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Sunday, October 13, 2013

#HeyEvan: From Solitary in Snowland

#HeyEvan: Solitary in Snowland
#HeyEvan: I went through a rehab program for a drug addiction and i am now working at an addiction counseling center up north. I miss my family like crazy because they live like a 24 hour drive from here. HELP

#HeyEvan: From Solitary in Snowland

By Evan Nehring

#HeyEvan: I went through a rehab program for a drug addiction and i am now working at an addiction counseling center up north. I miss my family like crazy because they live like a 24 hour drive from here. Things are going pretty good here. I know it was God, when i came here but i really have no friends outside the center so some of me wants to leave. HELP

Photo Credit: breaking light on Flickr Creative Commons

#HeySolitary: Boy, I really appreciate how difficult your situation is. Loneliness is crushing. I wrote a blog post about a season when I was young, single and desperately lonely. I've been praying for you for a few days since I got your message. Hopefully there's some God stuff in this response.

One of the great blessings of my season of loneliness was that I used it to push deeper in my relationship with God. I literally would do crazy things like buy cards and roses for Jesus. My family wasn't quite as far away as yours, but they were in another country and I only saw them about once a year. I would have preferred to be married at that time, but I decided to use that time to pursue God. There was a sweetness in the bitterness that's difficult to explain. It still wasn't easy, but God met me and deepened me in that time.

Another thought I had for you is to consider bridging the generation gap where you are. Maybe there are some older folks close by who would make wonderful friends. It could be a real win win. Older people deal with a great deal of loneliness. They also have a lifetime of stories to tell. I bet they'd listen to some of your stories too.

I just finished writing a book section dealing with the distance decision when choosing a place to work. Location is a big deal, as you've learned full well! Your decision on how long to stay up north is fully yours. One factor at this point is to honor your employer and also to make a quality addition to your resume. Do your best to decide well, plan well, and give plenty of notice instead of just taking off one day.

One last thought: distance is painful and you may need to push through the pain to bridge the gap. A twenty four hour drive sounds like a two-day drive. There's certainly some expense involved there, but often the driving is the most painful thing. Maybe, though, it would be worth a crazy road trip even if you only get to be home for a day or two. Pushing through that brutal drive might help you last longer and make a continued impact of the people you're serving.

You know David really wore his heart on his sleeve in his Psalms. Psalm 139 is no exception. These are verses 7-12 from The Message version:

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
   to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
   If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
   to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
   you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
   At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
   night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

I know your pain is real, and I know that God is always there with you.

How #HeyEvan works...

If you have some thoughts for Solitary, I'm sure they'd be welcome.

Also, if you have a #HeyEvan question to ask, here's how you do it:

Email me at with #HeyEvan in the subject line and your question in the body of the email. Or you can Facebook message me (Evan Nehring) or tweet me or direct message me @EvanJayNehring. Use the #HeyEvan hashtag. If you have an anonymous way to send it to me, great. If not, I promise to keep your identity private.

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