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The Lord instructed Jeremiah, “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place” (Jer. As pointed out by one biblical scholar, “Hosea’s marriage is shocking (Hos. Jeremiah’s bachelorhood, however, is so unusual among the Jews that the Old Testament has no word for bachelor, and it undoubtedly reinforces questions about him.” (Endnote 5) Terence Fretheim, in his recent commentary on the book of Jeremiah, adds, “Given the importance of children in that culture, this prohibition would have been startling to both prophet and people.” (Endnote 6) To further complicate matters, Jeremiah was also to refrain from attending social events, such as funerals and weddings (Jer. His life was consumed with fulfilling his prophetic role.

Jeremiah endured the absence of a spouse or family, removal from all social events, and a thankless and despised profession—few individuals in this world have had greater reasons to embrace loneliness.

But it would be misleading to deny that loneliness has been an issue in my life and that on occasion the cloud of isolation will revisit.

I also feel it is important to share because I know that many singles share this plight. The single adult confesses, “I grapple with my singleness because I don’t like being alone. I want to know that someone trusts me and takes an interest in me.” Such feelings are echoed time and time again by single adults.

Reticence surrounds my disclosure for I have grown in my acceptance of being alone.

In fact, I now value my singleness and the times when I can steal away to think, meditate, and unwind after a day spent surrounded by and giving to people.

Now please understand I have nothing against Greeks or teenagers, but a culture that enjoys dinner at 10 p.m. Compared to my time in Aberdeen, my loneliness is far milder and less frequent now, yet I still find myself relying on the “Prozac of loneliness”—busyness.

Working long hours drowns out my soul’s longings and distracts me from my inadequacies.

Lord, I feel so isolated and alone.” These words were lifted from the journal written during my first year of doctoral studies in Scotland.

After saying farewell to my family and friends, I arrived at a location where I knew no one.

While this prophet did struggle with life, anxious thoughts, and fears, Jeremiah displays five ways to persevere and continue despite living alone. Recognition of God’s Calling In Frodo protests to Gandalf crying, “I am not made for perilous quests. But you have been chosen and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have.” (Endnote 8) Like Frodo, Jeremiah was called.

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