We’re nine months into our new life in California, and I’ve been carrying around a pretty unfamiliar emotion to me… loneliness.
I’ve tried to call it other things (a “funk”) but that’s inaccurate. I’m always giving myself counseling (the upside of being a pastor is the free counseling), and I think I have most of the answers to why I’m feeling lonely.
I moved from Arizona where I lived my whole life. I worked at a church as it grew from 500 people to 6,000 people. I had deeper roots than almost everyone there. The people I worked with were my best friends (all of my groomsmen worked there in some capacity at some point). I felt like I was really known and valued (except by that one guy who gave me the boot, but that’s a different topic for a different therapy session).
The thing about being new is that it is impossible to be known. It takes so long. You spend so much time figuring people out and being figured out. I have no idea how some pastors bounce from church to church to church every year or two. I can understand WHY they might, I just can’t imagine how hard that has to be.
I don’t think that loneliness has to be anyone’s fault. It can be totally natural. It can be a symptom of larger issues, but not necessarily.
I guess the best thing to hear when you’re lonely is that you’re not alone. So… is anyone out there feeling what I’m feeling?
Have you had a chapter or two in your life when you felt lonely, even when you were constantly around other people? Have you been in a situation like mine? How long did it take before you felt at home where you were?