My heart has always been more of the restless kind, wanting to know the what is next instead of learning to embrace the what is now.
l was that imaginative, tender-hearted sort of girl who lived on the ground but her mind and heart were somewhere up in the clouds. Even surrounded by a large and loving family (I’m number 5 in a lineup of 7!), the longing in me to know my own personal significance, my identity, and to discover meaning and my own purpose in this life, was felt even then.
Believe it or not, I remember the very first time I really talked to God. Age 5, in our old New Jersey back yard before we moved to New York City, just playing make believe as usual, when suddenly I noticed the stillness around me and first felt that yearning to know God. Not just in church, or in the Bible stories my pastor father and homeschooling mother told me — no, I wanted a personal connection with Him for myself. “God, do you see me?” I spoke aloud. “Talk to me. Show me You are really there.” And I wept without really understanding why. I didn’t know the word for loneliness yet.
Is it possible to feel all this, even at a very young, innocent age? Yes. And that’s what I believe soul loneliness to truly be: a simple homesickness for God. Our soul’s natural desire for intimacy; to know and be known by the One who made us, Who knows us inside out, better than we could ever come to know ourselves, try as we might.
The longing for more that I’ve always carried inside me is simply my soul’s cry to know that I am known, seen, and loved by my Maker — the only One who can satisfy that very longing.
I believe every human being was created with the same God-shaped void that only a personal relationship with Himself and His Holy Spirit can fill, only made possible through His Son, Jesus Christ.
That first conversation was twenty years ago. When I first surrendered my life to Christ at the age of 14 after a time of inner rebellion and struggle, I had no clue what I’d gotten myself into by saying “Yes, Lord. I want You. Take my life and have Your way in me.” That yes was a yes to a supernatural peace that passes all understanding, to freedom from my own sin and shame, and to knowing how significant and loved I am simply because He made me and says I am. Simply because I am His and He is mine. I can never look back from that.
It’s been one adventure with Him from the start. And I can honestly say that even now after walking with Him for over a decade, I know I have only scratched the surface of all there is to know and learn of Him.
There are still many things my heart longs to have and experience on this side of heaven — good things that I know He can fulfill in His own beautiful time and way (and I’ll be writing more about those, believe you me!) — but ultimately, I want to remember and remain that little child inside, just longing to know Him and be known, to love Him and know His love even deeper as life goes on. And I want the same thing for whoever is reading these words now.
If you never end up following along with this blog or if you take away anything from this glimpse into my soul right here, know that God loves you with an everlasting love and wants to meet your soul’s restless searching.
See your souls empty, aching abyss as an invitation not to avoid or to deny, but to be felt, to be welcomed. God is on the other side, waiting and wanting to satisfy you with Himself.
He purposefully created it so that He could do just that. Let Him, and you’ll really begin to know what true love and true rest is — to live the life He’s given you to the fullest, for Him and His glory.
— Bethany —
You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.
— St. Augustine —