I Was a Loner

Ishah
Rutland, VT

I was a loner. And a cynic. I pored over philosophy books on Friday nights with a box of wine. The little time I did spend with other people ended in debates over the state of humanity, which I believed was doomed. I went to class. I wrote my papers. I passed by on the conveyor belt largely unnoticed. I listened to music, blasting, in my apartment in the slums of Worcester, Massachusetts. I would go hiking and camping whenever my meager funds allowed me. I prided myself in being a headstrong woman, rejecting all the societal norms that tried to confine me.

Every relationship I was ever a part of served only to further amplify my loneliness. I could not find a solid rock to stand on anywhere, so I set my sights on a peak unseen and began to climb. But on top of cliffs is not where we were meant to dwell.

Even though I watched drugs and alcohol destroy the lives of my family, I began to experiment with them myself. I convinced myself that it brought me closer to God. With every psychedelic trip, I developed what I thought was a deeper love for my fellow man -- a clearer perception of reality, that dissipated all too quickly once I returned to the wretched state of sobriety, a state that left me all too aware of my loneliness. Then it was back to the daily grind of work, school, and play. I was looking for something eternal that would satisfy my soul; I was convinced I could find it in six to twelve hour increments of shimmering awareness.

I believed in God, but did nothing to actively seek Him. Still, I felt a deep-seated depression at the thought of what our Creator must think of the existence of life on this planet. Had we all become a mindless mass of pleasure- seeking machines? I was convinced that God is love. I wanted to understand my purpose and be solidified on the path of loving my neighbor. I spent my days seeking an all-encompassing love, but I could not find it anywhere.

Society perceives creation and our existence as purposeless. This take on reality perfectly lends itself to the shallow and self-centered lifestyle which pervades our culture, our practices, our beliefs, our minds, and our spirits, "for if there's no everlasting God, there's no such thing as virtue, and there's no need of it."1 Under this regime I grew more and more dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and empty. I increased my consumption of my many vices, becoming numb and disconnected from others and from myself. I rode on false highs and temporary escapes from reality through pleasurable and isolating pursuits.

Nothing could keep me distracted from my innate knowledge of good and evil for long. I could not shake off this awareness, but I also couldn't live in accordance with it. So I continued running from it, searching desperately for something indefinable to fill my emptiness. "A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze."2 I knew deep down that I was a rat too, just like everyone else. I knew that as a member of society, there was no escaping it -- but at least I knew that I was inside of a maze.

The wicked spirits of the modern world continually whisper distractions. In exchange for their promises of entertainment and ease, we learn to silence our conscience.

Convinced as I was that I was set apart from my morally degraded peers, I was really just another lost soul, though the world was trying very hard to mold me into a pre-fashioned box of optimal productivity, neatly assimilating me into society.

As time went by I made it my highest focus to be completely honest with myself. I had learned that attempting to reach this zenith of honesty and truth with another human being always ended painfully. A lack of true human connection further entrenched me in my lonely life, but I convinced myself that I was fulfilled by my books, music, knowledge, drugs, and cynicism.

The thrilling feeling that once arose in me whenever I would think about eternity was replaced with uneasiness. An impending sense of doom was developing deep in my gut. I was hopelessly lost in a world which encouraged sin and evil and I knew I wasn't right with our Creator. Still I lived under the pretense I was doing the best I could, given the circumstances. The compromise of one's soul is a gradual deception.

I would watch the faces of those who I walked by, noting the fleeting eye contact, the anxiety. I felt pity, anger, and resentment for all of these passerby's, under the illusion that I was any different. In the passing moments I would sense the depression and dejection in their eyes, how disconnected we all seemed from the rest of creation and from one another.

I wanted to scream from the tops of buildings: "Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all."3 I wanted to snap people out of their drudgery, even though I was also neck deep in it.

Just before going under, I met a group of people whose lives surpassed all of my highest hopes of peace, love, and unity. They lived together, worked together, and shared all things in common. There was no pretense among them. For the first time I saw the true extent of my fallen condition, com- pared to the limitless love and selflessness I had finally found in them. I never wanted to leave, and they welcomed me with open arms and eyes filled with love. I am now a part of them.

The crooked way in all of us is what makes the world a crooked place to live. The good news I have found in the Twelve Tribes of new Israel is the message of man's salvation -- being redeemed for the purpose we were created for.

Our Creator appointed mankind to rule and restore the earth, through love. This love manifests itself in a love for others that causes us to forget our selfishness. This way of life is the only way that we can live by the love of God's Spirit. Our Creator gives His Spirit to those who obey him. He set eternity in our hearts. The key to eternity is love -- a true, self-sacrificing, all-encompassing love.

I have found the place I have been seeking, a place where we look one another in the eyes, together restoring the human worth and dignity God intends for his highest creation. We are those who were not satisfied with our lives in this world. I am learning from my brothers and sisters what it means to truly walk in love and not just hope for it to someday come. I am learning what it means to build and not just add to the destruction. Triumphing over the darkness inside of me no longer remains a distant dream.

I have learned that the truth is simple. The truth is love, and love repeats itself over and over again, for eternity -- no one is ever left behind. I have joined the ranks of those who have decided to no longer allow evil to triumph over their souls. Through our lives, our God is restoring the streets for all to dwell. The world is under the sway of the evil one, called Satan. His spirits masquerade as the comforting distractions from our gnawing conscience. The conscience was created to be a light of truth in our struggle to decipher good and evil. We then make choices based on our inherent knowledge of good and evil, and this shapes our eternal destiny. Satan wants to distract people from this struggle.

When anyone disobeys evil and does good, Satan is conquered. Only by knowing the true Man, the One who disobeyed Satan in all things -- Yahshua -- can we have the power to disobey Satan, even unto death. We love Yahshua for delivering us from the power of sin and death. We love Him in a real way by loving one another; anything short of laying down our lives daily for our savior Yahshua just continues to build Satan's kingdom. We know that there are others like us, who are still lost in the world of selfish pursuit and deep struggle.

We know that there are others who will give everything up to do God's will. Yahshua has brought us to His home where we can forsake our life in this world and find true forgiveness, and receive the joy that comes from being set free to live for others.

I am no longer alone and lost at sea, hanging on to a broken piece of driftwood for dear life. The ship I am now on is sailing hard and fast towards the kingdom of God. The wind in our sails is the love He has poured out in our hearts through His Holy Spirit. By His abundant grace we bring glory to His name through loving deeds and hearts overflowing with gratitude and fortitude for the rough waters ahead. Our Creator can bring about His purpose only through those who are broken in spirit and see their need for forgiveness. If our life of love stirs your heart, then come with us and abandon the barrenness of this modern world. We need your help to bring about God's purpose on this earth, the purpose that our Father intended for us all from the beginning.

  • 1. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • 2. Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
  • 3. Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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