At just seven years old, I knew the hurt of loneliness. My mother worked long hours overnight to pay the bills. My dad was an alcoholic and an occasional drug user. He couldn’t hold down a job and, to be honest, didn’t want to.
It was late and my father was passed out on the couch with aluminum beer cans spilling over the table. My younger brother and older sister were asleep and with my arms wrapped around my knees, I sat in the hallway of our little trailer. My mother was at work and there I was, alone. My heart ached so much for someone to care that at that moment I couldn’t sleep.
The nightmares wouldn’t go away, and I yearned for love and attention. But still there was no one. With a soft whisper, I cried out for someone to love me and never leave me. I had no idea who I was talking to, but my heart needed to speak the words aloud.
The next thing I remember, my mom was scooping me up and putting me back into bed. Somehow, even through the hurt, the loneliness, and the fear, there was a peace that allowed me to sleep.
Why is it that we feel such deep emotion? It’s as if our soul is screaming for someone to hear, yet there is no sound. Physical pain deep within that cannot be soothed. And to feel such a thing as a child…
Loneliness is so overwhelming that we desperately seek comfort – anything to ease the pain. But when we reach out, are we choosing things that are building us up or tearing us down? I knew, without a doubt, there was something more than what I had.
That same year, I had memorized a verse from the Bible. It’s the most quoted verse in all of scripture, and it’s one you have probably heard as well. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have eternal life.”
I didn’t know how He did it, but I believed that it was God who gave me peace that night. I didn’t understand anything about Him, but I knew He loved the world so much that He gave His son’s life for it. And even at just seven years old, I was part of that world.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Psalm 29:1 “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
In our loneliness, there is peace.