“I am not happy. I feel empty.”
I wait, watching these words as they pop up line by line in the little blue Facebook messenger box, resonating deep inside me. I knew – know – what that feels like.
My friend pours out her heart to me and my own heart breaks. It all starts with an innocuous question: “How are your co-workers?” I soon realize the question was divinely inspired, because it’s like a dam bursts and all the hurt and heartache and loneliness of the past months comes rushing out. It’s the most she’s ever said to me, and certainly the most personal.
She’s going through a divorce. She’s the youngest in her place of work, yet is in charge of many employees. They resent her for it. Her love for her patients and her work comes through – but the people around her make it miserable. She tries to make friends with other young people in her age and profession, but they are only interested in drinking and partying.
“I’m not that kind of girl.” I can feel the anguish in the plain lines of text. But the others pressure her, telling her to loosen up and enjoy life. She goes to parties, just to be with the crowd. She puts herself in bad situations, just trying to have fun – but something always goes wrong. Or right, she now admits to me. God knew what was best for her.
And just like that, something connects between us. I understand what it feels like, because I’ve been there. Lonely and wanting to fit in, wondering who I am. Realizing that people are always imperfect, and God is the only one who is always there. Who loves us and gives us hope and fills the emptiness inside.
I shared with her my own journey of having to learn to find my identity in Christ, of reaching out for Him in the dark times, and I can see by her words that it has clicked for her. Her identity can only be found in God.
It’s amazing to me how I can be going through my day, and God steps in and drops me into a divine moment – a divine opportunity to share about Him and His love with others – often without me realizing at first that’s what He’s doing. It was that way today, as well as on the day this unusual friend and I first met.
You see, we’ve only met once in person. Six years ago.
A friend and I were flying out to Japan for a missions trip by way of San Francisco , when we missed our connecting flight in Denver. To this day, we’re still not sure how that happened. But that bumped us to flying stand-by (and eventually missing our international connecting flight, but that’s another story) on the next flight to California. That also happened to put me sitting next to a beautiful young medical student, whose parents are from the Middle East.
We began talking and, thanks to technology, our friendship has deepened in the passing years and God continues to give me opportunity after opportunity to talk with and encourage this lovely young woman in her search for meaning and God, who loves her.
She doesn’t yet know the Son of God who died for her. In her family and background it is unacceptable to believe this. But she loves God and is seeking Him, and I believe one day she will find Him. Please pray this dear sister would come to know the whole truth about God and how much He loves her.