Are you the type of person that when you are going through something in your life that is really tough, you tend to push others away? For me it depends on what it is. For example if it I had cancer, it wouldn't be hard for me to let others know and to receive their help. However, when I had an eating disorder, I felt guilty, embarrassed and ashamed so I didn't want anyone to know. So the worse things got with my eating disorder the more I tried to hide and push people away. I may not have pushed them away physically but emotionally my relationships became very shallow and few knew what was really going on in my life. I was an emotional island who had very few visitors.
WHY? Bottom line: FEAR. Fear of judgement. Fear of what other people might think. Fear of letting others down. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of being held accountable. Fear of hurting others.
Sometimes it seems easier to be an island. In a way I thought I was protecting myself but really I was hiding. It felt lonely, empty and isolated. The enemy likes us to be isolated because we are cut off from the body of Christ. It is much easier to get us to believe lies about ourselves and act on them if we have no one who is challenging how we are thinking.
Lets look at what Scripture says about isolation
God intended for us to live life with others and to help each other with our struggles.
o Genesis 2:18 “The LORD God said “it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
o Ecclesiastes 4:12 “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated but two can stand back to back and conquer.”
o Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”.
· The body does not function if different parts are isolated or disconnected.
o 1 Corinthians 12:20-21 “As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand “I don’t need you! And the hand cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you”.
· Isolation can open us up to spiritual attack especially when our thoughts go unchecked
o Proverbs 18:1 “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement"
· Jesus retreated into solitude to be with God.
o Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”.
o Matthew 14:23 “After he has sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain, by Himself to pray and when it was evening, He was there alone”.
From these verses we learn that time spent alone with God in solitude is Biblical, refreshing, and restorative. However, time spent in isolation brings anxiety, depression, loneliness, and fear.
But once you are already on an island, how do you get off? You need help. You have to share your struggle with someone. That might sound scary but you don't have to start telling everyone you meet saying "Hi, I'm Jen. I have an eating disorder. Could you tell me what time it is?" That is not what God intended either.
Beloved. Stop hiding. Find someone you trust. Share with them what is going on. Get off that island!