I am not alone
I finally began to enjoy rest as a single person
Over the last two years, I have finally begun to understand how to enjoy rest as a single person.
When I first moved to Japan nearly four years ago, Saturdays, my day off, were especially difficult, mainly because I imagined that everyone was with their own family, and I was alone. I had not yet learned to enjoy rest with my First Companion (time alone with Jesus). Though I looked forward to a day of rest after a busy week, it was a day I also dreaded, knowing that loneliness would show up.
Learning to enjoy rest began with understanding his love for me in deeper ways than ever before. Trying to believe the statement “I am not alone” shifted into unshakeably knowing that it is true. My heart no longer waited to be refilled through the next time with a friend; my heart found itself secure and continually steadfast because of the love from God. And so when I am with people now, it’s a joy and blessing, but it’s not my heart’s sustenance.
As with most things worth having to this extent, it didn’t come easily.
Looking over my life, I could see areas where I struggled to believe that God was enough for me, and as I laid down various things to give him first place in my heart, he showed me over and over that he is more than enough. He longs to show us any area where we believe he is not enough for us. And last year, it was in the area of rest. I wanted to discover how his companionship (not just during times of work and ministry, but during times of my rest) could truly satisfy my heart.
At the end of 2021, I saw tangible evidence of the work God has been doing in my heart. My birthday, specifically my birthday evening, is the most special time of my year. Last year, because of some changes in my friends’ lives, it was looking like I was going to celebrate with people during the day, but everyone was busy for the evening. So I planned a trip to northern Japan to ensure I would not be alone. But I felt him prompt me to stay in my city this year. I said yes. I will stay here, and I trust you that you will somehow bring someone so that I won’t be alone.
I shared this decision with my friend, and she responded: “What if he asks you to spend your birthday evening with him alone?“ No way! He wouldn’t do that! He knows how important this day is for me. But I felt him move in my heart. The next day, my heart had changed completely on the issue. I realized that I didn’t want to be with anyone else this birthday night except for my best friend. And I was able to say with all of my heart that he is that Best Friend.
I wrote about the full journey in Part 5 of the 55 Day PureHeart Challenge: “Satisfied (by His Love)” (https://onfire.jp/en/55daychallenge/).