“When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
Luke 11:24-26 (ESV)
Loneliness kept me up at night and woke me each morning.
I would get so mad at him. But he was relentless.
He’d poke at my gut and mess with my bedding until I’d roll, and toss and turn myself awake.
I’d tell him get out of my bed!
And he would.
Only to leave me with a cold metal laptop sleeping beside me.
Then I would rub my eyes and recognize the pointlessness of pounding my pillow. I’d pull open that laptop and occupy those wasted hours of no sleep by trying to accomplish some task.
At first I’d think, I’ve done it! Kicked him out for good! I’d hammered out an article for the ministry. I’d tell myself how grateful I am for modern technology. With just an arm-reach beside me, I could have the right tools to capture my inspiration and put my ideas to work!
But once the article was done, something else awaited me on that laptop: social media–facebook photos of married couples, that friend who hasn’t come around lately, or twitter tweets of people living the life I lived when I had my husband. Loneliness returned to feed on my thoughts, and this time he brought with him yet another poor bedfellow–Anxiety.
I’d cry out to God , “why won’t You take these feelings away?”
He answered by bringing Scripture to my heart.
In the eleventh chapter of Luke (Luke 11:24-26 above), Jesus explains it’s not enough to clean your heart of evil spirits by taking action on your own. If you rid yourself of bad thoughts and attitudes, but don’t fill your heart with Christ, those thoughts will return and compound themselves with other vices.
By taking the edge off my loneliness with being busy, was I not sweeping my heart clean from Loneliness without guarding my heart from his return?
Taking God at His word, I changed my nighttime habits. I intentionally place all electronics on the other side of the room and leave my sleeping to just that–sleeping.
The only reading material I keep at my bedside now is Scripture.
That way God is there with me whenever I need Him. When I drift to sleep and when I wake.
On the first morning after making this change, I awoke again before the sun came up and considered how different it felt without that computer right there to grab.
That lonely feeling was there, but I reached for God, not busyness. I grabbed the Bible right there on my nightstand and let God’s words cradle me, relax me and lull me back to sleep.
And when the sun rose, I felt energized, wanting to pull back the covers and get started with my day.
The result? My home is cleaner. My bills are paid earlier. My kids get a cooked breakfast more often, and I’m exercising more.
And most of all, I’ve kicked loneliness out of my bed and invited in the true Comforter.
How about you? How do you awake in the morning?
Precious Father God, for years grief took over my nights and mornings, slowing my progress through the day. But You are good to heal, Lord. Thank you. Please lift my sister out of her loneliness and give her Your Holy Spirit and carry her through this day. Amen.
Kit Hinkle is an author and speaker, and was one of the original writers of A Widow’s Might in 2008. After four years with that ministry, she expanded it and founded A New Season Ministries, Inc. Once the ministry became established, she stepped back from the leadership role, yet continues to contribute articles while she focuses on her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now enjoys walks on the beach with her chocolate lab. She loves to sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ. It’s an honor to participate in His kingdom.
If you are interested in having Kit or another team member speak, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles by this author: Kit Hinkle
Would you like to read more about sleeplessness? Here are some articles you might try:
A Cry in the Night by Linda Lint
Miscellaneous ramblings of a tired mommy by Nancy Howell