Filling the Void

We all have a void that we are trying desperately to fill. In the past, I have tried filling that void with drugs, alcohol, sexual lust, many empty and meaningless relationships with women that I used and that used me. We search, wandering around and around looking for anything that will bring happiness. The happiness always ends up being temporary. But at the time, we think it is true happiness and that we are going to experience what it is we have spent most of our lives looking for. It always turns out the same- disappointment, heartache, and feelings of failure. These negative feelings seem to only amplify themselves with each attempt and failing to obtain what seems to inevitably be unattainable. We start feeling hopeless. We question ourselves, "what is wrong with me?", "what am I doing wrong?". It begins to appear that there is no end in site. We can't get it right, and we probably never will. "I guess this is my destiny, to be alone, afraid, insecure, and insignificant".

I spent most of my adult life feeling this way. Feeling that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, I was destined to never being satisfied with anything. I had everything I thought I wanted in material possessions. I made it my personal goal to be successful in my career, my finances, all my worldly possessions. I did. I achieved all my goals within six years. A self-made, rising business success. I had little advanced education, some experience, and a lot of drive and motivation. Year after year, I increased, I grew in my career, I grew in social and financial status. To my amazement, I still was not satisfied. Nothing could satisfied me. In fact, I had trained myself to never be satisfied with anything. As long as I was never satisfied, I could never be let down or disappointed. I could never get enough so I did not have to worry if and when I didn't have enough. To put it plain and simple, enough was never enough. Although I felt as if I were succeeding, I still felt completely empty inside. I had a void that I could not fill once again. I came very, very close to accepting that this was my destiny and that I would have to learn to cope with these feelings of never being enough, never having enough, never doing enough. At this point in my life, drugs and alcohol were not an option. It is hard to have and maintain a good job with those types of vices. I had stopped doing drugs in my early twenties but alcohol was as big a part of my life as anything else in my life was. It was my escape from the reality of the self-made hell I was living in. It was the only way to put thoughts of success out of my mind long enough to enjoy, or what I thought was enjoying, life. Eventually that became old to me and a bother. Instead of alcohol, I got drunk on my work. I spent as much time at work as I could. I couldn't bare the thought of having to go home and think about where my life was heading. I could get lost in my work and forget about it all. While I was forgetting my problems, I was scoring big at work, learning, growing, and getting promoted about once a year.

Eventually, just like any vice, working got old. I was burned out on it. All my thoughts centered around work. I had nothing else that I could hold a conversation about. Work was pretty much all I knew.  I was becoming a bore to myself and to everyone else. Once again, I found myself soaking in self-pity and trying to figure out why I couldn't be happy. I found myself in a more miserable state than I had ever been. I was depressed and disappointed. I thought success was going to bring peace and joy, but it only brought on more problems and more feelings of emptiness. By this time I was married and living at work, visiting home. My children never saw me and never spent time with me. When I was home, I was up long enough to eat and take a shower. I was consumed by everything, approved by no one, and helplessly drowning in a life that I could not seem to grasp or understand.

As a small child, I was made to go to church. I knew who God was, who Jesus was, and what the Bible said I should do. As a young man in my late teenage years and early twenties, I felt called to preach the word. This was against what I wanted to do. I was finally about to be out on my own in the world and be free! If you call that freedom! There was no way that I was going to bind myself to all those rules when I was getting ready to party and have fun. I was about to be living it up, experiencing the "good life". This was a detrimental mistake that, if given another chance, I would take back in a heart beat. I was never going to be able to experience happiness, fullness, completeness, joy, or any sense of accomplishment. I was chasing the world and the world was chasing me. There is no happiness in this world. There are superficial ideologies that will make you think you are happy for a short time, but there is no real joy. Proverbs 13:15 says, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard" (KJV). Looking back, reflecting from this verse, "hard" is an understatement. My life was impossible. I suffered every hardship that you could think of. I lost good people in my life. I dealt with more pain, suffering, loss, betrayal, lies, controversy, mishaps, misfortune than people twice my age have dealt with in their life times. I almost died twice and I have beaten and abused my body from all kinds of immorality. I have seen the effects of abandonment, suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism up close, personal, and in my face. I have contemplated and once attempted suicide. I have been pushed out, kicked out, walked on and physically and emotionally abused and tormented.

Why am I telling you all these things that happened to me? I want people to see that when you separate yourself from God, you bring all kinds of catastrophe upon yourself. The void I spoke about, is something that only Jesus Christ can fill. It doesn't matter what you turn to to fill it, you will always be empty inside until you give your life over to a God that is loving and full of grace and mercy. He wants nothing more than to heal you from all of your suffering. All we have to do is take a small step toward Him and approach Him by asking His son, Jesus Christ, into our lives. Once you take this step, everything changes. You no longer labor in vein under the yoke of the world. This world has nothing to offer but heaviness and burden. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (KJV).

I am here to testify that you will never be satisfied with the world. You will never experience joy in the world. Until you answer to God's will, you will not find rest. If you can relate to my story in any way, on any level, please just give this a try. Ask Jesus to help you right now, to come into your life and be your God, your Guide, your Helper. You don't have to tell anyone that you are doing it, but once you do, you will want to tell everyone you know about it. You've never tried this before and you really don't believe in it. That's fine. All I am asking you to do is give it a try. You've tried everything else and it has failed, why not try one more suggestion? What do you have to lose?
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