This summer has been a busy one for our family, filled with projects of all sorts that we have worked on individually and as a family. Our house has been cleaned, painted, organized, and repaired within an inch of its life, and it’s kept us very busy. I’ve also worked more than usual on landscaping projects – moving plants, discarding others that were dying, educating myself on gardening techniques, and making plans for next year based upon what I’ve learned.
As the summer has drawn to a close, my daughter and I have both noticed a strange thing: late in the afternoon, when our pace slows and we have accomplished much of what we intended to do for the day, we have felt lonely, lethargic, and out-of-sorts, especially if my husband is on shift at the firehouse.
Sometimes, we can remedy the blues by taking a break together, chatting or playing a game as a family. Other times, we can’t leave what we are working on and have to plow through the depression on our own.
But as evening approaches, the feeling seems to lift and we feel ourselves again, energized and ready to do a bit more before heading to bed.
As Google has an answer for everything, I researched the issue online and found that it’s quite common. The feelings of fatigue and depression can be brought about by our circadian rhythms, which dictate when we feel the need to sleep and affect all sorts of systems in the body. Staying busy, chatting with a loved one, taking a brief walk, and soaking up the sunshine are a few ways one can alleviate the problem.
Just after I Googled the issue, I “happened” to come across an article by David Jeremiah about seeking God in loneliness, whether during a lonely cycle of life, or brief periods of time such as my daughter and I have been experiencing. He suggested using such times to reach out to God, to ask him to fill one’s empty, sad spaces with his paternal presence. Meditate upon Scripture. Ask God to speak to you. Take comfort in the joy of the Lord.
Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. – Isaiah 51:11
As in every time of life, when lonely or depressed, only God can bring lasting joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. – Psalm 16:11
Have you ever thought to use loneliness as an opportunity to reach out to God? What have you been busy with this summer? I always enjoy hearing from you.