September 5, 2010

My Temperature After One Week of College

People have asked how school is going- and strangely I find myself incapable of giving a straight answer. Do I hesitate to complain? to cause people to worry? Or am I afraid they won't understand this strange hurt which gnaws at my heart?

I say school is fine because it is fine. My classes are fine, too- at times good. Even very good. I don't dread my classes. I dread the day.

Because the truth is- I am incredibly lonely. Loneliness. I realize now I had never known it.

I used to think tournaments were lonely. All my friends would be in or watching debates, and I - tired, uninterested speechy would wander the halls feeling sorry for myself. But I had only to find a mother to have arms wrapped around me- "You're beautiful. You're wonderful. Can I do anything for you? Are you hungry?"

That was not loneliness.

My entire life I have been with people who, if they did not share my interests shared my culture, if not my culture- my God. And that made us brothers.

But now?... now... (My pen wavers, what to say?)

I can reach out, yes. I can talk to people who don't want to talk to me- who can't understand me...

But (my dear friends!) - I have no solace. Not one moment of abandon and ease. No blind, loving trust.

The cute guys, whom I find watching me instead of the professor, party on weekends.

The girls- they smile at me in a confused sort of way as I talk. But I long to look beyond their (lack of) dress and see a soul I could love- and one God can save.

And at lunch? The cafeteria reverberates with curses, gossiping, and flirtation. I find a place where I am in no one's way and eat, finding it hard to enjoy it because it seems nobody cares- and I wish it were over. Lunch has never felt so long.

I want a friend. It wouldn't take much. All I want is to see somewhere in that overwhelming room a head bow- to my God.

But no.

Because I am a stranger in a foreign land.

I learned this lesson already in India. There was a reason Christ sent the disciples out two-by-two. I hope to attend the campus bible-study soon so I can find my people. But until that time- God's stretching me. A lot.

I forget about Him so easily. And then I remember. And peace washes my soul.

I will not let them steal my joy. His joy.

My security is not found in what people think of me, but who I am in Christ.

Oh, that He might ever more be my all in all.


  1. I was at my school's "freshman first night" which was kind of like a massive party with booths for the clubs and palm readers and psychics for amusement . . . and the second I showed up I wanted to leave. But then I found the Intervarsity booth, and got to talking with two girls there, and, oh, Linda, the relief! To find someone with whom I could rest, could instantly connect with because we had Jesus in common, I felt so blessed.

    And so, I'm praying the same for you. I feel this kind of loneliness you've described so often. Even though the stretching is so /healthy/ for one's soul, and His security so boundlessly wonderful, I pray that you find the community He created you for.

    And oh! I am /so/ glad to have someone to commiserate through these new college experiences!

  2. The first semester of college for me (at a Christian college no less!) remains as the loneliest time of my life. It was so bad I felt physically in pain, like there was a gaping, aching hole in my chest.

    I think part of it is the huge shift from family life to independence. We realize for the first time that we will be having to face the world on our own two feet. At least for me, it was scary and empty.

    I'm sorry you feel this. It is hard.

  3. "It might be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two, but two is not twice one. Two is two thousand times one." -G. K. Chesterton.

    I pray that you will find a friend, Linda. (I wish I could express my facial expression to you)

  4. @Hayley: Ah! Yes. I didn't go to them- but my school advertised hypnotists and such. :-/

    *laughs* Ah, stretching... Yes, /this/ is good. It just isn't fun. ;-)

    @L.L: Mmm. :-( Yes, I am blessed at least to be able to come home every night to a family that loves me. And that is wonderful. But being on my own is a little scary. I surprise myself by how confident I can be- even as the excitement leaves me reeling and- again- feeling acutely alone.

    @Michael: Ah, Chesterton. Good quote. :-D ReExpression: Thanks. :)

    Thank you for your sympathy and prayers. :-)

    And Future-Friend, wherever you are, people are praying you my direction. ;-) Please. Don't fight it. :-P