It was the kind of experience that shook the very walls of my life. Things that I had grown up thinking would never change were fading faster than I could think. But I couldn't stop anything from happening; it was as useless as trying to clench water in my hands. I remember a lot of confusion, fighting, darkness, tears, pain. I was young when all of this was happening so I didn't realize that they, my parents, were on the verge of a divorce. All of a sudden there was chaos. My mom and dad, basically the world to any young kid's life, were no longer together. The foundation of my home was crumbling. What I thought would be forever solid, was close to gone. I didn't quite know what to feel or to think. I just couldn't help wondering if I had done something wrong. I kept telling myself that I was fine and so did others. But reality was there at every waking moment screaming for answers I did not have. So who or what was I to turn to? I couldn't just casually talk about it over lunch. It was too sensitive a topic to talk about at home and my friends could barely relate. Those that could were unable to offer anything beyond sympathy. So I felt that there was no one to rely on but myself.
In addition to all of this, I could really see the wounds in my mom. She was a single parent trying so hard to fulfill the role of two while recovering from a devastating divorce. At the same time, I was attempting to fill some ambiguous role though I had no idea what I was doing. Was I trying to be my own parent? I didn't know who I was anymore. Moreover, what could I do for her? I mean really, I'd literally rack my brain daily trying to come up with answers, solutions, anything! I couldn't give her money and I couldn't undo the past. I wanted to somehow take care of the pain and anger, but how? What can you possibly say or give to such a parent? Where do you get the answers that you yourself have not found and yet are pressed for daily? What can you possibly give her to take away her pain, your pain, all of the pain? What?
With all of this running around in my head, I could already sense deep within that things were not alright. Something—actually many things—were missing. Nobody around me had any solutions. But even worse, they made me feel like there were no solutions. It was treated as a common occurrence of life. I was apparently no different from thousands of other kids in America with divorced parents. So the little comfort that I did get was in a sense, "hollow." It was merely outward comforting with no real "substance" to it. I knew that they couldn't offer me more, yet something within wouldn't let me go. I continued searching for that "thing," though I didn't quite know what it was.
I remember praying to God, "if You're real, then You'll take care of us. If You are really good and full of love, then show me." But ultimately, after no response, I decided never to pray again because obviously God did not exist. Really, how could He be real if He wouldn't help us in such a state? So I had to be strong otherwise I wouldn't make it. It was becoming increasingly clear that nothing in life was stable or reliable. My trust and assurance had to be in my very own strengths. I could not trust in any person or thing.
Yet after a period of time, this kind of an attitude and approach to life was beginning to wear me down. No matter who you are, there comes a point where you have to recognize your limitations and they're usually not where you'd like them to be. The more I strove to be happy and to succeed, the more I felt my insecurities rising up against me. Eventually, I was reaching the point where I knew that I could not go on in such a state. I could already foresee imminent failure fast approaching. But I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, I knew that I could not trust in anyone or anything. Yet I was daily tormented with the reality that I could not make it on my own much longer. And through it all, there was a yearning to believe in something (can't quite describe the sense, but that aching deep in the heart that often won't let you sleep at night). This was coupled with a faint, yet incessant and relentless voice that kept saying, "Will you just let Me in; let Me heal you and take care of your every need." But I rejected it immediately. I relegated it to the mere workings of a suffering mind in need of comfort. I refused to believe in someone or in something out of weakness. I would continue to strive until I broke. I didn't know what else to do.
Then the day came when all my strengths—the very beams holding up my life—began to collapse one by one. It soon began a chain reaction that I could not arrest. At this point all of the fears that I thought had been buried long ago came rushing to the surface once again. While I was trying to come to grips with the turmoil within, a voice kept reminding me of that one unresolved issue. Within me was the piercing realization that I had to make a decision concerning God. Either I had to believe in His existence and allow Him in, or face a life of uncertainty and great pain. In such a state, I felt that I had to give God a chance.
Who would have thought that one night, in my room, by simply calling on Jesus from deep within, I let God in. I LET GOD IN. GOD REALLY CAME IN.
The peace and the rest that set in that night was unlike anything I had ever experienced. That night, from the depths of my heart, I knew that God existed. Immediately I remembered the voice that I had ignored many a time and knew that He had been the One calling me from the very beginning. Even now His voice was speaking louder than ever. My whole being was resounding with the intensity of His voice: "I am security itself. I am the very definition and source of assurance, strength, love, peace, rest, and everything else that you so desperately need." In this one Person was everything that I had needed and longed for. Effortlessly, all of my struggling and striving fell away. I felt like an empty cup that had been filled to overflowing. But it wasn't water that had filled me, but it was God that had been poured into my being.
Wonderfully, day after day, the sense of joy, assurance, and peace never goes away. I never knew that the secret to true joy could be so simple. I had wanted something from Him, when all along everything I needed, and more, was in Him. My part was to just let Him in.
R.K., Los Angeles, CA
If there was an inward response in you as you were reading these articles and you want to fill the sense of emptiness within you with God Himself, please open your heart to pray the following prayer in a genuine and sincere way:
Lord Jesus, I need You. Lord, I have tried so many things and nothing truly satisfies me. Come into me and fill my deepest part right now. Save me from my sins and from my emptiness. Lord, I receive You into me. Lord Jesus, I love You. Thank You for saving me.