When we are overwhelmed by our circumstances, we often fall prey to the common thought that I am all alone and I am the first to experience the intensity of such hardship. But when we take a moment to pause and consider that my life is not all that different from anyone else’s, we can find solace in knowing others have fought similar battles and have lived to tell the tale...and that we don’t have to fight our battles by ourselves.
Fifteen years ago, I moved from living in the Northeast corner of rural Louisiana where I worked with young adolescents in a local church to do the same thing in the Southeastern part of Washington State. When I accepted the ministry position, I was posed the question as to why I thought I could go from working with students in the rural South to working with students in the Pacific Northwest...the subcultures were so different. Yet, I knew at the very heart of every young person lies the same need...the need for belonging, the need for acceptance, the need for unconditional love. This fact is true for young and old alike. The preferences in music, clothing, hair styles, and recreation may be strikingly different; but the confusion, the frustration, the angst is universal.
As I am wrapping up my 30s this year, I realize deep down in the soul of man, the struggles do not change. The preferences in music, clothing, hair styles, and recreation continue to be strikingly different, but the confusion, the frustration, and the angst continue to be universal and present in the lives of many people, no matter the age. Pascal realized this back in the 1600s when he said, “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and unchangeable object; in other words by God himself.”
So, take heart, whoever you are. You are not the first to experience what you’re going through. And more importantly, you are not alone. There are people in your world that care and want to walk alongside you; and there is a God that wants to fill the void in your life. You are not alone. If you need a traveling companion, I am here for you. If you want to grab a McAllister’s Sweet Tea and talk, here is my number: 618.889.3031.