Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Fatherless Void: Creating Voids Within the People We Love

Recently a really important relationship in my life went left (like as left as you could think). And as much as this relationship going left hurt, it became an avenue for a teachable moment that I thought I might share for this post.

So to start off, I am going to admit that I have a really bad habit of "making homes out of human beings."

What does that mean?

It means that I tend to allow people to overstay their destined duration in my life--I have a hard time letting go of those I get so used to and when it's time for them to leave, I hold on instead of letting them go. They become what is comfortable for me and what feels like "home" to me.

Letting go is hard y'all--it's painful and it's a process that a lot of us (if not all of us) do not enjoy. And with this specific relationship, I held on to what I desired from this relationship for far too long. I was holding on to who that person used to be to me, what their love used to feel like, what their presence used to feel like, and the purpose that relationship used to serve in my life. Me holding on to that, yearning and desiring to get all of that back, put a strain on the relationship. I had certain expectations and when a specific expectation ended up not being fulfilled, I was let down. I was hurt and to be honest, it really hurt me to the point where I questioned me. I questioned my purpose, I questioned myself (THIS IS HOW I KNOW I WAS TRIPPING!!!!!). But seriously--I had invested so much time and so much of myself into this relationship that I wasn't always being truthful and honest with myself. I was more so concerned with making sure this person was okay and that I was there for them, instead of being there for me, first (your needs are just as important boo!). And long and behold, eventually, my expectation and a lack of communication on both ends led to what could possibly be an end to a relationship that I've valued for the past three years.

To this day, it hurts. I have cried--there have been days I didn't want to get out of bed. I've even had days when I've wondered if one of the things I'm waiting for in my life can still actually happen for me. There have also been days when I've questioned was there more that I could have done to keep this person in my life or maintain this relationship (again, I WAS TRIPPING!!! I'm really THE litness and if you can't see have a serious vision problem!). But today, something shifted.

In my time of communication with God today, I realized something so important about myself--I have a fatherless void and it has affected a lot of my romantic and platonic relationships with the men in my life in a negative way.

So what is a fatherless void?

It's an emotional, spiritual, mental and/or physical space left unoccupied by our fathers, which often times causes a lack of self love, self assertion, and self fulfillment within us. This fatherless void is often found in young women, but is also common in young men.

For me, my void dates back to my childhood when my parents divorced. I was just about six-years-old when my parents separated and it took a psychological toll on me--one that, of course at that age, I would not be able to comprehend. But as I got older, I developed this deep resentment and rage toward my dad. Despite the fact that my father was very active in my life, the six-year-old girl that felt like he left her behind, when he and my mother divorced, was still waiting on him to return. By the time I was 18, my relationship with my father had gone through just about every up and down any father-daughter relationship could endure. Before I went off to college, I wrote my dad a letter about my resentment toward him and I really let him know how I was feeling. We got the chance to talk about the letter, and from there, we agreed that we would always be honest with how we felt and would grow a healthier and more loving relationship. Four months later, my dad passed away from a massive stroke and the daddy's little girl relationship I desired to develop with my dad was no longer possible. I was hurt, but even more so, that six-year-old girl was once again abandoned by her father with no warning and this time, he wasn't coming back for her.

Since my dad's passing, I've tried to cope a lot on my own. My sophomore year of college I met this really awesome guy and contrary to popular belief, he didn't want anything from me-he just wanted to listen...and he did. He listened and he let me cry. For anyone that knows me, that's a big deal! I don't share my emotions nor cry with strangers (THAT'S CRAZY; DON'T RECOMMEND IT EITHER). But...I did and he was there. He supported me a lot and really helped me get through that year. Eventually, we progressed into a romantic relationship, and unfortunately he became a void filler for my dad's absence. He comforted me the best he could and was there for me, but I, not fully aware, was still searching for my dad. We eventually broke up due to a lack of communication, but became friends up until recently. And it was after our recent fall out that I realized he was a void filler in my life. I'd call him when things got bad, still cry (and ugly cry, too, smh), depend on him for EVERYTHING--I called him first when my tire blew out instead of AAA (WHO DOES THAT?!). He was my go-to; he became the main person I ran to and in retrospect, he became an idol.

Here's where this affects our spiritual health:

When a person, male or female, becomes a void filler in your life, they take away an opportunity for God to be God in your life. When there is a glitch with a toy, you don't send it to another toy to fix it--you send it to the manufacturer. Well just like toys, if there is a glitch (a void or a hurting) within a human being, you don't (well, you shouldn't) run to another human being to heal you or fix you--you should run to The Source, The Manufacturer, GOD.

Our voids, whether they being fatherless voids, motherless voids, and/or a feeling of something missing or lacking, are a glitch in our spiritual makeup. God desires for us to be whole, so when these lacks occur, we must seek Him to restore us--to fix us.

When we go out seeking people and things to fill our voids, we put God on the back burner. We're basically saying to Him that He alone isn't sufficient enough to heal us and to help us-that His love isn't enough to suffice. And that hurts Him.

Exodus 34:4 reminds us that placing other things and people before God is idolatry. The text warns us not to allow this to occur because God is a jealous God. When we place something in His place, we harden our hearts to Him and His will.

Instead, to heal us and to fix us, we should cling to our Creator. Anything other than God is just a band-aid to the wound.

He wants to heal us completely. The world may be able to heal us lightly and for a little while--that void filler may ease the pain for a some time--but He is the only one that can heal us completely. And in order for Him to do that, He needs to deal with the root of our sickness. A lot of the times, we try to heal the symptoms related to our voids or even our sins, when it's really the root. We don't take the time out to deal with the root of our voids and we continue to allow people and things to be the symptom solutions.

God isn't a symptom solution; He's the cure.

We have to let Him remove the root, letting Him get deep within us in order to really heal us. And that starts with self-reflection. We have to be honest with ourselves and with God. I once heard in a sermon that "God isn't a pedophile--He's not going to go into a place He's not invited." It's when we're honest with ourselves about our pasts, about our wounds, our hurts, and our voids that we can then admit to God what we're lacking and invite Him in.

In Isaiah 53:5, it says that He was wounded for our transgressions...bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.  That means that Christ suffered for us--He knew what we were to endure in this lifetime; He knew we would need healing so He sacrificed Himself for our sake. Christ is our healing; He's the cure.

God knew that we would lack, but He promised to be our provider. For those like me, He knew we would go searching for our fathers, but Psalm 68:5 says that He will be a father to the fatherless. He is close to those who are close to Him.

Another thing that we fail to realize is that our voids and our use of void fillers are a lack of patience, trust, and faith in God. For me, I know that to be true. I also know that my voids were also rooted in fear-I feared that no one would be able to be there for me, I lacked trust and faith in God truly being able to heal me. I doubted Him and I had a hard time believing that God was able to do it.

But He is!

We just have to let Him in and let Him love us. He's slow to anger and love us so much (Psalm 86:15). Nothing--not our sin, not our fear, not our voids--can separate us from the love that He has for us. He is greater than any desire, any void, and any person that has left you. He will never leave you; people will, but God won't ever leave you.

It's okay to love someone and it's okay for that person to be important, but when they become your main source and become more important than God, it's no longer healthy for you. And if you've totally surrendered to the will of God, He will remove that person Himself because He wants your heart. He wants nothing in the way of His path to you; voids fillers block His healing.

So God removed that person? It's okay, you'll be just fine...He'll restore you and if it's meant for that person to remain in your life, He'll even restore that relationship and teach you how to refrain from creating idols out of your relationships with people. It's so easy for our friendships and romantic relationships to become forms of idolatry. We must prevent that and deal with our voids.

Be honest with yourself...receive your healing and let the Cure, the Source, the Creator, God, fill your voids with His unfailing love.

You deserve healing; not a band-aid for a deep wound.

I'm praying for you; I love you and He loves you more!
xo, Nic

"If you cling to comfort more than you cling to Christ, you will deny Christ as soon as your comfort is threatened."
-Cornelius Lindsey