To The Woman Sitting Alone in Church, Please Stay

I’ve been you. And I see you.

I’ve sat alone in a sea of families by myself. Maybe it’s deployments, singleness, a crazy work schedule, or an unbelieving spouse. No matter the reason, the loneliness hurts.

Church is a wonderful place and is very counter-cultural in its love for families. It is a beautiful thing but when you’re sitting alone, it makes you feel like an outsider, an unwelcome.

But friend, the Church needs you. You are an important, vital part to the Body of Christ, not an after thought. Your worship on Sunday morning matters to you and to those sitting around you. We need you to keep showing up, keep being vulnerable, and keep loving hard.

Let’s be brave and ask to sit with a new friend when it’d be easier to sneak in the back and bolt out as soon as the benediction is pronounced. Let’s keep fighting to bring unity and love to our churches. Let’s fight to be worthy of the sacrifice we’ve been given.

I wrote more about this on Her View from Home last week:

I see you there. You might have slipped in quietly as the service began or you might have been chatting it up as you came through the doors, but either way, now there you sit. Alone and exposed in a sea of families. 

I’ve been you. For different reasons in different seasons. You might be a single mom or just a single, braving a very family-centric environment alone. You might be sitting, praying for a husband to believe and to share in the faith you’ve found and hold dear. Maybe, like me, your better half’s work schedule keeps him away or he’s traveling, yet again, for work. No matter the reason, the pain, the vulnerability that comes from sitting alone is the same. And until it’s been you, it’s hard to understand . . . 

Read more here from Her View from Home

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    • It is. I think often it is not about judgement as much as it is that we are just drawn to similar people. Church calls us to break out of that and to embrace the larger community.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I hope that you are someday able to give it a second chance and find a beautiful, loving community.

  1. I’ve avoided going to church for a few years now because just me and my two boys (a toddler who won’t sit still) I sit in the back and bolt out as soon as service is over.

    • That breaks my heart. I hope you are able to reengage with the church community and find a way to make it easier. These are rough days but God is good and your worship matters. So does the worship of your two little ones.

  2. I’ve been there! It’s so hard when you move to a new place and try to find a new church. Always seems like you’re sitting in someone’s pew! It’s so difficult to listen to all the friendly conversation around you, feeling like a stranger. This was a lovely post. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for your post. As a woman who has been sitting alone at church for over 40 years, I can honestly say that I am pass those uneasy feelings that everyone is looking at me.
    I do realize that many might think that I am a widow because of my age but I am not .I am not embarrassed nor do I care what people think. My husband is an atheist and I am a born again believer. We are so unevenly yoked!
    I have never been tempted to stop going to church. Going gives me peace and strength. My advice to all is to keep going and keep trusting God. Remember that you must never allow those uneasy feelings to get in the way of you loving and serving the Lord.

    • I am so glad that you’ve kept on going. Your church needs you and you need the believers around you. Thank you for setting that example of perseverance and trust.

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