For most of my life I was restless and searching for fulfillment. In other words, lacking completeness. My happiest moments during my young adult life were when I had a boyfriend. I could see how unhappy I was when I did not have a boyfriend, but did not see God, or anything wrong with feeling unhappy without a boyfriend. I just thought that was the way I was. I associated happiness with love. I had that part right, but I was looking in the wrong direction. I was looking horizontally instead of vertically. I was looking to people instead of looking upward to Jesus.
From the outside looking in my family did not look different from many other families. I am the youngest of three children. I have two older brothers, so I am the only girl. I loved the attention brought by being the youngest and the only girl, but there was also a feeling of loneliness, of being left out. My brothers always had each other, even at home. If they did not have friends to play with they had each other.
At the age of six I developed a very close friendship with two girls that were sisters. They were one year apart in age. We quickly became best friends and spent our childhood seeing each other almost every day. We spent most of our days playing at their house. We used our imagination and always created imaginary stories with whatever we played, whether indoors or outdoors. We frequently played board games, school or with our dolls after school. I dreaded the time when we had to stop playing and I go home for the evening.
I decided that it was not fair that I had to go home by myself while they were able to play together all evening. All I could see was my loneliness. I could not see God or how He was working in my life back then. Instead of looking for fulfillment in God and using these life experiences for personal growth, I turned away from God and turned into myself. I responded with self centeredness. I responded with feeling sorry for myself, resenting my mom for not giving me a sister and by filling that loneliness with people and things. I deflected and casted blame. I blamed my loneliness and my unhappiness on others.
There are so many children out there who do not have a brother or sister and have chosen not to respond in the manner that I did. This is why the responsibility lies on ourselves and we are not to cast blame and be the victim. I chose to see myself as a victim instead of God’s child growing through life experiences. I chose to glorify myself instead of glorifying God. I chose to be the center of my own Kingdom. That choice early in my life led to a lifetime of not holding myself accountable, blaming people and situations for all of my unhappiness and also depending on people, situations and things to bring me happiness.
Living in this manner is a vicious cycle that would have never ended if it were left up to me, but God showered me with His mercy. He chose to save me at the lowest point of my life by allowing my biggest, number one fear to become a reality; utter and complete aloneness. For the first time in my life I came face to face with the one thing that I was most fearful of being and feeling. How is it possible for God to save me by allowing such pain and suffering come into my life?
He allowed me to be taken away from all that I held precious to my heart and from everyone and everything that I depended on for happiness and fulfillment. In doing so, by taking me away from everyone and everything, I was finally able to see Him and be only dependent upon Him for saving. I finally looked upward. I finally truly saw God.
God allowed me, by my suffering, to see what had been missing in my heart. He allowed me to see why I was filled with a restlessness that could not be permanently filled by myself, a person or thing. He allowed me to see that what I was lacking was fulfillment. Imagine a puzzle that is missing its last piece. When that happens we are filled with a feeling of unfulfillment. That is how it feels to live without God in our life. God allowed me to see there was a piece missing in my life. That piece was Jesus.
Once I prayed for forgiveness, repented and asked Jesus into my heart, I felt free and complete. I felt whole. Jesus filled that empty space within my heart that I tried to fill with myself, my desires and anything else I thought I needed to fill that emptiness. This is the meaning of finding freedom in Jesus. He freed me from the burden of my sin while also freeing me from my self-centeredness.
I am finally at peace and feel more alive now than before coming to Christ. The restlessness I have felt for 47 of my years is gone. The love of Jesus now fills my heart. I no longer depend on the love of others to decide my happiness or define my identity because my happiness and identity is in Jesus.
If you do not feel the peace, joy, life and love of Jesus in your heart, I pray that you will ask Jesus for forgiveness of your sin and ask Him into your heart and life. Just believing in the existence of Jesus is not heart and life changing. One day we will all be held accountable for this decision, so I pray that Jesus is placing His effectual call on your heart right now. Peace be with you.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”