Joy came from the sorrow of my childhood longing and loneliness.
When I withdrew into private worlds of drawing and reading out of loneliness, I unknowingly honed my early skills as an artist and writer. I majored in both fields in college. Every day I use both art and writing in some form at work, and I aspire to write and create full-time someday.
When I turned to food for relief from my longing, I gained an appreciation for different flavors and textures. I also developed a love for cooking and baking, which has blessed my family and given me a source of pride.
When the void felt achingly empty, I turned to God for help. As a child I was fascinated with the concept of God as Father: my holy, faithful, ever-present companion. I remember my pastor teaching religion class one day, teaching that we must love God even more than we love our parents. Even though I was only a fourth- or fifth-grader, I prayed with tears that night, “God, help me love you most, but don’t tell Mommy and Daddy I do.” I so wanted to please my Heavenly Father, to feel him near.
At a young age, my Heavenly Father drew me to himself. He was tender with my young, broken heart. He planted seeds of joy among the sorrows. I take comfort knowing he was there with me all along.
I chose Psalm 145 at the beginning of this week, because it speaks of God’s care and provision:
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:16-19 NIV
My Heavenly Father heard my lonely cries as a child. He was near to me then as he is near to me now. He treated me with lovingkindness. He never allowed my coping mechanisms to totally fulfill me, because he wanted me to come to Him with all my needs and desires.
Lysa TerKeurst writes in Made to Crave:
God never intended for us to want anything more than we want Him. Just the slightest glimpse into His Word proves that.
Have you met this Father who will satisfy all of your desires, and fulfill you like nothing else can?
I will close with this beautiful prayer, written by Ken Gire in Windows of the Soul:
A Prayer for Nourishment
How inarticulate are the longings of my soul, O God,
yet how acute are its pangs.
How incapable am I in understanding those longings,
let alone, in tending them.
Feed me with food, O God, that will best nourish my soul,
food that will intensify rather than satisfy
my love for you
and my longing to be with You.
Awaken every eternal seed You have planted in my soul
so while I am yet rooted in this earth
something of heaven might blossom in my life…
If you have enjoyed this week’s series on longing and loneliness, I would love to hear your feedback. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to leave a comment below.
Next week’s topic: Sensitivity
Other posts in this series: