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As a teenager I was constantly in search of something more—more popularity, more connections, more clothes—like a fisherman anticipating a whopper of a catch. But what I was reeling in was never enough.

There was something more out there.

I’m not talking about the company I kept or the people I called my friends, rather a deep-down need to be connected, to belong, to be loved for all the right reasons. Something was missing. Emptiness dominated my life.

I recognize “empty” from the vantage point of my former career as an interior designer, Empty was a nicely challenging word: empty house, empty room. A blank slate where any creation of beauty and functionality could be birthed was a good thing.

Picture this: I’ve been hired to design a perfect space, but it’s locked up tight, sealed, untouchable. And the owner has left the country.
Ridiculous? I agree. Such a situation places me on the outside looking in. My project is over there and I’m over here.
What would you do in my position? Check for an unlocked window, maybe a hidden key? When those milder means fail, maybe breaking a lock or smashing a door.

Fortunately, that wasn’t ever my situation but I did, without really realizing it, try to lock out the designer who held the perfect design for my life. That was God’s claim on me. Long before I felt the need to be connected, God desired it.

Ever shake your fist at God? Maybe not the clinched wad of fingers that lifts itself high in the air and dares God to come forward, but the inward questioning: Why are you bothering me? . . . or the arrogant inward shout that says You will not, under any circumstance own me! . . . or just the quiet gnawing frustration that says I’ve tried but I’ve failed. You are too high above me so just go away. I’m busy fishing.

Reaching out, trying to connect, or just fishing for any ole thing to fill the emptiness.

That was me as a young person—trying to fill the empty space, longing to be made whole. Personal wholeness may not always be tied to a life worth living but it definitely surpasses one that locks out the One who can give us abundant life.

John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.”


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