You Are Not Alone
Writings by Barbara Billingsley | Reflections & Prayers by Charlotte Miller
Have you ever felt totally alone and in despair? Barbara felt exactly that way a few years ago. She cried out to the Lord after a church service, and He led her to ask Charlotte if they could get together, even though they barely knew each other. It was a ‘God thing’ that they were both free that Sunday afternoon and when they started talking, God started working. Barbara was looking for a close friend… someone to ‘do life with’ who would be available to talk or meet on a regular basis. Charlotte had a full-time job plus family to care for and ministry responsibilities at church and didn’t think she had time to have a friend or be a friend to anyone. God had His own plan for both of them! His plan was to bond them in an eternal friendship that would bring them to walk life together and even minister together. As God led Barbara to write down her thoughts and emotions, He began to work in Charlotte’s life to show her how He wanted her to help meet some of those needs. In turn, Barbara became a dear friend and prayer partner to Charlotte, helping her deal with the pressures of her busy life. God, in His Sovereignty, met needs they knew they had and some needs of which they were totally unaware.
As we reflect on this friendship given by God, we long to share hope and comfort with those who feel left out, forgotten, unloved, and unseen by those racing past them on the roadway of life. It is our prayer that everyone who reads the enclosed writings and prayers will sense God’s desire for them to first, experience genuine relationships and intimate connections with others, as well as being sensitive to the need to give of ourselves sacrificially to others.
God’s plan for you will be as unique as you are but we pray that you will realize that you are not alone. God cares, and He will provide your needs as you cry out to Him, lean on Him and learn to trust Him more each day.
THOUGHTS FROM BARBARA
These writings came about as the result of my Heavenly Father asking me to be willing to allow Him to put my pain into words. I’m not a writer and had no desire to write, but I desired to submit to God’s will in this. My journey has taken me from being involved in full-time ministry to being on full-time disability. My health issues have hindered and limited my ability to be involved in many day-to-day activities. I have experienced a sense of loss of who I was and what I could do, which has resulted in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and alienation.
I then began to look for resources that could help me or to find stories of others who had experienced what I was experiencing. I realized that writings from the vantage point of the sufferer seemed to be lacking. While you are in the midst of pain, it is very difficult to express it to others in a way that they can understand or comprehend. The purpose, therefore, of these writings is twofold:
- To give voice to the sufferers’ experience so that they don’t feel all alone in their pain.
- To help family, loved ones, and friends have a heightened sensitivity to know how to better reach into the pain and bring relief to those they care about.
The title YOU ARE NOT ALONE can have three different meanings:
- To express to each of those who are suffering, struggling, and in pain, that you are not the only one feeling what you feel, even though it often seems that way.
- No matter how deep and dark your times may seem, you are rarely completely alone because of those who are in your life.
- Most importantly, we are promised in God’s word (Hebrews 13:5) that we are never alone because of His constant presence in our lives. He never leaves us. He never forsakes us.
I have been very blessed that God has given me a friend for the journey. She has made the commitment to ride on the roller coaster that is my life. She loves me unconditionally and models Christ’s love for me. She helps me to see myself as Christ sees me. Her reflections on my writings are a picture of how we have journeyed together. Thank you, Charlotte!
THOUGHTS FROM CHARLOTTE
The ability to be able to paint vivid word pictures that take the reader deep into the emotions and feelings of the writer is truly a gift from God Himself. Barbara has lived out these writings daily. She has experienced a depth of pain and loneliness that few can understand, and yet her words take us down to that depth and give us a glimpse into something that cannot be completely understood unless it has been experienced. For those who love someone that has experienced this type of pain and suffering, her descriptions tug at our hearts and help God nudge our hearts towards action and not just emotion.
It is definitely uncomfortable to read of such agony, and yet so very necessary for loved ones to have just a small taste of what the sufferer experiences on a regular basis. Without such understanding, we tend to offer platitudes and one-size-fits-all answers that are of absolutely no help at all. In fact, those rubber stamp solutions can cause additional pain because the sufferer feels only more isolated by experiences not understood by those who are the only people available to offer comfort.
Even with everything she has shared with me, only Barbara and the Lord actually know the depths of what she has had to experience in order to write such wrenching accounts and visualizations of her pain. I admire Barbara greatly for the way she continues to seek the Lord on a daily basis, even on the days that are the most painful and desperate. God uses her every day to show me what real spiritual perseverance looks like. The reflections are what I feel the Lord wants us to do in response to the needs of those who are hurting. The prayers are for the one who is hurting and the one God has called to help as they walk through life together.
Our son died in a car wreck 13 years ago and I would not have survived or been able to heal from that loss had loving people not walked that journey with me. My heart’s desire is to share God’s Love, Mercy, Compassion, and Grace with hurting people.
I so often fall short of what God is calling me to be as a friend but I long to fulfill His plan for my life and to encourage those who are hurting. God has used Barbara to help teach me what compassion and love really are. Thank You, Barbara!