Skip to main content

The Razor's Edge of Loneliness

The Razor’s Edge of Loneliness

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

In a small green notebook, I write letters to God. On occasion I have written, “Dear God, I am so lonely.”

By my nature, I am an introvert and require time alone to allow my mind to wander and rest.

I have discovered, however, there is a fine line between introversion and isolation. And crossing into that wasteland is so effortless you don’t realize you have left the familiar territory of yourself until you have ventured far afield.

In the desolate Land of Alone, by the time you endeavor to turn back that way has disappeared. All you see is that you are alone and no one has come to find you.

I speak from experience. One hour in this place quickly turns into a day and then a week. Before you know it, reaching out for companionship seems impossible. When you are here, your mind plays tricks on you as you try to recall a time when you had friends or felt loved. All you remember is being alone or being rejected.

When we are in the grips of loneliness the only voice we hear is the one in our head and often it’s not reliable.

Ironically, when I most need companionship is when it’s most difficult to convince myself to get out among other people. That is the Mobius loop of loneliness. And that is when we need our friends to help.

Last winter, Pat called me every Wednesday and said, “Let’s go, I’m driving to knitting and you’re going to join me.” Some weeks, that would be the only time I left the house.

My friend Barbara did the same when I went a month without showing up at Saturday evening Mass at Saint Mary’s because I couldn’t bring myself to drive on the winter roads after dark.

If you share these tendencies toward isolation, please know that you will always feel better if you leave the house and go out among people. Call a friend and meet for coffee. Take your dog to the dog park. Go to the library. Go to a free class at Breck Create or the Rec Center.

Go to church. We have friendly churches throughout Summit County. You will be welcomed with open arms.

Sometimes I need a place to be with people during the week. Our Lady of Peace offers an 8 a.m. Mass on Monday and Wednesday in Silverthorne. St. Mary’s has an 8 a.m. Mass on Tuesday and Thursday. Come, even if you aren’t Catholic. These short services have fewer people and if you are an introvert, that might be easier to handle and your heart will be filled with peace.

I encourage you to become a volunteer at your church. You will make friends, find joy in helping others, and discover a deepening of your faith. From these weekly interactions will grow hope and optimism.

Most of all, I want you to know that you are loved by God and that your life has meaning and purpose.

Go out into the world and participate in God’s plan for your life. Your life is not a mistake. You are meant to be here and to contribute to our community. Psalm 139 is your love letter from God.  

Week 3/9 Reading the Psalms –
Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light around me become night’,
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of A Map of Heaven and other books. You can reach her at



Popular posts from this blog

Women are Highly Esteemed in the Eyes of This Man

I enter the sanctuary of Our Lady of Peace Church and my eyes adjust to the dimmed lights as the only illumination comes from candles on the altar and their glowing reflection in the monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament.
My friend and I had come to join the Mary and Martha’s quarterly meeting which started with an hour of Adoration.
I took my seat in one of the pews, knelt, and surreptitiously glanced around the sanctuary. In the gloaming, I could see thirty other women kneeling like sentinels in silent prayer. 
Over the course of the hour, we would remain in contemplative silence.
As I slipped in and out of my prayers and wandering thoughts, I considered how pleased God must be when he sees us gathered in the simple and divine act of Adoration.
But in fact, women are highly esteemed in God’s sight not matter where we are. 
We only look at the life of Jesus Christ to understand how dearly he cherishes every woman.
In the Gospel of Saint John, a group of men bring a woman caught i…

When our spirit hungers

The precocious toddler’s interest in talking to her mother grew in insistence as the gathered group settled in for an hour of silent prayer. Shushing didn’t work, so the mother led her child into an adjoining room where she would still be part of the sanctuary, but sound would be dampened. Despite the closed door and heavy glass walls, the child’s fervent desire to speak with her mother was still audible.
I said a prayer for the patient mother determined to stay, and for the child who was either tired or hungry or impatient for Mom’s undivided attention. And then tried to bring my wandering thoughts back to prayer. I had come to Adoration with my own pressing need for answers.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a growing emptiness in my heart. A void, as if something is missing. It’s not psychological. Not physical. After doing an internal check, I determined it’s a spiritual void that I’m experiencing.
No, I’m not doubting God, his existence or goodness. I have full confidence in…

If you are tired of the guilt trip you usually feel at church, here’s a different perspective

I am counting the days until I fly to Fort Lauderdale to see Mom for Christmas. Yes, I speak with her every day, sometimes twice a day. But as you know, phone calls just aren’t the same as being with someone you love. I look forward to seeing Mom’s smile, to holding her hand, to going for a drive along the beach with her. Spending time in the presence of someone we love enriches our relationship with them.
I believe the love I feel for Mom, is a sliver of what God feels for each of us. I believe God longs to share that love with us. Which is why we are called to spend time in God’s presence daily. We experience God’s presence when we meet him in our prayers, in church, and hopefully in one another. If I could make one wish for each of us, it would be that at some point during the next four weeks of Advent we would experience how much Jesus loves us.

The Best Christmas

During my morning devotions, I read these two verses of Psalm 117:
Praise theLord,all you nations;
extol him, all you peop…