So, I bought a new coat.
Not just any coat.
It's a navy blue peacoat trench.
I expected it to be like any coat.
It keeps me warm, feels cozy, fits well, and looks good.
I wasn't mentally prepared for how this coat would change my life.
Y'all, when I tell you that this coat has transformed me, I mean —
You can’t tell me SH*T about SH*T in this coat.
Even the way that I WALK while wearing this coat….
You would think I was the CEO of a company.
Or Beyonce herself.
A coworker told me that I was walking like I was on a mission the other day.
When I have this coat on, I am not listening to nothing anyone has to say.
You need to take a number.
Leave a message.
Have your people call my people.
I got things to do, people to see, places to go.
No other piece of clothing I own has ever made me feel so powerful.
I wish I could wear the coat 24–7.
But can I be honest?
That’s not how I really feel.
It’s all a facade.
I am not a badass.
I don't feel powerful.
Confidence? What the hell is that?
People may think I'm walking around like a badass woman on a mission…
But the minute that coat comes off?
Not so much.
The coat reminds me of the Invisibility Cloak that Harry Potter owned.
When you have it on, it keeps people from seeing what is really there, but it reveals everything when you take it off.
Here's what people can't see about me:
I am in a time of my life where I feel incredibly lonely and sad.
This isn't some new battle that I'm facing.
And it's not PMS (although that would be a much more straightforward explanation).
Loneliness is an old friend that has been around for most of my life.
It has been this dark shadow that has followed me around for the better part of my life.
Sometimes I've successfully lived without acknowledging her, or I have been good at living two lives — so people never really see the truth.
But there has been a time when its presence was so overwhelming and suffocating I almost succumbed to it.
No matter what I do to deny it, ignore it, or shove it deep down inside of me, it always comes back up.
Loneliness is a straight-up bitch.
Yeah, I said it.
If you came here expecting some inspiring, thought-provoking, moving, Bible-study devotional/churchy blog, stop reading now.
Ya ain't getting nothing like that here.
Because loneliness sucks ass.
Everyone feels it to some degree, I know.
I'm not by any means trying to say my battle with it is easier/worse than others.
I am also aware that while I — by the grace of God — may not have succumbed to it, others have, and the pain is too much for them to bear, so they do the only thing they know to bring themselves peace.
I know that many people have moments of loneliness; others have seasons, while some face it for a lifetime.
Loneliness itself is hard enough to face on its own.
But, it never comes by itself.
Loneliness brings out this desperation to seek unhealthy alternatives to feel a moment of respite, cope, or relieve us of the heaviness that it brings.
Unhealthy, dead-end relationships.
Which only makes the loneliness worse.
I'm not going to Jesus Juke you here with quotes and scriptures about how only Jesus can fill you and heal the loneliness.
All of that is true and, it is because of my faith that I can write to you about it.
But, I also know that you, me, and anyone else who has felt (or feels) this way — are human.
Feeling what we feel and not knowing if there's any end in sight doesn't make us any less Christian or less of a believer.
It makes us human.
Trying to face this heavy burden of loneliness by quoting scriptures or denying what we feel makes overcoming it next to impossible.
Maybe for some people, that works.
More power to you, if it does.
I'm not here to tell you not to seek God.
I'm not here to make you feel sorry for me because I don't have a close circle of friends in my life…or a man.
I know people who have many friends or are in relationships and STILL feel all alone.
I know people who have a close walk with the Lord and STILL struggle (see: Elijah in the Bible).
I wish I had the answer or solution to make this better.
I wish a simple fix like a perfect coat would make all of this easier.
But a coat doesn't change what I feel at my very core.
The brave thing — the right thing — to do is face it head-on.
Go through it boldly.
Because although what I feel is real, the truth is also real.
And the truth is — loneliness doesn't have to stick around forever.
Loneliness can visit, but it's up to me to decide how long it's going to stay.
So I am just here to remind you, especially myself, too —
Feel what you feel completely.
In all of it’s ugliness and uncomfortablness —
Don’t deny it or ignore it.
Just sit in it.
Let loneliness in. Give her some tea. Listen to her complain. Cry with her if you need to.
But when it's time for her to go, let her know.
Sometimes she will stay for a moment. Sometimes for a season.
But she never has to stay forever.
Loneliness may come to visit because it is never really something you get rid of completely.
But it's up to us:
It can control you — or you can control it.
So even though loneliness is here right now, there's this little, tiny flicker of hope that there will be a day that I will feel alive again…
…feel joy again.
…when I will feel like the confident, powerful, badass woman that I know I am
Without the coat.