I knew my dad would one day come for me and at that point in my life, I would be the happiest girl in my village. He never came. So I learned to live without a father in my life.
I needed mother's approval. I needed to know that she was proud of me. So I did all I could to please her. But somehow others took that place of importance in her life.
I craved that parental love and with that lack in my life, misplaced emotions found me dedicating years to relationships that were never part of God's plan for me. I ended up with emotional scars and so I wanted to join the convent, for fear of being hurt again.
I was in the church but wasn't receiving that which I longed for: soul food. I knew of Jesus, heard many stories of how 'He saves and He satisfies...' but I never knew Him for myself.
Finally I got married and I didn't think it was possible to be any happier. I was satisfied with my relationship, my husband made me happy. Then we started our family. Life was wonderful. But it was soon evident that the ones you love the most can also be the ones who cause you the most pain. This reality struck while I was grieving the loss of friends, my grandparents, dealing with miscarriage and at the same time my married friends were breaking up (separations and divorces). My life was in turmoil. Nothing made sense. I questioned my faith.
Sunday after Sunday I went to church and came back home as empty as I went. I could not get the help I needed from my church. With no guidance from my pastor and/or fellow believers, hope took a vacation.
I struggled with my faith for a period. I became a Bible detective trying to find the answers for myself. But reading the Bible did not do much for me at the time, for by then I was quite confused and angry. So I started to call my friends and ask for prayers. Then I started to get advice which would find me seeking the help of the Holy Spirit. That was when my Bible detective work started to yield results. I found myself talking to God on a regular basis, sometimes crying out to Him to reveal Himself in tangible ways.
He met me on the road of Despair. His loving arms embraced me, lifted me from the ground (out of the muck) and today I rest in the assurance that He is all I need. I can join with Shirley Caesar today and say that I'm 'So satisfied. Since I met Jesus, I'm so satisfied.'
I no longer need the approval of others because through all my trials and tribulations, I've learned to depend on Jesus, on His every word. I've learned to distinguish His voice from all others. I have learned to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.
My encouragement to you today is that you search the word of God for answers instead of waiting to receive it all from the pulpit. There are some things that you will need to search and find for yourselves. I had to learn that the hard way. Everything that we need is in the Bible and God will open our understanding if we ask Him to. However, we also need to be in a fellowship where the Holy Spirit is present because sometimes God speaks to us through other believers. Hence, the reason we are encouraged 'not to forsake the coming together' (Hebrews 10:25).
I was encouraged by Psalm 27:10 as I dealt with the issues where my parents are concerned: "When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me" (NKJV). He has been taking care of me since day one. I just did not have the knowledge and understanding then. Looking back, I can see the evidence of how He took care of me by always having someone to care for me as a father and as a mother, from my grandparents, other relatives and neighbours through to my then church family. Today, I can see all around me the evidence of His care. The most important of which is my current church family. We asked God to direct us to where we can be fed and so He did. I received the food I craved and from that came my healing, in this particular area of my life. Having been delivered I could pen the following in my diary:
"Today I am giving God thanks for healing. The anger and resentment seemed to have disappeared. The emptiness is no longer there. I no longer feel like a lost child who is unloved and uncared for. I can count my blessings and be thankful for healing...Thank You Lord, for removing the shackles that held me bound for so many years. Thank You for renewing my heart and giving me a new song to sing. You've given me more than I have asked for. I needed a dad but You gave me a whole new family instead. What a blessing! A blessing indeed! Fatherly and motherly advice galore! Sisters and brothers, aunties and uncles, nieces and nephews. I thank You for my family. You've cleansed me and made me whole. You love me enough to bless me in such a wonderful way, though imperfection is all I see. Only You could love me this way. Thank You Lord for loving me back to life."
At that point, the reality of me looking for love in all the wrong places hit home. I wanted to know what it felt like to be that special child and all along my Heavenly Father was saying, "Come to me. I'll be all that you need." But instead, I ran in the opposite direction and got hurt. Today, I can say that I have burned my running shoes, having accepted my Heavenly Father's love. I now know that no other love will make me complete.
I have been chastened by His Word. I've wept bitter tears but His love enfolds me and comforted me as I learn to follow His instructions. By being obedient to His Word, I started to grow spiritually and am able to help my family and friends to deal with issues based on the Word of God so that our lives can be enriched.
I encourage you to run to Him for all your needs. He promises never to leave you nor forsake you, so whatever state you find yourself in and wherever in life you are, just know that He loves you and is waiting with open arms to embrace you. In His arms you too will feel complete and you too will say 'Yes, I am satisfied.' God is love and without love we are incomplete. Love found me and I am satisfied.
Copyright 2008 J S Ramkissoon
(Edited 20th Feb 2014).
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.