I spent lunch on the first day of high school crying in the bathroom.

Dramatic? You bet. But as a shy freshman nervous to make friends at a new school, it felt like the world was ending.

You see, even though I’d made the volleyball team a week beforehand, every one of my teammates seemed to have a different class schedule than me. But lunch was the bright spot I clung to. There, I’d have teammates to sit with—I’d confirmed it! I wouldn’t have to worry about who to sit with and could at least pretend to know what I was doing on day one…or so I thought.

But as soon as the bell rang after geometry and I headed to the lunchroom, my teammates were nowhere in sight. They’d misjudged their schedules and had a different lunch hour than me. It was all too much; I didn’t know what to do! So, I did the only thing I could think of—I headed to the bathroom and, well, you know the rest.

Besides this one instance, I’ve spent many, many, times alone—especially this past year. Yes, the pandemic is an obvious culprit, but throw in a lack of community, a new job, and a big move, there have been way more forced opportunities to be alone than I expected.

But what if we can take seasons of aloneness, which have great potential to breed loneliness, boredom, and idleness and actually enjoy being alone? How do we realize that these times might just be a gift and produce something beautiful and fruitful?


Step 1: Enjoy Being Alone by Listening

Use this time to listen to what your body and soul desire. God gives us good gifts (James 1:17) and our bodies—which he created to be incredible—are one of those gifts. We need to listen to what our bodies want because they often signal us to our needs—needs that God already knows, but that, in past seasons, we might have been missing.

When we’re alone, we have the time and ability to listen to our bodies more clearly. Are you hungry and want to slowly make a nourishing breakfast to highlight God’s good gift of food and flavor? Do you want to fulfill a passion God has placed in you by painting, reading, or exercising on your lunch break? Perhaps you can use your evening time to rest or make space for your mental health.

Being alone offers more space to figure out what fills you up (and less opinions about what those things are) and can make listening to the needs of your specific body and soul clearer. Remember: what you need is okay!


Step 2: Enjoy Being Alone by Learning

Learn and understand who God made you to be and lean into that. Yes, we’re all made in his image (Genesis 1:27), but we each reflect him in different ways, with unique gifts and talents (1 Corinthians 12:28). But do we really know what those gifts and talents are?

Often, we don’t take the time to be comfortable with who God has made us to be because we have the option to avoid being alone with ourselves. But there is something to be said for accepting yourself for who God designed you to be—digging into your interests, understanding your dislikes, and investing in people who bring out the best version of you.

For me, this led me to start doing more activities that made me feel like me—like knitting and running. Learning to love who you are makes it easier to accept yourself and lean into your interests and passions.

God placed those interests and passions inside of you and with them, a unique design and purpose for your life. Who knows where they could lead you—an exciting job, an opportunity to volunteer, another state? Regardless of the unique journey we’re on, knowing and loving ourselves will give us the opportunity to love God better using the talents, gifts, and passions he put inside of us.


Step 3: Enjoy Being Alone by Leaning

Lean on Jesus for support. When Jesus was alone in the desert being tempted (Matthew 4:1-11), he leaned on God to strengthen and sustain him, even though he was tired and hungry. In the same way, when we are in a season of aloneness we can lean on Jesus—although it’s never easy and doesn’t look the same for everyone.

While it’s helpful for me to stick to a daily routine of morning devotions and afternoon Bible readings, for others it might look like finding an accountability partner, taking a walk in nature, or journaling out prayers. In whatever way we choose to spend time with Jesus, trusting in him and his word will help us stand firm, knowing he is with us in whatever season we’re going through.


I can look back now to being alone at lunch on my first day of high school and see how it led me into a season of growth—my confidence and self-reliance improved, I pursued new interests, and I learned to see the value I brought to different situations. In the same way, this current season of aloneness is the start of new growth too.

Times of aloneness aren’t easy…they’re quite hard. But they’re fruitful. And I can only hope God reveals some sort of fruitfulness from them, and that you begin to enjoy being alone, too.