Loneliness. I’ve been there! Even when I was married and had the daily presence of my husband, I was alone fighting a battle no one else knew about. Nights and nights of tear stained pillowcases, wondering why my life had come to a place where I had to worry for my own physical and emotional safety. It was a hard marriage. I didn’t know how to cope with these painful realities that life was dealing me. I didn’t know how to loosen this tight grip that was suffocating me. Many days I held onto the few joys that I had, the blessings that I could count, the people in my life that gave it meaning. My husband’s family, our college friends and church friends, these people were my world.
However, after eight years of marriage, it was all over. If I’m honest, I could breathe again after my divorce finalized. But, once again, I found myself in that same place. Alone.
Laying on a second hand bed, bought from the local thrift store, it was the first night in my little basement apartment. I laid my head on my pillow that night, feeling the gravity of my reality in that moment, my marriage was over, and I truly had no one now. My husband’s family, our mutual friends, and even the people I thought would understand, did not know how to make space for the messiness of this moment. All that remained were awkward glances in church rows and unanswered texts.
I had to wade through the people and find the one or two, who said, “I’m here. No matter how messy this gets, I’m holding space for you.” I realized in these moments that God was pruning people and relationships that were never meant for me. He was removing relationships that were unhealthy and maybe even toxic. I had to let them go even though I loved them. I had to make space for people who were going to breathe life and hope into these broken places in my heart. People who would bring joy and laughter back into these dry bones. I knew that I needed people, and I wasn’t going to make it through this season without them.
However, I didn’t know how to make this happen and where to begin. All I knew is that I needed to work towards healing from the last eight years. I needed to find my own self-worth in Jesus, which would make me the person I needed to be in healthy relationships. I needed to learn to trust again and let myself love again. I learned to ask God for discernment in friendships, to seek him before my own desires. I had to learn that friendships should be cultivated from a place of knowing that I am deeply loved by our Father and not my own needs. I failed at times along this road and lost friendships because I went my own way. Nonetheless, I always found myself back at the feet of the Savior, asking him to help me find my way back from loss and try again.
In time, I learned to seek friendships with women who were wise, who knew God’s word, who would be trustworthy with my story and could offer me advice that was unbiased and objective. I leaned into women at my church through small groups, divorce care groups and mentorship programs. These environments became a safe space for me to open up about my raw pain and past mistakes and I could be accepted and loved along the way to healing and restoration.
In all these things, I am reminded that community is a beautiful gift that the Heavenly father wants to bless us with so much! He wants us to have these healthy, nurturing relationships where we can live, grow, sharpen and love one another. He craves to give us life giving and beautiful relationships if we are willing to surrender our will and efforts to Him. We must allow him to mold us into healthy and whole women who can receive and give wholeheartedly to friendships in every way. He beckons us to come closer to Him, surrender our fears of being rejected again and believe that He who is the giver of all good gifts will bless us with a beautiful and HOLY community.
Sewa Fields was born in India and raised in both India and the US. She currently lives in Buford, Georgia with her lovely 8 year old daughter Ellie. She works for the school system as a Student Support Team Coordinator. Sewa saw that the scars, pain and heartbreak were all part of the journey to find who she really was in Jesus, that being broken and vulnerable gave her a platform to help other women who were also struggling with their own losses and ultimately the realization that God is a God that redeems every hard story in ways we can never imagine. Connect with Sewa on IG.