January 14, 2011

solace in solitude.

I remember being shocked when my dad told me he often ate meals alone when he attended conferences. I couldn’t imagine the horror of having to consume food in silence, broken solely by the clinking of flatware on a plate.

I’ve never been very good at being alone. The physical state of being solo can be unnerving for someone with my personality. I’ve constantly surrounded myself with people, friends, voices, and noise.

People fuel me, inspire me, and drive me to be more me.

But as I’ve grown I have noticed that times of aloneness, while initially scary, are exponentially valuable. There is something disconcerting to me when I reflect on my aversion to solitude.

I went on a drive tonight, just to be alone. I had a lot of thoughts flooding my mind and I wanted to process—away from the familiarity of people, things, and sounds. I intentionally allowed myself to experience silence.

I turned off my radio. I silenced my phone. And I was alone. Just Kelly.

And then I looked up at the bright pink cotton candy sunset right in front of where I had parked my car, and I realized that I was not alone.

In that time of utter and complete aloneness, I was able to encounter my incredibly personal God. I can find Him when I am with other people…in community, seeking the Lord together. And he is faithful to meet us there.

But there is something powerful about being with my Jesus when no one else is around.

Just me and God—who is powerful enough to paint strokes of pink and orange in the sky and personal enough to meet me in a parking lot.

"You make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence." Psalm 16:11

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