How I Found Joy in Loneliness and Longing

One of my childhood drawings, 10 years old
Childhood drawing, age 10

Joy came from the sorrow of my childhood longing and loneliness.

When I withdrew into private worlds of drawing and reading out of loneliness, I unknowingly honed my early skills as an artist and writer.  I majored in both fields in college.  Every day I use both art and writing in some form at work, and I aspire to write and create full-time someday.

When I turned to food for relief from my longing, I gained an appreciation for different flavors and textures.  I also developed a love for cooking and baking, which has blessed my family and given me a source of pride.

When the void felt achingly empty, I turned to God for help.  As a child I was fascinated with the concept of God as Father:  my holy, faithful, ever-present companion. I remember my pastor teaching religion class one day, teaching that we must love God even more than we love our parents.  Even though I was only a fourth- or fifth-grader, I prayed with tears that night, “God, help me love you most, but don’t tell Mommy and Daddy I do.”  I so wanted to please my Heavenly Father, to feel him near.

At a young age, my Heavenly Father drew me to himself.  He was tender with my young, broken heart.  He planted seeds of joy among the sorrows.  I take comfort knowing he was there with me all along.

I chose Psalm 145 at the beginning of this week, because it speaks of God’s care and provision:

You open your hand

and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways

and loving toward all he has made.

The Lord is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;

he hears their cry and saves them.

Psalm 145:16-19 NIV


My Heavenly Father heard my lonely cries as a child.  He was near to me then as he is near to me now.  He treated me with lovingkindness. He never allowed my coping mechanisms to totally fulfill me, because he wanted me to come to Him with all my needs and desires.

Lysa TerKeurst writes in Made to Crave:

God never intended for us to want anything more than we want Him.  Just the slightest glimpse into His Word proves that.

Have you met this Father who will satisfy all of your desires, and fulfill you like nothing else can?

I will close with this beautiful prayer, written by Ken Gire in Windows of the Soul:

A Prayer for Nourishment

How inarticulate are the longings of my soul, O God,

yet how acute are its pangs.

How incapable am I in understanding those longings,

let alone, in tending them.

Feed me with food, O God, that will best nourish my soul,

food that will intensify rather than satisfy

my love for you

and my longing to be with You.

Awaken every eternal seed You have planted in my soul

so while I am yet rooted in this earth

something of heaven might blossom in my life…


If you have enjoyed this week’s series on longing and loneliness, I would love to hear your feedback.  Send me an email at or feel free to leave a comment below.

Next week’s topic:  Sensitivity

Other posts in this series:

Psalm 145 Sunday praise

The wanting, 1985

Loneliness and Longing, Part 1

Loneliness and Longing, Part 2

  • Alecia Jarrett

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for compiling these thoughts to share. I was particularly drawn to Psalm 145 and the parallels to James 4 (I’ve been studying James recently). There is an emptiness, a longing inside of each of us, and only God can fulfill it. Your reflection is so true: “He never allowed my coping mechanisms to totally fulfill me, because he wanted me to come to Him with all my needs and desires.”

    “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” James 4:8a (NLT). We must call on him in truth, with humble hearts, and He gives grace upon grace. Thank you, Father, for being near me and guiding me in your ways even when it hurts for I know that you are good and you know better.

    Thank you for living out your faith and waiting patiently on God’s timing. I love you, sister!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful verse from James, and for the prayer you wrote. Blessings to you!

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