I just finished another amazing book, thanks to my Kindle that can read to me. It took a little bit to overcome the “computer voice” but no worse than the crazy woman on the G.P.S. that keeps telling you “when possible make a U-turn”. LOL! I am sure I have said before how much I love to read and my choice of books is 99.99% self-help or non-fiction books. I use to love audio books on my long commute toPittsburgh, and the Kindle offers that to me, but have truly just begun to use that feature more. My only problem is that when the book says something I want to highlight (another great Kindle feature) I can’t do it while driving. So, I find myself skimming back over parts for the sentence that stood out and grabbed my soul. Many of my friends love fiction to “escape” from reality and I need to read to help me “face” reality. I think that is why I tend to read non-fiction because I am always looking for the next solution to a problem or looking for an answer for my heart/soul.
I can tell you in my life I have looked many places to fill voids in my heart/soul caused by other people and brought on by my own inner talk. In the past as I dealt with pains of my mom’s illness, years of infertility, broken friendships, stressful jobs, harmful words, health issues, etc. I often looked for things to “fill” the emptiness. I still do…
Last week when I was feeling hurt and disrespected, I reached for food. In the past, I thought it worked (i.e. that helped contribute to my lovely curves). I felt better for the moment and when the pain started, I put more food in. I remember some very vivid moments where I would eat large quantities in search for the filling of the void AND for pure spite! The other day when I was feeling very hurt (and still admit very raw) I tried to eat to numb the pain. However, this time, I was so stressed I couldn’t eat. I literally got sick to my stomach and threw up (sorry about that detail) everything I ate. Even tea! I truly believe it was God saying – “Sheri, you are worth more than this. Your answer is not in the food.” But, those that know me also know that I can be stubborn and I still insisted on trying to eat food, I wanted that knot in my gut to go away. And yes, I still got sick. Now what to turn to?
I also fill my void with working too much to escape reality. In work, my problems don’t exist I can absorb myself in the medical cases I review. If I am working I don’t have time to focus on my hurts, my to-do lists, my craziness. But work doesn’t fill the void.
I really wanted to blast on Facebook “XXX hurt me by XXXX”, but knew that Facebook is not the appropriate platform to use (although thousands would read it and many people do it). I was NOT going to air my issues there. In fact, I only mentioned the specifics to one person because I was ready to explode and only one person knew who hurt me (but not the details). There would have been a day, I would have called everyone or at least told everyone that called me. But that day, I was hurt, truly hurt (and honestly could still cry as the pain still exists). It didn’t matter who did the hurting to me.. I didn’t want to put them out there as a bad person, but I did want my emptiness and hurt to go away. I would have once searched for friends to gossip to fill the void, believing that if I run the person in the ground I would feel better. I was shocked to hear that people heard about the issue, but it didn’t come from me because I didn’t tell ayone. Then I thought, “how was I portrayed?” I didn’t want to be that person. I am so great at when people say “how are you?” and I reply fine. Why? Because I probably want them to think I have it all together, I don’t want to bother them with my problems, and for some I don’t want to expose myself. I waited for the right words from a friend to let me spill my guts, but God said “Sheri, the anwer is not in your friends, and a text or call never came.” I also, learned that though I often felt friends could fill the void, I am often the one reaching out first. I enjoy taking on their problems, but don’t feel comfortable laying mine out to them. I think at times it is because 1. they don’t reach first and 2. I know they don’t have the solution. I would have given anything for someone to know me so deeply that they FELT my pain without me saying a word… and there is… and it slapped me in the face in my book (confirming why I read self-help books – lol!)
I had just written a blog about discovering me after reading a devotional from Renee Swope and it mentioned her book. I had already downloaded her book prior to that day apparently when announced as a special, but didn’t realize till I went to purchase from Amazon that I had already owned it. (OK, so that’s another way I try to fill the voids of life – a little shopping – often books that have “the answer” and I also love school supplies). Anyway, the book is A Confident Heart by Renee Swope and I had started Thursday having Kindle read it to me in the car. That book was in perfect timing, to say the least. In the beginning chapter, it talks about the Samaritan Woman at the Well. She encounters the Jesus who offers to fill her cup with living water. As the author describes the story throughout the book, tears stream down my face (and still do as I type this blog). Jesus is there to fill my cup… I have to stop looking everywhere else for my emptiness to be filled! He KNOWS my pain without saying a word! He meets me where I am! He REACHES out, but I don’t hold my cup up to let Him fill it! The problem is that I am so busy in looking for the answer in food, in work, in friends, etc. and I am left UNFILLED every time. He is always there and never asleep. He sends me a message every morning with the sunrise and every night with the moonlight. When I wait for people, for texts, for emails, for apologies, for phone calls, or for a conversation, I am often disappointed. He KNOWS my heart without saying a word, I have His word to read every day, and if I listen, I will hear every word I ever need to hear – “I love you child… when the world disappoints… I am here, ready to fill your cup, your void, your heart, and soul.” I now prepare to STAND AT THE WELL, I lift up my heart and soul, and stop looking to the world…
2 Corinthians 1:3 “The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles”..