Posted: 04/18/2009 at 7:02am
"Because I live, you will live also." John 14:19
My mother passed away when I was just barely sixteen years old. She and my little brother were killed in a car accident. Shortly after their deaths, my older brother, who was eighteen, left our home to move out and live on his own. Soon after he left, my father left to take a job in another city. I stayed in our hometown to finish high school. Consequently, at sixteen I was living alone.
During these years, I experienced times of emptiness, loneliness and vulnerability, coming home to an empty house knowing there would not be anyone else but me there. I used to pretend that I had a family, but they were all sleeping.
The loneliness that filled me is difficult to describe. It led to thoughts of life's futility. Depression tried hard to creep into my soul. I began to question my purpose. "Why was I still here? Why was I left alone? Did anyone really care that I lived?"
When I left my hometown to attend college in another state, I knew there was no one who would really miss me. Although that memory seems like an unhappy one now, I can tell you that it honestly wasn't for me then. It wasn't unhappy for me because I knew that God would be coming with me. We were in this journey together and even though I was alone, I would never be lonely because He was with me.
You see, during this lonely time as my heart longed to belong to someone, I was found by Someone who has never left me. Yes, Jesus found me in my loneliness and became more to me than life. He became my purpose for living.
Alone in my home as a young woman, I danced, worshiped and rejoiced with Him. I fell deeply in love with my heavenly Father. He became my father, mother, sister, brother and friend—always loving, never leaving. He was the reason I kept breathing. He alone turned my mourning into dancing. He turned my loneliness around and gave me His joy—a joy that knew no bounds. It was an unspeakable joy, full of His glory.
My heavenly Father gave me His breath to breathe. And for Him, I wanted to breathe more deeply of His life and live to love Him. Because I loved Him, I wanted to live my life for Him and make every breath be my worship to Him.
I loved Him so much and no matter what it took, I wanted to be His little girl. I didn't feel like I belonged to anyone on earth, yet I belonged to Him—the King of Heaven—THE Almighty God. For all eternity I would be His and He offered Himself to be mine—MY FATHER! He belonged to me and I belonged to Him. He promised to never leave me or betray me. Because He loved me, I felt like the richest girl in the world. I would never be lonely again.
What Are We Breathing For?
Recently, my son's best friend was killed in a tragic car accident and the sudden loss of this 18-year-old boy, who'd only begun to live, stunned everyone. Shaken by his death, as he was so young and full of life, left me searching for the purpose of life all over again. I also knew that my son was struggling with the same feelings of emptiness I'd felt at his age when I lost my family.
Shortly after the accident, a friend asked me how we were doing. The words came out of my mouth, "We just keep breathing." Instantly my friend understood. Yes, life goes on one breath at a time.
We keep breathing, but what are we breathing for? Who are we breathing for? If it's our friends, family, church or even ourselves, then we are building our lives on unstable ground. There's only one reason to breathe—only one reason to live. That reason is our love for God. He's the reason we breathe. He is our ONE and only source. He is the life we live.
We can still experience loneliness even when surrounded by people, in the midst of business as usual, because what we're truly longing for is oneness with our Creator. We can have everything this world offers yet feel incomplete. On the other hand, we can lack everything this world tells us we need to be fulfilled and still be completely fulfilled in Christ.
The God of the universe is offering Himself to you, to complete you. He wants to be more than a law, more than a rule, even more than your Savior; He wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to be everything to you, to make you complete in Him. He wants more than to love you from a distance. He wants to hold you when you're sad, rejoice when you're victorious and walk through life's journey with you.
Your heavenly Father is offering Himself to you to be your everything—to belong to you and you to Him. But the choice is yours to make. He will never turn away from you, and you could never run so far from Him that He would not still be waiting for you and reaching to you with outstretched arms.
Indeed, He waits in hopeful anticipation to run to you at the first step you make to turn toward Him. He is waiting to run to you and grab you and embrace you for all eternity. The Almighty of Heaven and earth wants you! He loves you! You are His beloved—what He desires more than anything else.
Embracing His Love
In the spirit, God took me on a tour of His home in Heaven and showed me an enormous hallway filled with pictures of His children. I could not see the end or the beginning of the wall He showed me; it was higher than I could see and was literally filled with pictures. That's all it was used for, just for pictures of His children.
As He showed me the wall, I thought He would be proud to show it off to me, but He was sad too. He was sad as He said, "I have so many children, but they won't let me get close to them. They won't let me be a part of their lives. They will not let me touch them. All I can do is put their pictures on this wall and look at them."
As my son dealt with the trauma of losing his friend in such a tragic way, I saw emptiness try to settle in his heart and I tried to help him. I love my son; he and I are very close. At sixteen, he still leans on me a great deal. As much as I want to give him everything he needs, I'll never be able to, nor can any other person. His heavenly Father alone can fill the emptiness he feels now. No one but God can love him the way he needs to be loved or can truly understand his heart. God alone knows his thoughts and understands him completely.
My heart's prayer for you is for your Daddy God to be ALL that you need. Indeed, with God as your source, friends may leave, people may abandon or betray you, but you will NOT be shaken for your strength is not found in people but in Him. God loves you more truly and completely than anyone on earth can ever love you. Embracing His love will give you tremendous power to stand against life's tragedies and become all that God has destined for you to become.
He loves you that much and He wants to be everything to you. He wants to love you when no one else does. He wants to stand by you when everyone else turns away. He will be your family when you have none of your own. He will restore your soul, lighten your load and fill you with His joy.
You have only to turn to Him and give yourselves to Him—body, soul and spirit—to lay down your life, your longings and desires and give Him your every breath. And with every breath you breathe, you will be declaring your love for Him.
When all you can do is breathe—keep breathing!
Speaking Life Ministries