For The Girl Who Feels Empty
I know that things are hard right now. You feel lost and directionless. You feel lonely and unwanted. You project a strong, organized exterior, showing everyone how you have it all together, but when you take down those walls at night, you feel heavy and sad.
And it's left a gaping hole inside of you. You've convinced yourself that as soon as that hole is filled, you'll be invincible; no one and no thing will be able to break you. But nothing can break you now, either, because you already feel broken.
So you will try to fill the hole with parties. New bars, new frat houses, new drinks. You'll dance on table tops, stumble home, puke in the bushes. When you wake up, you'll feel confused. Your head will spin and feel like someone tried to hammer a nail into your skull, cracking it, the pain radiating from the center. And you might not feel empty anymore, but it's because you're full of shame.
You'll try to fill the hole with work. Whether it's school work or your job, you will become hyper focused. You will take on extra projects, pick up the slack of others. You'll study twice as hard, say no to the parties to get that A. And when you get a 4.0 or a promotion, you'll be proud. You'll thank people for their congratulations, and you'll smile. But you won't feel complete. It's just a label on a hollow jar.
You'll try to fill the hole with men. You'll flirt with them at the parties, begging them to notice you, to see you, to want you, to love you. You will go home with them, even though you aren't sure you want to. You'll hook up with them, relishing in the momentary attention, the feeling of someone's eyes on you, but in the morning, in the light, you're embarrassed and sneak out before he wakes up. You'll walk home hoping no one sees you. You'll think about him and wonder if he'll call, if he'll seek you out, if he might want more than one night. When you don't hear from him, you will despair. Another piece of yourself given away. Emptier than before.
You will try to fill the hole with things. Name brand things. Expensive things. Pretty things. Shoes and sweaters and decorations and purses. Books and journals and makeup and manicures.This ends quickly, though, because your bank account lacks abundance. Your closet overflows, but your heart does not.
You will try to fill the hole with food. You will eat out frequently. You will post ten recipe videos to your Facebook at 3 a.m. and make a detailed grocery list. When you cook the food from the video, it will taste bland or at least underwhelm your expectations. You will bake cupcakes and eat them, one by one, until all twenty-four of them are gone. You will gain weight and feel like shit.
You will try to fill the hole with exercise. You will count calories and run them off on the treadmill. You will dread your 5 a.m. alarm but relish the endorphins released an hour later. You will sweat. A lot. You will learn to like running, filling your weekends with 5ks, then 10ks, then a half and maybe even a full marathon, if you stick with it that long. You will try yoga on the days that your emptiness rears its head, thinking that mind over matter and deep breathing can solve the problem you've been running from for years. You will be in shape, which will make boys notice you, which will boost your confidence. But something will still be missing.
I want to save you this heartbreak.
I want to tell you how you can fill that hole.
Jesus is the one who fills us, who completes us, who satisfies us. God sent Him, His only Son, to die for our sins (John 3:16) but also to satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. When we begin to fill ourselves with the Lord, the emptiness washes away. The scorched places of our hearts begin to cool. He strengthens us. He will not fail. And the best part is, after all the sin of putting other things before him, of how broken we feel when we realize what we've done, he doesn't shame us for it. He loves us through it. How amazing is it that we serve a God who loves us so much that he wants to dig into the deepest, most shameful parts of our hearts and love them until they are healed?
I'm not saying it happens in a day or a week or that one decision will change everything immediately. It takes work, continual surrender to the Lord. It's hard, because the scorched parts of our hearts are the parts we guard most fervently. They are the parts we don't want God to see. But when He sees them, He sees Jesus' sacrifice, and we get grace and mercy and love. We get satisfied desires and an endless supply of holy waters pouring into our souls. And when we make our commitment to Him, He never leaves us. Like Moses told the Israelites before his death: