I clearly remember sitting on my bed, tears pouring down my face. I was exhausted emotionally and physically. Two months prior I was confronted, actually blindsided, with the possibility that I was going to be unable to birth my own children. Now, as I lay face down on my bed, that possibility had become a likely reality.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to adopt. I knew, even before I became a follower of Jesus Christ, that I was being led to adopt children. And when this life changing news came to us, we were already starting the process to adopt a baby through our local Christian adoption agency. But there is something inside most women that just kind of expects to be able to get pregnant and give birth to their own biological child. I believe it is a desire God has naturally given us women. He created us to be fruitful and multiply. He created us to be caring, loving and nurturing. He created us to care for, love and nurture a child. That desire has been growing inside of me for many years and finally, I was ready to make it come true.
Did you catch that?
I was ready. But God said….not yet.
But sadly, I wasn’t in a place to hear “not yet”. I heard a BIG, FAT “NO!”
I was devastated. I was angry. I was beside myself. There was nothing I could do. This was completely out of my control.
And sadly, instead of seeking God, I retreated into myself.
It saddens me to look back on this time of my life. It was a very lonely time. Yes, my husband tried to help me. He comforted me and tried to give me my space and time to grieve. But I still felt very alone.
I was ready to have a baby. It seemed that ALL of my friends were getting pregnant and having babies. I think everyone in my town was pregnant right then. Or so it seemed. I wish I could have said that my first instinct was to run to God and seek His face, His word. To be strengthened by His love and strength. To be encouraged and find hope in His plan for my life. Wouldn’t that have been great?
But the reality is, I turned away. Not forever, but for a season. And I believe God knows this can and will happen. We are so overcome with grief and sadness that we turn away from anything good. We become filled with despair and our hope we once had, starts to fade. And as we sink into a deep pit that seems to grow larger with every passing day, it becomes harder and harder to come out of it. And then, one day, we look around us and we have literally pulled away from everyone. Everyone that loves us and wants to help us. They really don’t know what to say. They don’t know how to help. So this chasm develops between us and those that are trying to love us.
We have completely isolated ourselves.
And inside our isolation, we have convinced ourselves that this is where we should be. We believe somehow, that this is reality. No one can help. No one understands.
And if we stay there long enough, we start to believe that no one cares. That we don’t matter anymore. That this is our new normal. We begin the work of building those walls around us, so that even as we may have to enter back into this world, we can keep people out, can keep ourselves in.
Isolation slowly defeats and can eventually destroys…you and your relationships.
Isolation is the act of isolating something, a state of separation between people, a feeling of being disliked or alone.
You don’t have to be locked up in a room somewhere for years to be isolated from others. We can lock ourselves out right in the midst of the ones we love.
You and I were made for relationship with others! We were never meant to be alone, nor to carry the burdens of this world on our own.
I am sad when I look back to the beginning of our infertility journey. I wish I wouldn’t have isolated myself from the ones I love. I am sad because I thought I could handle it myself. The truth…I couldn’t. I didn’t. I didn’t grow in my relationships through this struggle, I grew farther apart from the ones I loved. I wish I would have let them into my heart. There were a few who may have known the external reality of what was going on in my life. But I didn’t share any of it with my family, those that God created to be the closest to me. Did I want to protect them from being sad? Did I want to not have to be reminded of the heartache of not being able to have a baby myself? If I didn’t tell anyone, then I didn’t have to talk about it every time I spoke to them. Was I preventing them from having to worry about me?
I don’t really know. But I have learned that isolation from others will eventually defeat us.
Our natural inclination when we go through disappointments, struggles and pain is to pull away.
But here are…
10 reasons why isolation will defeat you.
1. Isolation breeds hopelessness.
2. Isolation leads to selfishness.
3. Isolation turns away from God.
4. Isolation loves misery.
5. Isolation thrives on disappointment and defeat.
6. Isolation says “you are all alone”.
7. Isolation discourages.
8. Isolation damages relationships.
9. Isolation emphasizes disappointment.
10. Isolation can lead to depression and anxiety.
Truth: Isolation will do nothing for you. It will only defeat you. Can you identify with any of these?
For me, it’s easier to pull away during times of stress. But I’m learning over the past several years, that I NEED people. I need others to encourage me and point me back to the God who loves me and never leaves me. I have felt defeated. I have felt like my life was over, that my life was going to stay in the pit. I have learned from experience the effects of isolating myself. And so, may I remind you to reach your hand out, share your struggles, be vulnerable, ask for help, ask for prayers, allow people to walk beside you, let others into your world.
And most importantly, please don’t pull away from God. He loves you. He longs to restore what is broken in your life. Why did I choose the word defeat? Well, to defeat something is to “thwart the plans of”. To thwart is “to hinder or prevent the efforts, plans or desires of”. Satan uses isolation to defeat us, to prevent the efforts and plans of God. When we walk through trials, it is not without God’s almighty power. We may never understand the “why” of our circumstance, but we can always trust that God has a plan and will bring about good in the midst of our life struggles.
Genesis 3:9 (MSG) God called to the man: “Where are you?”
If you are sitting in the midst of isolation right now, imagine God speaking to your heart, “Where are you?” He wants you to come out. He’s calling you. He’s drawing you to himself. He wants you to be known. You are important. Come back and be found.
We also need to spur one another on toward God, who can and will fill us up and bring restoration to our broken lives. Be someone’s cheerleader. If you know a friend who is pulling away and you don’t know what to say or how to fix it…you’re in luck. Our God does know! Listen. Encourage. Pray. And remind them Who God Is!
1 Thes 5:11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
And never, ever believe them when they tell you they just don’t need anyone. They do. And they will be grateful for your love and persistence.
Have you ever isolated yourself during one of life’s trials? How have you felt defeated by isolation?
I LOVE this Alissa! I am definitely prone to want to isolate myself during times of trials. I don’t want people to think of me as a victim; and I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer.” I tend to think that if I show my sorrow then I will be at fault for bringing others down. This is a lie from the enemy! We have to show and share our sad face! We can’t walk around like smiling robots void of emotion. It will rob us of developing true relationships. God called us to share and love one another. The truth is people want to be with you in your sad times. I believe that most people really do want to connect. We need our Christian brothers and sisters! Praise God he gave us a huge family!