One of the challenges of childhood trauma is overcoming the feeling of emptiness as adults. Because it's an uncomfortable and unsettling feeling, logical thinking would suggest that is if something is empty, the solution is to fill it. The danger with this solution is that if our only goal is to ease the pain of emptiness and soul-soothe, without identifying and confronting its genesis and inviting the Lord into our pain, we will find ourselves in a perpetual state of longing while endeavoring to cope in unhealthy ways.
A wonderful passage of scripture that illustrates the pain of emptiness is found in
John 4:1-42. This is the account of the Samaritan woman at the well. You may recall that she encountered Jesus as she went to draw water. What is fascinating is that Jesus was already at the well upon her arrival! What a loving Savior to meet us at our place of need. Soon, a conversation between the woman and Jesus unfolds and He begins to speak to the emptiness within her. Jesus' words resonated so deeply and such ministered care, love, and acceptance to the Samaritan woman that she left her water jar and ran back to the village to tell everyone what had just happened, "Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out". This is what an encounter with our Lord will do--he meets us out our place of need. He heals the wounds of our hearts. He brings understanding into our history of abuse, trauma, abandonment, and neglect. He makes it safe for us to recall the pain and the entry point of emptiness. He provides a refuge for us to lay down the burden of ethereal emptiness and fills us with "living water" that brings healing and wellness to our souls. He gives the grace and courage to confront the root cause of our pain.
Emptiness is not only a feeling, but it is a temporary place along our journey, albeit a starting point. When we have identified the feeling, we have assessed our location and are now in a position to move forward. This is good news, because like the Samaritan woman, Jesus is already there.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess my emptiness before you. I pray that you would fill me with living water. I thank you that you know me, my experiences, my trauma, my hurt, and my wounds. I pray that you would heal the wounds of my soul. I thank you for filling the emptiness with your love, peace, joy, hope, love, and compassion. Thank you for goodness and mercy that follows me on this new beginning in my journey. Amen.