One of the most difficult things to do in life is live with a hole inside your core that feels like an incredible abyss. This is tough for people of faith, who have never-ending pressure to act as if their souls never ache. And yet, it happens. The abyss can arrive from many different sources: loss, failure, heartbreak and regret. I hate those days (and sometimes months). As hard as we try, the truth is that will never succeed in filling that hole, because our needs are inexhaustible. So what do we do? How do I, a person filled with life and hope, respond to the moments of darkness and emptiness that fill my core being?? The answer, of course, is not simple. But here is something I have been doing…
You MUST work around it until the hole gradually fills in and the abyss closes.
People cannot give you what you long for in your heart. That is only God’s business. You have to close yourself to the outside world so that you can enter your own heart and the heart of God through your pain. In these moments God has recently been asking me the question, “Do you love me?”
At that moment, I must choose “YES” even when I do not experience it. It is the only place that is solid footing for an “abyss-filled life”. Sometimes you and I feel overwhelmed by distractions and the desire to please the people we love, as well as the disturbing desire to run away. But none of that will be solid. We have to trust the place that is solid, and that place is where we can say yes to God’s love even when we don’t feel it.
Right now you may even feel nothing except emptiness and lack of strength, but keep saying “God loves me, God loves me, and His love and strength is enough.”
Henri Nouwen said “Come home, because home is where you are truly safe. Stop wandering around (your abyss) and come home and trust that God will bring you what you need.” So, that is the order of today. Prodigals can come home. I did. You can too.
Then we will find that the abyss closes up because darkness can’t stand the presence of the Light.