Young Or Old, Single Or Married, Male Or Female At Some Point In Life, We Re All Confronted With Loneliness We Try To Fill The Void Or Change Our Circumstances So We No Longer Feel The Pain But What If Our Pangs Of Loneliness Are Meant To Point Us To Something Greater Looking At Various Aspects Of Loneliness, Lydia Brownback Reminds Us Of God S Power To Redeem Our Loneliness And Use It In Our Lives To Draw Us To Himself Ultimately, She Helps Us See That Even When We Feel Misunderstood, Forsaken, Or Abandoned, We Re Never Really Alone God Is Always With Us, And Only He Can Meet All Of Our Needs In Christ Jesus This is a pretty small book, and it wasn t very meaty in my opinion I wanted a lot personal stories and thoughts shared than there were, and I found that it came across pretty dry and a little preachy, despite being such a potentially intimate and emotional topic I had higher hopes for this one, but wasn t a fan. A very quick read, but also meaningful I do think I read it a little too fast and so I want to reread someday I liked how the book explained that no matter where you are in life, you can and will experience loneliness Some people think that if only they were married, they wouldn t be lonely anyand that just isn t true as one of the chapters in this book showcases All in all, very good and eyeopening at times I recommend it I received a complimentary eBook copy via NetGalley for my honest review. In Finding God in My Loneliness, Lydia Brownback argues that every person every man, every woman, every child experiences loneliness in one degree or another It doesn t matter if you re young or old, if you re single or married or divorced, if you ve got twenty kids or zero kids, if you re working six jobs or no jobs Every person is prone to experiencing loneliness And there is a distinction between being alone and feeling lonely We re lonely for a reason Eve ate the apple God created human beings with a capacity for loneliness so that we would yearn for and find our all in him The loneliness we experience is a consequence of sin and has been ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God The couple hid from God after they ate from the forbidden tree, and that s also when they began to hide from each other Loneliness began in the garden The goal of this one is to show readers that they are never truly alone, and that all of God s people have felt lonely Each chapter examines a story a person from the Bible and deals with different ways of experiencing loneliness.Favorite quotes Self seeking breeds loneliness self forgetfulness breeds fullness We won t know him as our greatest treasure if our view of him is skewed, and the we seek escape from our pain in worldly things, the warped our view of God becomes Instead of looking for a way out of loneliness, we need to look at Jesus Only then will we discover that he is what we ve been looking for all along And only then will we really be willing to sell our earthly possessions and acquisitions for the sake of God and his kingdom All relationships are tainted by brokenness in one way or another because all of us are tainted by sin Worst of all are the guilt ridden thoughts that demand a place in our overburdened heart The hurtful remarks we wish we d never said the selfish things we wish we d never done the requests for help we refused to heed no one can fix this for us No kind words can erase the past We are alone in our pain When he paid for our sin on the cross, he bore the weight of its consequences too every sorrow and every broken thing for every one of his people It s beyond our comprehension, but it s true He knows us personally, and his knowledge includes a comprehension of what each of us uniquely feels We are not alone after all We miss so much if we fixate on what we need to fit into the world around us We imagine how much better life would be if only, but even if those if onlys come to pass, they won t fulfill us the way we think they will Only Jesus does that If we re not convinced, it s because we haven t really tasted how good it is how good he is Once we do, we won t despise our differences any We certainly don t have to like them, but if they linger, we can come to know a sweetness that we wouldn t trade for anything Are we willing That s the real question If we let him choose for us, we will find way than we ve been hoping for with all our striving Unlike Jesus, we bring a good bit of our loneliness on ourselves through sin and selfishness Unlike Jesus, we deserve to be lonely Being left alone is a fit consequence for sin But Christ hasn t left us there He has come to rescue us from ourselves and all we do to destroy our lives and our relationships He gives us himself when the people we love have left us And he fills up from himself what no person or circumstance in this life can ever fill that aching place in our heart we call loneliness During his earthly life and in his death on the cross, Jesus did loneliness for us He is back with his Father now, and he comes to take us there too Close your reading of this book with Jesus s words to lonely hearts Let not your hearts be troubled Believe in God believe also in me In my Father s house are many rooms If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also I am the way, and the truth, and the life John 14 1 3, 6 I have nothing negative to say about this book Lydia writes that everyone will be lonely at some point in their life Whether from a move, life change, relationship status, death of a loved one, sin, whatever we will all be lonely at some point She then approaches how Christ is completely sufficient for us in any of those circumstances I loved how she was respectful when she corrected wrong thinking how her chapters were very specific, easy to read and also bite sized and how she wrote not only from her own life situation but in a way that is applicable to everyone Her life was not the central focus of the book Christ was The only thing that can fill the desire for companionship in our hearts is the One who placed in us a desire for togetherness. I was recommended this book to read along side another book with a similar theme I found Lydia s book to be carefully planned out and organized The chapters were short and to the point The book was filled with great vocabulary and intelligent thoughts I felt as though the writer respected me as a thinking woman I was convicted and encouraged to repent I was pointed to Christ in every chapter From the beginning of the book, I was given hope and a remedy for theme of the book It was very applicable and many examples of people in scripture were used to spur me on toward Christ, my groom and his heavenly kingdom Well done, Lydia Thank you I book I plan to turn to again when those seasons of loneliness return One of the ideas that I keep using in my day to day life is that loneliness or longing isn t wrong, it s an alert It should point me to something it should point me to Christ and His lordship in my life It should be an alert to refocus my attention on what my here and now is. The best book I ve read outside of the Bible I gave this book 5 stars because the author, Lydia Brownback, gave tremendous insight into why I am feeling so lonelyall backed up perfectly with scripture Her writing style is easy and relatable I almost felt as though I were sitting in her living room listening as she spoke.There s a story in scripture about a woman at the well where Jesus comes and asks her to give him a drink After their exchange she realizes who he is and goes into her town saying, Come Meet the man who told me all about myself I would say of this book and author, Come Read this book that told me all about my loneliness and it s cause Nothing has compelled me to seek the Lord with all my heart I really wanted to love this book It was, after all, recommended by The Gospel Coalition and the Mortification of Spin podcast and endorsed by some well known, respected Christian authors We all could learn on its topic and the solutions it offers Who hasn t dealt with loneliness at least once in their life It is necessary for Christians to have a proper, biblical view of this ubiquitous problem in our social media saturated culture However, I found that the author s hermeneutics are off in some parts.What I didn t like about the book 1 In the beginning of the book, she states that loneliness is a result of our sin But later on, she says it really is not For sure, loneliness exists because of the fall But being lonely doesn t necessarily mean you re in sin It s how you respond to loneliness that could be sin.2 She makes a distinction between being lonely and being alone God saw that Adam s aloneness as not good, but it is not a result of the fall But then throughout the book, she mixes loneliness and aloneness as if they re synonymous It s quite confusing.3 The chapters are organized so she addresses loneliness in different life circumstances leaving, night, obedience, running away, grief, being different, being unclean, misplaced love, marriage, being unmarried In the first eight of these, she uses biblical examples to make her point This is where her hermeneutics is off She forces her point in these characters, that they struggled with loneliness when they struggled with something else entirely No doubt, they probably battled with loneliness, but it wasn t their main problem Leaving she uses Abraham as an example His problem was disobedience and not trusting the Lord That s why he lied about Sara being his wife.Night this chapter seems out of place in the book She addresses the literal loneliness of night and jumps to Jacob s wrestling with and being humbled by God I don t really get the connection here She also implies hating nighttime is the same as loneliness.Obedience she uses Joseph as an example, though she does admit the Bible isn t explicit in saying he was lonely when he was mistreated by his brothers, sold to Egypt, and wrongfully imprisoned She claims Joseph overcame his loneliness by embracing God s purposes as his own Running away she uses Elijah as an example, but his problem was not loneliness His main issues were self pity, discouragement, and fear of men He focused on his circumstances, instead of God s character.Grief she uses David s grief over Absalom s death as an example here David s real problem wasn t loneliness, but regret and guilt His past sins led to Absalom s eventual demise He grieved, of course, but grief is not synonymous with loneliness.Being different this chapter should ve been entitled, Loneliness in Being Sick The author uses the example of the woman in Mark 5 25 who had been suffering from bleeding for 12 years Based on this passage, the author concludes that if we focus on our sufferings, we will be lonely She again assumes loneliness of being different was this sick lady s problem I think her big issue was her disease Being Unclean the author uses the demon possessed man from Mark 5 1 20 as an example She describes this man s situation and jumps to idolatry True, idolatry makes us lonely, but this man s main problem wasn t idolatry and certainly not loneliness His main problem was he was demon possessed She says that the modern manifestation of demon possession may be in addictions, I.e different forms of idolatry It almost sounds like it s not our fault if we re addicts because we re just under the influence of the devil Misplaced Love she uses the adulterous Samaritan woman at the well as an example She goes from describing this lady with multiple husbands and her focus on filling her physical thirst when Jesus was referring to spiritual thirst , to our tendency to abuse food and drink consumption as a way to cope with loneliness It seems like a big jump What I liked 1 It is saturated with Scripture Sadly, many Christian books nowadays are all about man s opinions without a biblical basis Ms Brownback did a great job putting the focus on what the Bible says.2 She has helpful questions at the end of each chapter that are great for discussions and self examination.3 Her conclusions on how to deal with loneliness in different circumstances are right on Jesus is the answer He fulfills our every need We can go to Him with our struggles He went through them himself and is our greatest comforter because he knows what we re going through.We re too focused on the little things, removals of suffering, that we fail to see the big picture of spiritual healing We seek for any remedy to make us feel normal It is Jesus He gives us Himself, fills up what is lacking 4 For the last 3 chapters and conclusion, the author did a phenomenal job addressing loneliness because she didn t use any biblical examples to make her point For this reason, I cannot recommend these chapters enough If only she applied this study method throughout the book.5 She gives an outstanding emphasis on the importance of church involvement We were made by God as relational beings, to fellowship and to belong in community We do not have to be, and should not be, alone The church is there to fill the need of belonging, even if we are single and or struggling with loneliness.5 Here are some wonderful gems and favorite quotes Loneliness is an indicator that something is missing, and that something is found only in Jesus Christ Lonely times are preparatory times for greater things Our problem isn t God s failure to heal, but it s our expectation of what that healing should look like Singleness is not a problem to be solved To an idolator, blessings become a means of bondage paraphrased This study on loneliness is timely and applies to all women in some way at some time in their lives I find the author s writing is concise, and she deals with her subject thoroughly There is a rich use of Scripture throughout The questions at the end of each chapter are appropriate for group discussion and or personal reflection be sure to have your journal at hand Personally, I learned that some of my choices have left me lonely, but that my focus on my devotion to Jesus Christ is the answer Also, I need to seek out fellowship instead of using my disability as an excuse to wait for others to come to me.I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.
Lydia Brownback MAR, Westminster Theological Seminary serves as a senior editor at Crossway in Wheaton, Illinois, and an author and speaker at women s conferences around the world Lydia previously served as writer in residence for Alistair Begg and as producer of the Bible Study Hour radio program with James Montgomery Boice.
- 174 pages
- Finding God in My Loneliness
- Lydia Brownback
- 04 August 2017 Lydia Brownback