One of the perks of having a blog is the ability to share my feelings and experiences in depth. It’s really needed in a society that only shows the highlights on social media. Everything is not always as it seems. Although, there are smiles on Instagram and Facebook, there are issues, obstacles, or cries for help in the background. Personally, I know that my life is not a bed of roses and God allows me to deal with certain situations in order to identify with others and help them as well.
With that said, I’m going to start being more transparent. As I live through each difficult situation, I’ll intentionally search for lessons to pass on the wisdom and love so you won’t have it so hard. Hopefully, after you read my post, you will know exactly how to approach a certain situation. Enough with my ranting… Today, I want to write about my season of isolation. Yes, I’ve been going through it quite a while and God has revealed so much about me during this time. Here it goes…
Things Changed When I Re-committed My Life to Christ
I’m so overjoyed that I surrendered and gave my life back to Christ! I’ve realized that He’s my only source of peace, love, joy, and fulfillment. He is the only one that can fill my emotional voids that are deep inside. The ones that only He knows about. Once I decided to give up trying to do everything on my own terms, my life became absolutely sublime. It was like bliss every single day. I enjoyed praying and just spending time with him. It was great (and still is) getting to know my true friend!
However, ever since I decided to put my relationship with God above all and live according to the Word, I’ve been really struggling in the area of relationships. Since 2015, the year I decided to change my lifestyle and follow Christ wholeheartedly, I started to see my circle of close friends slowly wither away. When that happened, I became stuck. I didn’t know what to do! I lost my best friend. My close friends faded away and cut me off with no explanation. It seemed like everyone has disappeared. I felt helpless and hopeless. I totally didn’t understand what was happening and why God would allow this to happen. God and I were supposed to be cool now, right?
Transition into Isolation
Let me tell y’all something. As an extrovert, I’m not used to being alone. At all! I’m used to being “funny JoJo” — socializing and being with a lot of people. I was always surrounded by a group of friends. If I got tired of my female friends, I had my guy buddies that I would hang out with. I loved hanging with the guys to watch UFC, football, etc. I’m used to constantly chatting with a group of people who’d always give their advice and input about things.
Although, I have my wonderful husband, who helps keep me stable and sane, there’s nothing like having your posse of “ride or die” friends. Most of my guy friends are still hanging in there, thank God, but they have their own lives and families, which I totally understand. However, I really miss my girlfriends in particular. I’m no longer part of the group that I’ve been so close with since freshman year of college. It’s unexplainable.
When I tried to reach out to them to connect like I normally do, there was usually something that stops us from connecting. Something felt off. We didn’t have much to talk about like we used to. It seemed like there was no longer much in common. Our mindsets were different and conflicting. All of a sudden, they stopped answering my calls. I was no longer invited to girlfriend events such as parties or weddings with no valid reason. Finally, I succumbed to the fact that I’m officially in a season of isolation. As part of spiritual growth, God had to strip away all of those that significantly impacted my thinking and decision-making. I’m supposed to go to God for advice about what to do, not my posse of girlfriends.
In retrospect, my new mindset and personality caused my closest friends to disconnect. I wasn’t the go-with-the-flow, agreeable JoJo they were familiar with. If I disagreed with something, I said it. Especially, if it was contradictory to my Christian lifestyle. I had to finally stand up for my beliefs and not go with the flow. Of course, I always did it nicely, but when you go against the grain, it will not be received well. Also, since I was no longer partying and going to happy hours every day, I didn’t have my usual ways of finding new friends. In your 30s, it’s so difficult to find and build new friendships. Everyone has their own life, family, and obligations happening.
What is a Season of Isolation?
is the state of being in a place or situation that is separate from others. When you’re in a season of spiritual isolation, God separates you from others for a period of time. People vanish. Then, all of a sudden you find yourself alone. Don’t be alarmed, though. It’s only temporary—it may be a few months or even a few years, but there’s a reason for that.
There’s a significance in isolation. God speaks clearly to you when you’re set apart from everyone else. Have you ever found it difficult to figure out what to do in a particular situation because everyone is giving their advice and perspective? It’s even hard to distinguish God’s voice because His still small voice is mixed with all of the crazy advice everyone else has been giving you. God showed me that I had to let some friendships go, but I’d never thought I lose the friends that I was so very close to.
Sacrifice is Required
In order to be in God’s will, sacrifice is required. I didn’t understand why my friends were abruptly disappearing. I refused to let go, but God revealed that those friends were only meant to stay in my life for a certain period of time. Although, it was heartbreaking, I had to trust God and His process of purifying me. Believe me, it’s still hard even now.
God allows you to go through a season of isolation, not to punish you, but to draw you closer to Him. During this time, I have some friends I rarely talk to. There may be a conversation once every few months. Some people have moved on and are no longer considered a friend. Although it hurts, don’t focus on the broken relationships. Those friendships will be replaced once He’s done molding you into who He wants you to be and you’re firmly grounded in Him.
Purpose of Isolation
During the period of time that God sets you apart, He’s transforming you into who He wants you to be. Throughout this season, you should be praying continually because this is when He will reveal your purpose to you. Some of the greatest people were selected and/or used by God during their season of isolation like Moses, Elijah, and Paul. Moses was isolated for 40 years before God commanded him to go back to Egypt and demand Pharaoh to free the Israelites. Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament while isolated in a jail cell. God can clearly and freely give you his specific plan of action when you’re rolling solo.
At first, I didn’t understand. As more of an outgoing person, I was really fighting this season of isolation because I wasn’t used to being alone and not having anyone to talk to. I felt as if everyone cut me off. It seemed as if they always had something more important to do than hang out with me. Feelings of rejection and sadness overwhelmed me. I often cried and wondered why this was happening. When I learned to accept this season and focused on God, my life and outlook began to change. I started to feel more peaceful. My spiritual eyes were opened and I began to see the benefits of being alone for a while. There are at least six benefits to God-ordained isolation.
6 Benefits of Isolation
Strengthened Relationship with Christ
You have the ability to spend more time with your creator. He should become your best friend. Yes, Jesus is my BFF! I can genuinely say that he’s always there when I need someone to talk to. After talking to Him, I always feel better. Can you say the same about your BFF? I think not. When you’re set apart from everyone, you have more time for prayer and studying the Word. We talk to God through prayer. Then, we hear from Him more clearly by reading the Bible, which is the Word of God. You have access to Him every day. Pick up the Word and bond with your real BFF.
Clearer Instructions for the Future
God starts to dish out clearer instructions and guidance to obey and implement in your life. He’ll direct your steps. You’ll be able to catch his voice of direction when he speaks to you without the interferences from your crew. Your spiritual ears are increasingly attuned to His voice. Therefore, you’ll be able to quickly identify His voice when he speaks.
Your Purpose is Clearly Revealed
By staying in constant communication with God, your purpose will slowly be revealed to you. In His timing, of course. For plenty of years, I’ve wondered what I should be doing. Asking myself what was I living for. I couldn’t see my purpose because I had my circle of friends and associates constantly talking in my ear telling me what they think my purpose is. Through these last few years of truly focusing on building a relationship with the Lord in isolation, He’s incrementally shown me what He’s created me to do. He won’t show you the entire picture, but He’ll show you piece by piece as you stay in His will.
Spiritual Gifts Emerge
The spiritual gifts that have been dormant begin to emerge and are sharpened. If you gift is praying and interceding for others, God will clearly direct you to those to pray for. If your gift is encouragement, he’ll give you the right word to uplift others at the perfect moment. Isolation gives time for God to develop your spiritual man, so you can be useful in your kingdom purpose that He has set for you. Without spiritual development, you are of no use to Him.
God fills every void by giving you more joy, peace, love, contentment, and strength. You’ll realize that fulfillment doesn’t come from your tribe, money, or things, but only God is able to fill you with the things that satisfies you intrinsically. He’s the only one that can provide the “living water” that will fill you up. You won’t be thirsty for anything or anyone else. He’s the only one that can make you feel whole and complete.
When you’re alone more often, your natural personality, dreams, and desires re-emerge. No crowd is around to influence your actions, thoughts, and beliefs. You’ll be able to easily follow your natural intuition–and God’s guidance…of course!
What to Do During Your Season of Isolation
By now you’re probably saying (sarcastically)…that’s great, so what am I supposed to do while being all alone. I wish I can say these next steps are going to be super easy (they’re NOT), but they are simple.
Stay Prayed Up
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about prayer. However, it’s always mentioned because important. It’s your lifeline. You can call God anytime for an SOS! You can always pray to tap into God’s strength and power through prayer. You can easily chat with him to ask for clarity and some direction. When you’re sad, God can uplift your sadness when you just cry and lay in His presence. He knows how you’re feeling, but He wants you to come to Him about it. Then, he’ll step in, comfort you, and take control.
Just Let It Go
Go with the flow. At this point, it’s all about your mindset. Don’t allow this temporary phase to steal your joy. You’re still alive and still overflowing with purpose and the favor of God. Continue to enjoy your life by going on and not looking back to the past of how it once were. God is trying to move you onward to better and to your destiny. Trust His process.
Look for What He’s Trying to Show You about Yourself
During my season, I was able to have more time to focus on myself. During my alone time, I realized that I have some issues that I need to address and overcome such as unforgiveness, fear, unbelief, low self-esteem, anxiety. If I was still around all of the excitement and chatter of my group of friends, I’ve wouldn’t have paid much attention to the issues within myself that I needed to confront and resolve. Pay attention to the things that easily make you upset. Take the time to journal your feelings. Pray about those weaknesses and call them out by name. Literally put those things on your prayer list and pray on it each and every day. Meditate daily to allow God to drop downloads into your spirit. He has so much to say, allow Him to say it without distractions from the outside world. Make sure you have a journal next to you to quickly write those visions that He gives to you.
Tap into Your Strengths
God will reveal your strengths, give ideas, and revitalize your creativity during your time alone. You will pick up hobbies that you’ve put away a long time ago. If you love music, get involved in activities around music. If you like to write, start a blog. God wants to tap into your various strengths and use them for his glory. He’ll let you know what to do. In the meantime, enjoy to your heart’s content!
Pay Closer Attention to Others
It’s not always about you. There are so many hurting people in the world, the community, and all around you. Make an effort to reach out and help other people. Volunteer to help homeless people or those without circle of support. Be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Offer help and prayer to the young girl struggling to find herself. Share the love of Christ to those that you meet as well as family and friends that are around you. Make others the focus of why you’re here on this Earth. You were created to touch others and draw them to Christ. When you focus on other people, you will not focus on being alone or feeling sad about your situation.
I know It’s a challenging time of transition but don’t give up. God has so much in store for you. Follow His leading during this time of isolation and allow Him to change you into the person you’re supposed to be. Consider this your discovery time before the real work comes. God has a real job for you to do, so it’s time for you to get in shape to be ready to fulfill the mission He’ll give you in due time.