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By Angie Faulstich

There is a danger in becoming a parent.  After I bundled up my newborn and took him into my home, that wee little one took over my entire world. It took all of my effort and more strength than I thought I had to keep my little guy alive.

From midnight feedings to mid-afternoon snacks, my mission was to keep my little one fed, dry, warm, and safe. But, as time has passed, Aidan is becoming more and more independent, and he needs me a little less with each passing day.

After an extended break from school over the Christmas holidays, Aidan went back to school, and a large chunk of my heart left with him.  The loss feels like- well, to be honest, it feels like you may just as well have carved out a piece of my heart with a spoon.

That’s how it felt in the beginning as well.  His first semester of kindergarten did not go well for me.  I felt alone and lost, without a purpose.  I grew tired of spending my days alone at home.  And while still not sleeping well most of the time, I just felt tired.  So as the days of Christmas break came to a close and there were no more snow days or 2 hour delays in sight, I began to fear that the emptiness would return.

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It was an emptiness that could not be filled by anything of this world.  Not hobbies that I enjoy.  Not my favorite foods.  Not entertaining movies- even the good clean ones.  Not even the thought of taking on a job outside of the home could fill the empty hole in my heart.

My life lay before me as a beautiful tapestry cut into a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  The puzzle was finished save one last piece that should have filled a hole near the center of the picture.  And as hard as I searched, high and low, around the puzzle, on the floor, inside the box, in the cabinet from which the puzzle came, I could not find the missing piece.  It was lost.  And I could not fill the empty hole in my heart that I knew had been stolen from me when my son went away to school, and I was no longer needed.

I sunk into bed after their first day back to school, and I cried, “Lord, I cannot live alone anymore.  I feel like I’ve been left behind.  There is emptiness in my soul that I cannot fill, and I do not want to be alone anymore.”

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And then startling words flooded into the cavern of my soul.  From somewhere deep within, I heard the words: “You don’t have to be alone.”

Instantly, I knew He was right.  The Savior of my soul was the missing piece of the puzzle.  And it suddenly dawned on me.  No matter what stage of life I find myself in.  No matter whether my children are home or away at school.  No matter where in the world I find myself, as I often dream of traveling and going on great adventures.  No man, child, friend, food, or entertainment can ever become the missing piece in my puzzle.  For if they do, I have left myself in grave danger and in desperate need of the only One who can ever fill the missing piece of my heart- and that is Jesus.

He has now promised to walk with me through these days of uncertainty.  And I will each and every morning invite Him to lead me through them.  And somehow now I feel hope.  Hope that one day I will feel whole again.  Peace that He will mend my broken heart.  That He is and always will the missing piece to my puzzle.  If I make Him that piece, I will be whole.

I just have to keep inviting Him in, and I can’t let anything else take His place.

Is there an emptiness in your life that needs to be filled?  Is God the piece that is missing?

My incredible guest writer today is Angie Faulstich.  Angie is a child of God, a mother of two bright and wonderful sons, and a wife to an amazing husband.  She is the author of a weekly newspaper column entitled “Finding Peace” that encourages readers to turn to God for all of their needs so that they, too, may experience everlasting peace.

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© 2014 Connie Davis Johnson