A Piece of My Missing Soul

I am going through my various writings and journalings and came across this one that I wrote last July (’08  ) before I started my  blog. Good thoughts…

Today a friend of mine told me that it feels like a piece of his soul is missing, and he thinks that it may be connected with the ocean, so he’s going to learn to surf.  I told him that I didn’t think that was going to fix the hole in his soul (don’t you love the rhyming?) but good luck with the surfing anyway. I got to thinking about it later because how often does someone tell you they feel like there’s an empty spot in their soul? I mean from a theological standpoint I know it’s true, but I don’t think most people are consciously aware of it. I’ve certainly never had someone tell me that.

But back to my friend, now my first inclination was to think, “No that is your need for the unconditional love of God that you’re feeling, and while surfing will be fun it will never fill the hole in your soul,” I didn’t say that. My friend just recently got into a relationship after not being in one for about a year or so. Now I don’t think it’s the best relationship judging by the less-than-glowing description of this girl I got from another mutual friend; he could do much better. And this was further confirmed by his comment today because how many people not only are aware of something missing in their soul but how many feel that when they’ve just gotten into a relationship? That’s not normal. It should be all lovey-dovey roses and bliss right now. Did I mention that this friend is a guy I’ve liked for oh, about a year and a half now? Hmm, maybe I should have started with that.
So after my quick, and probably accurate, assessment of (let’s call him) Will’s heart cry for God, I made an even quicker jump to it being his cry for true love and me being in his life and blah, blah, blah down the road of fairy tale illusions we go. Aren’t we girls so like that? One minute I’m all noble and godly then next second I’m in my own fairy tale. I don’t think guys do that as much, but who knows maybe they do? Anyway, point being I had to pull myself back to reality quickly and remind myself that Will is my friend, and I want him to be happy, and even more than that I want him to fall radically, passionately in love with Jesus, and today I got a window into his soul. I highly doubt he meant it as deeply as I’m taking it, but I don’t think I’m entirely off base either.

So what is the point in yet another one of my rambling stories? I think the point is that we really all do feel the ache of loneliness, the need that nothing seems to feel – the piece of our soul that’s missing. Sometimes that ache is so overwhelming that we’ll try anything to satisfy it. I was feeling that way yesterday – so very alone and really angry at the world, at life, at God. And since I was feeling so angry, instead of going to Him to fill that void, I went shopping and to a movie. I knew exactly what I was doing; I most certainly should not have been spending money like that because I’m kind of broke and rent is due in like a week! But seriously, I didn’t care. And we all do it. Sometimes it’s in little ways, little indulgences, other times it’s more overt; often we’re not even aware we’re worshiping our little idols. Because that’s truly what they are – they’re our attempts to fill the void without God, substitutions for the real thing, idols if you will.

As I was very consciously pondering all of this I asked myself the question I always come back to, “What is wrong with me?” I figure there has to be something wrong with me because if there is then I can fix it (i.e. control it), and that’s so much better than the alternative. Because if there isn’t something wrong with me then, in my mind, that means my Daddy is responsible for my current state, and that makes me doubt His goodness. However, I know that’s not true either. I would just rather believe that the emptiness in my soul is there because of something that’s broken in me because I like the idea of controlling my own life. I hate having to trust it to Someone else. And you do to.

So does Will. So he’s going to take up surfing – probably love it and be great at it. And for a while he will forget about the hole in his soul (I just love saying that!), but I’m pretty confident that before long he’ll feel the longing again. He’ll feel Daddy calling out for something deeper and more real. As John Eldredge says, he’ll hear the haunting of the Romance. I hope he stops trying to control his life long enough to let Daddy capture him; I hope I do too.

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~ by Shannon on January 30, 2009.

One Response to “A Piece of My Missing Soul”

  1. I love it. So true. I was with a group of women I have come to love and respect one evening and a woman was sharing a similar struggle she was having. She said, “I’m so angry. I don’t want the pain anymore, but no matter what i try to do, it will always be there.” Another woman spoke into her situation, “Our pain is an opportunity for us to go deeper with God.” We all have this longing inside of us. And so many of us have wounds and needs that have gone unmet for so long that we’ve learned ways to survive the longing and pain that haunts us. A Pastor preached a message about Joseph and his brothers years ago that I’ll never forget. My paraphrase of what he said is that God is gracious to give us ways to survive things when we were too young to handle them (dissociating or checking out, living in fantasy, escaping in books, movies, friends, splitting or having a loss of memory…there are psychological and spiritual terms to describe the many things we do, consciously and subconsciously), but it is those coping mechanisms that saved us when we were younger that will destroy us as adults. God is so good. He wants us free, but our freedom won’t come without facing the pain and loneliness in our hearts; it’s inevitable for all human beings. BUT, we have a choice to run from it, ignore it, etc. (all attempts which inevitably fail), or we can to run to God IN the pain and let Him meet us there. There will always be an ache there, but it is an opportunity for us to meet with our King. I, too, struggle to embrace His ways at times; His way is not easy. Father, help us to choose you and trust you.

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