(Review) Finding God In My Loneliness by Lydia Brownback
Genre: Christian growth, Loneliness
Source: I received this book free of charge from Crossway
Link at Amazon
Link for more info at the publisher: Crossway
Lydia Brownback (MAR, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as a senior editor at Crossway in Wheaton, Illinois, and an author and speaker at women’s conferences around the world. Lydia previously served as writer in residence for Alistair Begg and as producer of the Bible Study Hour radio program with James Montgomery Boice.
Finding God In My Loneliness is a book that is filled with profound wisdom and strong teaching. While reading I took notes. Taking notes makes it easier when I write reviews. In addition, I wrote down a few favorite quotes on index cards to continue pondering their weighty insight. I love this book and am eager to write this review.
The introduction is titled: "Why Are We Lonely?"
God created human beings with a capacity for loneliness so that we would yearn for and find our all in Him...loneliness will be fully eradicated only when we get to heaven.The following thirteen chapters explore reasons why we are lonely, different types of loneliness; and the last chapter, "Loneliness Redeemed."
One of my favorite chapters is chapter three: "The Loneliness of Leaving." The Bible character used for illustration is Abraham.
Often, home is understood as home only after we have left it...without realizing it, we are defined by home, but we discover that reality only when we've gone to live somewhere else." Page 38.We break away from the old life and to God's calling of our new life. Yet, we're homesick for the old life.
I can relate. On August 18, 2011 we left the town we'd lived in for 25 years. We left our home, friends, family, church, and memories. We moved to a larger city and bought a new home. My dad moved with us. He too left behind 25 years of home and memories. On the cusp of this new life, dad died, ironically on August 18, 2013. Afterwards, began a long grieving process for me. I'm still adjusting to this new place God had planted me, but several of the things I'd held onto as my identity was finished. I have spent the past 3 1/2 years since dad's death, grieving over various things that I'd held onto for way too long.
I had been able to say intellectually: my identity is in Christ Jesus. But God has led me to a new place, where I must live out my identity in Christ Jesus. After reading the last page of this book, it dawned on me, God did not place me in this new city just because of my husband's job. God has placed me in this new city to serve Him in a new way, which is through children's leadership in Bible Study Fellowship. I've taken on several leadership positions since moving to this new city, some in BSF and some in my church.
Brownback states, "We are tempted to turn back when going gets rough...Our identity is not in past or future, it's in Him."
I think looking back on the past can be a source of comfort and pleasure, but I tend to glamorize the past, thinking only of the positive and not realizing the past had its problems as well.
The next chapter is chapter four: "The Loneliness of Night."
"The loneliest women I know aren't single women-they are those in a difficult marriage."
Later in chapter eleven there is further teaching on loneliness in marriage.
Brownback shares that women marry in order to not be lonely. Women expect their spouse to fill their every need. Resentment can happen when needs are not met.
My husband has a depression problem. He will not acknowledge it, he will not seek treatment, he will not take the medicine the doctor has prescribed. The depression comes and goes. He can go through periods of time where he is stable. He can go through periods of time where he is withdrawn. He can go through periods of time where he has outbursts of anger. In 34 years of marriage, you'd think I'd had become a pro at how to deal with this problem, but I'm still learning.
Page 115 held strong help for me:
Loneliness in marriage whatever the cause known or unknown, significantly diminishes as we come more fully to understand what our union with Christ entails...Marriage now, on earth, is a symbol for marriage later, in heaven. And because it's a symbol, it will never measure up to the real thing...So rather than asking God to make our marriage more fulfilling, let's ask Him to work through it to show us more of Christ.I'm thankful Lydia Brownback wrote this book. It has been a touchstone of help for me.