In the past few days, I've found myself with a lot of time alone. I've been sick, which means I haven't left the couch much. And I've had a pinched nerve in my back, which means that when I do get off the couch, my back screams at me to find a place to rest. Sleep has evaded me, because nights mean I simply can't get comfortable.
And what all of this means for me is that I've spent a lot of time alone. And for any of you that know me, I am one who hates being alone! If I can, I find someone to walk to and from school with me. I hate studying alone, although goodness knows I probably would get more done if I did. I hate going for walks without a partner beside me, and I hate not sharing a room with someone.
But I'm learning. Slowly. The other day I stood in the kitchen shuffling around for a can of soup, muttering to myself about spending the evening alone on the couch, a thought stopped me right in my tracks. What is it about being alone that I find so terrifying? I asked myself. Am I afraid to face myself - or worse - God?
And I've thought a lot about that question since then. I've thought a lot about how the more we look within ourselves, the more we see the Creator. The more we understand ourselves, the more we understand the Image we bear. Those thoughts seemed to push me even farther into unfamiliar territory ... of loving the time spent alone. Of using those times to reflect on the One who created me, of exploring my thoughts and hopes and dreams in the hopes of hearing what God might be speaking to me.
It seems to me that when I am stripped of friends, of a job, of school, of a familiar family ... it's in those places that I seek the one who never leaves my side. It seems that it is in the quiet of a walk alone, or a night spent on the couch blowing my nose incessantly, that He finds us there. Because life is full of distractions, be them good or bad ... but sometimes they need to be pushed aside in order for us to see What truly matters.
Maybe instead of running from being alone, I need to run towards those moments. Maybe they are sacred and precious and need to be held onto no matter the cost.