Finding Jesus in Our Loneliness: The Brave Work of Securing Our Identity in God
By Lisa Garon
God's Brave Women - Lisa's Story
As a child, I was known as a good girl. I loved to talk with anyone who would engage with me. I loved school. I loved going to church. Any time I could be around people, I was happy. Labeled as outgoing and an extrovert from a young age, I sought attention from others. Soon this would leave me empty and disappointed.
When I was 6, my sister was born but had a mild medical issue, rightfully taking up much of my parents’ attention and time. A few years later, my brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, further taking my parents’ attention. We had just moved to a small town in southern Illinois, and I struggled to make friends. Even though I knew Jesus and had made a decision in my life to believe in him, I was still left isolated and alone.
Over the next few years, this feeling of isolation and awkwardness grew intensely. By sixteen, I was in the throes of depression, self-harm, and an identity crisis. I still loved Jesus and was even involved in my church. But there was longing for committed relationships no one could fulfill. I wanted so desperately to be seen! Often, because of my over-eagerness, I would drive people away. The message I received was clear. I was too much. And now I was on my own.
"There was longing for committed relationships no one could fulfill. I wanted so desperately to be seen! Often, because of my over-eagerness, I would drive people away. The message I received was clear. I was too much. And now I was on my own."
As the years went by, I turned to binge drinking, food addiction, and promiscuity – seeking approval, relationships, and love. A self-proclaimed workaholic, sometimes working 80 hours a week, I didn’t make time for anything that wasn’t immediately gratifying. I still called myself a Christian, but my life was anything but Christ-like.