Encouraging Ourselves In The Solitude

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Following hard after a dream, chasing a vision and a goal, can be exciting at times. When your friends and family are rooting you on, when strangers are taking notice of your dedication and endurance, when your cup is full of encouragement and running over, you think this feeling of determination will last forever. Sometimes you get so caught up in it that you wonder how others have never followed their dreams or have quit along the way. With so much support, with so much positive and uplifting admonition, how hard could it possibly be to achieve that which we strive for?

And then everyone leaves. The clouds roll in. The sun sets. The wind turns cold.

And you find yourself alone, in the dark, with a few embers left of the fiery blaze of encouragement that moments earlier had warmed your bones and filled the room with what you thought would be enough heat to last for years.

These are the moments – these times in the darkness, in the solitude – that will test your mettle against the dream you are pursuing.

They can be confusing. Moments earlier, everyone was here, by your side, to support you. Now everyone is gone.

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Maybe they just went home because they have lives of their own. They still support you in spirit, and are always just a phone call away if you need their advice or encouragement again.

Or maybe they gave up on you and your dream because it took too long to come to fruition.

Or maybe the road got a bit too rough for them to follow you on.

Maybe they are chasing dreams of their own and need your encouragement as much as you need theirs.

Whatever the case, they are gone. And you are alone.

We will all face these times, especially when chasing after things that are bigger than us. The solitude can seem oppressive, almost like an omen foretelling our failure. Surely, if we were meant to reach this dream, to achieve this goal, then our support would be with us the entire journey. Right?

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Wrong.

Many quit at this point because this time in the darkness and solitude is a bit too much. We want our friends back. We want encouragement and approval and a pat on the back and a hug and a high-five.

But there are times we will come across when we have to encourage ourselves.

David had to encourage himself…

Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened {encouraged} himself in the Lord his God. – 1 Samuel 30:6 [NASB]

God is always there. Wherever we are. Whenever we are. And we must remind ourselves of what He has done for us in the past. What He has promised to do in the future. He is there in the darkness – even if nobody else is. And sometimes that will have to be enough to keep us going if we want to reach the finish line. The darkness can be thick and lonely, but His comfort, His light, His promise alone is greater than that darkness, that solitude.

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