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  • Writer's pictureDawn Wallis

Lessons Learned in Loneliness

As I write this, it’s a dreary December 30th morning, 2021. I’m sitting on the floor in my closet, next to my dog, while the movers pack pieces of our lives into a truck. This is the 2nd time in 6 months that I have moved and the fourth time since 2020 when Nic and I got married. We’ve come to be on a first name basis with our movers and even consider them as friends of sorts.

My heart is filled with excitement at the thought of moving to Charleston. It’s a quintessential Southern town brimming with antebellum charm and the beauty of marshes, palm trees, and the ocean. This week alone I’ve interviewed for three different jobs and am waiting to hear back on others to which I’ve applied. I sense the season of sitting and waiting, rest and relaxation, patience and pursuit is coming to an end. I don’t know what this next chapter holds, but I know the One who holds it.

Since I’ve been in Holly Springs, NC the Lord has done a deeper healing work in my life. I’ve been in positions that have caused me to face the dysfunction in my nuclear family. I’ve had moments of loneliness and sorrow that have resulted in mourning over the current state of my relationship with my children. I’ve wondered what God’s plans are knowing He hasn’t forgotten me but wondering why He isolated me. I’ve thrown pity parties. I’ve gone into seldom traveled places in my mind. I’ve gone for days without seeing another person other than Nic’s good morning kiss and prayer and lying next to him in the evening while he dozed. Simply put, for an extrovert, the past year has been brutal.

Even though, 2021 has been filled with a plethora of emotions, disappointments, doubts, and questions, it has also been a time of growth. I was able to successfully complete writing my first novel. With Nic’s encouragement, I achieved 74,000 words and received encouraging feedback from a professional editor. I have a few tweaks left to make, but they will come in early 2022. I have also, by God’s grace, made peace with my past, generally speaking. I’ve surrendered the dreams of having a normal functional family and have made peace with my relationships with my children. I am learning to respect and honor their choices, whether they include me in their lives or not. I have learned that I am not defined by my performance as a wife, mother, daughter, or sister. Rather, I am defined by Christ in me. Anything good is of Him, anything contrary is my flesh rearing its hideous head. In early 2021, II got to hug my son for the first time since 2018. I also had an hour and a half of gut-wrenching, yet healing conversation with him. I spoke with my son on Christmas Day for the first time in five years because he reached out to me. Hearing him say, “Love you Mom,” while celebrating the birth of the Savior, has overwhelmed my heart with joy. Watching my oldest daughter complete her Bachelor’s Degree and receive an incredible promotion with Target causes me to brim with pride that’s only acceptable for a parent. Knowing my youngest graduated at 20 with her Bachelor's and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree makes my heart smile. Even though she keeps me at a distance, I stand afar and am filled with awe.

My Scripture verse for 2022 is Psalm 90:12. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” That is my prayer, my purpose, and my pursuit. Lord, give me grace to follow steadfast after You.

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