.  Naturally, I was interested. The more I have read, the more I have found applicable to not only romantic relationships but friendships as well. I borrowed the book from a friend and couldn’t promise they would get it back mark-free. Sure enough the pages are already filled with thin pen lines and jotted notes.

Here is a passage that stuck out the most –

God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end the cry of God’s heart is, “Why won’t you choose me?” It is amazing to me how humble, and how vulnerable God is on this point. “You will…. find me, says the Lord, “when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13) In other words, look for me, pursue me – I want you to pursue me. As Tozer says, “God waits to be wanted.”

The book that was probably a piece of advice to men toward women and our need to feel secure in someone’s desire for us. But when I read, it I realized that we all want to be wanted. We are like our Maker. Often we fail at making others feel wanted, believing we are valued by others and receiving the love offered.

College can be pretty rough; life for that matter can be pretty rough. Community is what can make or break a person. Without solid friendships we are left feeling quite alone…I’ve been there. At moments, I feel as though I will return to that broken lie. High school was hell. Home turned into a house. Relationships failed. Lonely was my new motto. I wore it, didn’t fight it, and let it become my identity. Notice, I am using words like, was, didn’t, failed – all past tense. Ironically, loneliness is something that comes all too easily in a world filled to the brim with people craving to be known and to know.

Loneliness has exposed my nastiest weakest of sides. Loneliness offers fear often. Loneliness has pushed me to the point of self hatred, jealousy, and hurt. But here’s the thing, my time spent with loneliness has provided me with the ability to identify with those struggling through it as well.

Today I was scrolling through Facebook when an incredibly gorgeous classmate’s VSCO link popped up. I clicked it open only to find a journal entry screaming hurt, screaming fear, screaming loneliness. It couldn’t be, this girl… She is stunning. She has a beautiful boyfriend. She always seems to have it together when I see her on campus. All of her words were raw and real. There were multiple things she said that I had forgotten others could feel too. Reading it I was reminded that it hasn’t been long since I was swallowed up in my loneliness. I realized I have always wanted to be her friend but my own comparison to her has stopped me short of making that reach. But her words, they showed she is no different in her hardships as I am, we all need to be loved on. We all crave deep and intentional friendships. We all struggle with feeling as if we are not enough.

I texted her, told her bluntly that she intimidates me (in the best way, of course), we made plans, and here I am now reflecting after a night of fun. She immediately told me she was shocked to know of my intimidation and that she had felt similarly toward me. We were both so stuck in feeling like we would not meet the expectations in friendships for the other that we got paralyzed in fear. I think this is the main issue with loneliness…We get so fearful of not measuring up that we sit with lonely a while longer. Reality is, if we were to put ourselves out there and get rejected, we would go back to being lonely. There would be a minimal loss. Chances are, if we put ourselves out there, acceptance, empathy, and joy can be found. Friendships kick loneliness to the curb. We have to step out and let the possibility of them outweigh the slim chance of rejection. I know, it’s a lot ore difficult than it seems, but I also know that vulnerability can lead to the most wholesome relationships you will find.

You are not alone. You never were and never will be. We are in this tough life together. Although each person has a different story, that also means they have something new and exciting to bring to a table. So allow your table to be filled. Reach out, be vulnerable, be willing, and be confident in who you have been made to be. You are able to be a friend to many.

words by Courtney Poos and photo by Kate Bartley

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