Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Don’t Give Me Time to Think

on June 12, 2015

Every fourth Sunday, I serve on a greeting team at my church. One week, our coordinator sent me to a side door that, I soon learned, few people use. For about half an hour I stood there, welcoming maybe a handful of attendees during that time. I could hear conversations coming from the fellowship room and down the hall, yet I waited alone.

And I felt it, crawling through me like a fever. Yep. You’re alone again. Big surprise. With nothing to distract them, the destructive thoughts made themselves known, catching me completely off-guard. I was at church, for heaven’s sake. Why was I letting this negativity get my mind off my purpose for being there?

Time to Think by David Castillo Dominici

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

It’s not as bad as it used to be. I remember times of solitude when I screamed my frustration, venting an anger I kept stuffed inside the rest of the time. As a result, I’ve learned how to use noise as a diversion. Music, TV, books, even singing to myself seem to do the trick. Still, there are these rare moments … and I’m not always good at handling them.

An ugliness comes from a place deep inside me that I thought I’d already dealt with. “I’m doing great!” I tell anyone who asks. “Writing about being single has been so cathartic.”

Then I end up standing in my church hallway, fighting off tears and wondering why I’m such a mess.

Not that I’ve ever claimed complete healing from the grief of singleness, but I’ve certainly reached a place ruled by hope, and I have a renewed sense of peace and satisfaction in the life God has given me.

And that renewed sense has taught me to take my mind off myself and put it on Him and others. To reach out to someone who might need prayer or a listening ear or a word of encouragement.

All of which presents me with a much better noise to distract myself with than old episodes of Castle.

What about you? Does solitude make you more aware of your aloneness? How do you handle it?


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