I spend my fair share of time in coffee shops and I am normally sitting by myself, writing something.

That is exactly what I am doing now and I can honestly say that it is one of my favourite things to do. I feel like I can sit here with a different perspective and take it all in and here’s what I am seeing this morning. There is a man eating by himself and close by, a woman enjoys a solo coffee. Maybe they are like me and love taking this little bit of time by themselves, or maybe they just don’t have that partner to join them anymore. Maybe they never did or perhaps that is a major ache currently on their heart. Can I tell you something else I see? I see an employee smiling in his job as he talks to another man. He is not asking about the weather, rather about the dental appointment he seems to have discussed with him last week. To me, from my perspective, it is clear that these two men only know each other in this capacity, the one where he calls for his breakfast and the other man serves him. 

More women have sat down at tables by themselves, have they had a proper chat with anyone today, or this week? Or are they dealing with chronic loneliness? We start to think about lonely people at this time of year, but what about the other eleven months? Who cares then? I’m sure that I fall into this category at times and I’m also aware that the people in front of me may have busy, full lives. But they are out there, they come in the form of elderly folk sitting by themselves and they also present themselves as men or women working full-time, perhaps serving in those shops. They are giving all the chat of the day, going to all the family events and friends gatherings, but still feeling the same way- Lonely. We can look like we have life completely together on the outside and yet, feel lonely on the inside. I love the fact that I am here by myself right now, I am not self-conscious or dealing with any kind of anxiety in my surroundings. However, when I am at home, struggling to understand why my husband’s leg spasms are particularly bad, or why he is so crazy uncomfortable in his wheelchair and I literally have zero answers anymore, I feel lonely. I feel like there is nobody out there who could help me and surely no-one is feeling the way I do. Now when I gain perspective, I know that these things aren’t true.

I am aware that there are plenty of people dealing with really difficult situations that I will never experience or understand. I know there are people I can share my load with and that people want to help. But no, I could never ask for help! I cant tell my friends how much my heart breaks when I try and fail to book a nice time away. Do I go into every detail that stops me from being able to book or do I just tell them that this in turn, makes me really sad about life and I feel massive amounts of grief for how things used to be. My goodness that is just too heavy. I do not want them to feel upset about me or that they have to hide their own lives to protect me. That’s literally the worst thing that could happen yet, would it reduce my hurt if I didn’t see everyone on fancy holidays, well yeh probs. It’s not even the “fancy” part, it’s the last minute plans that kill me the most. I want spontaneous. But here is the thing, I need and really want to celebrate the joy and good things that go on in my friend lives. It is about stepping over myself and stepping into celebrating others. That’s how I love the people around me.

For some reason I always remember a silly wee post I put on my Instagram stories last December. As is the new tradition on social media, we all share our reflections on the year in the form of GIF and this particular one asked for the best part of 2018. This was a pretty difficult one to think about as 2018 had been the worst year of my life to date. Andy had his accident in 2016, but so much good happened before that and we saw God move so much more after that I wouldn’t say it was the worst. That surprises people, but really, last year was filled with disappointment after disappointment, problem after problem and I felt so overwhelmed, powerless and often lonely. So let’s find at GIF for that eh? I was honest in all the questions and the best part of my year was standing beside my best friend as she got married and started her new life with her husband. There was a cute little GIF of a wedding and then a “BFF” thing just in case anyone thought I got remarried without telling Andy. On that day and the days running up to the wedding it was not about me, I had to step over myself and jump into the joy and love of celebrating marriage. I was overwhelmed with the joy I felt for my friend that I had to leave the room while she was getting her hair done on the morning of the wedding. I needed to have a wee cry and some serious words with myself, to pull myself together but no, the emotions continued and made their way into the wedding video, sorry guys!

There are people around you who are dealing with loneliness, maybe it is you. I know there are times when you can’t see past yourself and you need much more support. I’d firstly like to encourage you to reach out to someone and let them know. People don’t know what to do and I understand that. Some days I want you to tell me all the exciting things in your life and other days that will probably tip me over the edge, but no-one knows that, especially if you do not tell them. The second thing I would like to do, is encourage you to actively celebrate someone around you this week. One random Sunday in 2018 a pastor in our church facilitated a call to prayer at the end of the service. I go to a church where they love to push (in a loving way) you out of your comfort zone and it’s normally the best thing for you. So he called forward anyone who felt like life was good, they had prayers answered or were witness to their own dreams working out. My heart sank as I stood there with nobody around me. There are people scattered behind me but I was in the second row and standing alone. After he gave me a look to say I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do, he asked for those still standing At their seats to come forward and pray for these people. To celebrate them and thank God for what He was doing. Maybe with a slight bit of resistance I went and I prayed. For my friends expecting a baby (who is now a beautiful wee 8 month old girl), my other friend who just became a wife and a mum of three in our community who has such a beautiful heart. I thanked God for His goodness and He filled my heart with joy. There was a reluctance, it felt difficult but it blessed me massively and shaped the way I feel towards all of that today. Maybe it has inspired this piece of writing? But of course it had impact, the Holy Spirit spoke to a man, who then asked us to do something he knew would be so, so hard- that was obedience. Afterwards he apologised and I was able to encourage him that he had no need. 

Okay, I have written so much more than planned, my hand hurts and all the solo eaters have been replaced by chatty couples and friends. As I continue to look around I would challenge you this, if you don’t fall into the category of loneliness, look for those who do and pray with them, spend time with them and allow them to feel loved. It is so important and if you get knocked back, step over yourself, over the feelings of awkwardness and do it again. We will all fail sometimes but I am aiming to learn how to fail fast. 

As it has been a good six months since my last post I just wanted to say that we are doing well and that I hope to post a little update soon. Thank you so much for following along, despite the silence.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:20

Emma 🌸

16 Comments

  1. Thanks Emma. Lovely thoughts from you, as usual. Sylvia xx

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  2. You are a very honest,loving girl Emma .The lord has given you the strength so far and he will not fail.
    What a tremendous blessing you are to your husband. Thank you for your honesty and openness. Keep trusting in Gods perfect plan and the privilege in being part of that. Much love and God bless you both .psalm 3 vs 3&4.

  3. Hi Emmayour posts always blow me away.They provide so much encouragement and open my eyes so wide. Pain is so well hidden by so many, and my experience through Via Wings is that sometimes it is just a little that can do so much……an ear to listen or a word to help or a space to escape.This is not a plug for Via Wings and their new coffee shop BUT simply my thought is that wouldnt it be nice for you to sit (as long as you can) over coffee without being disturbed or without anyone knowing who you are…..and or bring Andy along as there is plenty or room I havent seen you around at church but now with the 2 services and our own circumstances etc you maybe have been and we have missed! But I probably wouldnt have said anything anyway – maybe just a smile, and then I think well is that enough….is that a cop out in case I say the wrong thing….do you not want anyone to chat …..are you there for just quiet time and escape???But be encouraged,  even though people like me dont say anything we are bursting to tell you how much we care …how much we pray and how much we want your world to be better…..and Andy to miraculously get back to normal. On that point I truly believe he will , and you will.Why…because I have seen God do things that are not comprehendable….go against the grain and are not logical and I can say that from both a personal perspective (which i normally dont talk about) or from the ‘God moments’ at Via Wings where we see God moving with individulas in circumsatnces that no-one else would believe (again this is not about Via Wings lol)This is the hard thing to say without it seeming hard or non understanding or insensitive….but it was when I was gong through the worst times of our lives and feeling so much pain and feeling so many had been let down, that it was being able to keep our heads just above the water high enough and long enough to be able to see others pain and to do something for others in such desperate  situations that actually helped me get by…..to survive…to feel it was about someone else and not me – and I am not saying I think you think its about you….probably didnt explain that right. What I am saying is that God put things and people in my path to lift me out fo the place and mind set I was in or facing.I am sure you get so many replies to your posts because they are so  fantastic and so moving that you cannot possibly take them all onboard but I know God will help you take the most appropriate on board.I’m rhyming on now arent I….which is not me at all lol….and I am not trying to compare my past to your present situation…I am just trying to say that in the most darkest days and in the most unconventional circumstances, God will show His hand and lift You….when least expected.You are an inspiration to others.You must keep airing your thoughts and experiences.You and Andy are in Gods hands.Thank you…for being you.God blessSam

  4. Wow I too so love your honesty. You are very brave to be so open! You have really encouraged me tonight Emma & I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I think of you & Andy often & love to read your updates…. you are truly gifted & one day all these posts will be formed into a book & thousands upon thousands will be lifted up in their dark days by you both & your writings!! Keep looking up you beautiful girl! 💙💖😘🙏🙏
    Much love Ann

  5. Thanks for your piece Emma. Thanks for the reminders about looking out for the lonely and thinking about you and Andy also. Big hug

  6. I am thinking today of that beautiful land
    I shall reach when the sun goeth down
    When through wonderful grace by my Saviour I stand
    Will there be any stars in my crown.

    Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown
    When at evening the sun goeth down
    When I wake with the blest in those mansions of rest
    Will there be any stars in my crown

    . In the strength of the Lord let me labor and pray
    Let me watch as a winner of souls
    That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day
    When his praise like the sea billow rolls

    Oh, what joy it will be when his face I behold
    Living gems at his feet to lay down
    It would sweeten my bliss in the city of gold
    Should there be any stars in my crown

  7. Life rushes by at times and we need that stillness in our lives. That reflection that puts things into perspective. Thank you for your beautiful writings also your beautiful soul. So honest. May you continue to encourage others through your own experiences. Thank you for the gentle reminder to always look out for others … the lonely…. it maybe someone going through a situation that others just cannot understand. Loneliness can mean so many things. I pray God will teach us all to reach out with sensitivity to others. Emma thank you and love to you both 💕

  8. You have a gift for writing. You are both seen and much lived. Keep in telling us what it feels like to be living your life and how we can help. We all want to understand more and be better at being a body which truly does bear one another’s burdens. I can’t start to imagine how you cope with the daily challenges, but I know that because of them you and Jesus will develop a relationship that most of us could only dream about. Hugs. Caz x

  9. I agree with all the comments here. You have a real gift for writing Emma. You are so honest and inspirational. I often think about you and Andy and pray that life will get easier. Love to you both.

  10. Hi Emma, thank you as ever for your inspiration. I was able to share your post with a friend who was feeling the same as an encouragement to her and a lovely gentle way to witness by pointing to how your faith helps you. Thank you. As I shared with her I love the song by Philippa Hanna all about everyone being in their own zones its called Getting on with life “https://youtu.be/IOv5yhxJ1I0” if you dont know it. She is such an inspired songwriter. You have also helped me step out and be honest in my blog so thank you for that as well. Please be encouraged and know you are an insoiration. That cant make things any less difficult but perhaps is some comfort. God bless you both.

  11. Thank you emma for your latest blog. I pray for you and Andy often. I pray that God will give you strength for each day, and I pray that Andy will experience complete healing. You are amazing, emma, so honest about what you are both going through. Such an encouragement to other folk who are going through difficult situations themselves. Hold on to God, He will never leave you or forsake you. He has you and andy in the palm so His hands. Sending much love to you both. Xx

  12. Thank you your post it was very helpful as I have similar experiences. Continue to pray for Andy and yourself.

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