SolitudeI consider myself a people person. I love to engage in conversations, work collaboratively on projects, and hang out with family and friends. I like to be busy. My calendar is full of commitments.

People and busyness create a problem. It becomes very difficult to hear the voice of the One who loves us. He tells us to be still and know that He is God.

I don’t like to spend long periods of time alone. Generally, when I’m faced with time to myself, I go shopping. It’s a great alternative to being alone for too long.

Yet, God calls us to a place of solitude.

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (Matthew 6:6 MSG).

To be honest, solitude is scary. I’m left alone with my thoughts, feelings and fears. I tend to focus on my fears. Fear can take over and I’m left with an overwhelming sense that I am alone. And, that is my problem.

Solitude does not equal alone. It’s a common assumption. That is where I have gone wrong. Being in solitude with God is not being alone. He is with me. My focus will shift from me to God and I will begin to sense His grace. That is exactly what happens.

Once I got past my fear of being alone and focused on God, solitude became something I welcomed and even longed for. It is where I hear His still small voice, where I am encouraged to continue the path he has for me, and where I sense His presence surround me. It has gone from a fear to a desire within me.

Solitude now equals grace, peace, encouragement, and unconditional love. I am so grateful for this shift. I’m grateful for how it renews my relationship with Him.  I’m grateful for the closeness I feel to Him.

Solitude can be a few minutes everyday, an entire day, weekend, or longer. Start small and see how God meets you and honors your time. Your desire for more time with Him will grow. Try it and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

How do you engage in solitude with Him? What encourages your relationship with God? Share your experiences here and we can encourage each other.

2 thoughts on “Solitude

  1. I used to feel the same way Mary. When I was in Seminary, I had to do 2 silent retreats. It was for two days. I thought I was going to die! I hated being “alone” and not being able to converse with people. But that all changed when I realized too that I was not alone but with the One who wanted to encounter me the most! Now I look forward to going on a retreat where it’s only God and me. I cherish Pacem in Terris in St. Francis. Little hermitage all my own with just God and me – working things out. There is absolutely nothing better! If those of you reading this have never done a silent retreat – I encourage you to do this! Here’s the link.
    Thanks Mary for the reminder that I need to “be still”.

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