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“Isolation and loneliness can be very dangerous for me. Often times the loneliness can be very sneaky waiting for the right moment to begin scraping away joy in my life.”

– Darrin

As we continue to redefine the meaning of ‘socializing’, ‘community’, and ‘regular life routines’ I have noticed in subtle ways loneliness is trying to diminish ‘joy’ in my life.

Years ago when I had a profound awakening to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Jesus, I was experiencing a great sense of loneliness. The loneliness was not a lack of being around people or the joy of my family life. The loneliness was a lack of understanding purpose and direction for my life. That is where I lacked ‘joy’. I have experienced that this pandemic has certainly created a sense of uncertainty and confusion regarding direction and purpose for many people.

He is the one who provides direction when I am feeling lost. He is the one who understands my suffering and weakness. Every time I have fallen or have strayed off the pathway, he is there to gently redirect me towards him.

 

 

Over the years as I have grown in my discipleship in Jesus Christ, he has become my greatest teacher. In fact my favorite icon is called ‘The Teacher’. When I truly humble myself to Christ in my daily morning prayer, He is the one who heals and strengthens me by his words and deeds. He is the one who provides direction when I am feeling lost. He is the one who understands my suffering and weakness. Every time I have fallen or have strayed off the pathway, he is there to gently redirect me towards him.

How does he redirect me?

He redirects me the same way he did the other disciples. Personal Encounter. I have discovered that there are certain ‘discipleship disciplines’ in my life that provide these ‘encounters’. One of my favorite is spending time with Jesus in the Gospels. Encounters like Blind Bartimaeus when Jesus says, “What do you want me to do for you?”, and the woman at the well when Jesus says, “Give me some water”.  God loves us so much that he is not going to force himself upon us but instead will always provide an opportunity for us to humbly open our hearts and share our suffering. Through these encounters I awaken once again and I am transformed by his healing mercy. Then he reminds me of the purpose and direction he desires for my life. In my own unique way to be on mission with him sharing with others how He has transformed my suffering. He sends me out as his witness, through one on one phone calls, Zoom meetings, text messages, and emails to share the ‘Good News’ with others so they too may have the opportunity to respond to his invitation.

In what way are you still personally grappling with the challenges we face today?

If you are willing today to share these challenges or suffering intimately with Jesus, he will not disappoint you. And if you ever want to connect to share your journey, I would be honored to listen and pray with you. Don’t forget to share your comments below.

Your friend in Christ,

Darrin

Share your experience

Our mission is to help you grow in ‘missionary discipleship’ so you may help your parish become a place of vibrant missionary work as well. If you would like to share your experience with this article or connect with me, please submit your comments below or visit our Facebook page.

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