People in the United States are experiencing loneliness at a greater rate than ever before.
If you feel alone in reading this email, well, you aren't alone. That isn't a statement to dismiss your sense of isolation, but to point to data that says that it's something many other people are experiencing too.
It's quite possible our country has never had so many people living it and we have technology that makes our ability to connect greater than ever before. These factors should lead to greater connection between people, but it's having the opposite effect.
We're surrounded by people and feel a deep loneliness and isolation. In fact, having people all around us can actually lead to a greater sense of isolation. While being surrounded by people, nobody seems like they understand how you see the world. And these feelings become overwhelming. They shape our reality and lead us to believe that no one is with us to laugh, cry, sulk or dance. All of those activities are for us to experience alone without other people to share them.
And while these narratives are very real in our heads, they aren't true of human experience. We're not alone. There are other people who have had similar experiences who are also feeling isolated and are looking for connection. They want to share their lives with other people and break through the false narrative of isolation.
I imagine this sense of being all alone in the world is one that Jacob felt while he was in the wilderness running from his brother. He had experienced the close community of his family and twin brother for 40 years of life and had walked away from all of it. He felt physical and emotional distance.
And yet in this place is where God greeted him in a dream. He was reminded that we wasn't alone in that space and he wouldn't be alone at any other stage of his life. God was with him and God was going to stay with him. That's a powerful intervention in the depth of isolation.
You're not alone.
You won't be alone.
You are deeply loved and valued.