Answers Only You Provide

Answers Only You Provide

Searching for fulfillment from the unfulfilling
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We’re all searching for something. Whether it’s love and affection from a significant other, a relief to our anxiety, a distraction from our failures and insecurities, or the approval we haven’t gotten from our parents/loved ones, we’re all trying to find something that’ll fill this void we have in our heart.

Trust me, I know.

This is the longest I’ve ever been without being in a serious relationship, and I spent the majority of last semester trying to fill that void. Whether I knew it in the moment or not, I was honestly just looking for attention or acceptance from boys. And in the moment, I figured that the best way to fill the void was with the world. I clung to partying and drinking in order to make myself feel better.

And whether or not you want to admit it, you’ve done it too. You’ve realized you’re missing something relating to the examples I listed above, and you looked to the world to fix it. Is that something to be embarrassed or ashamed of? No! Everyone does it. And honestly, the world is really, really, really good at temporarily fixing our pain and filling our void. Partying with friends, inflicting physical pain, or refusing to eat are all ways we try to fill our voids. “Maybe if I drink, he’ll like me more,” or, “If I don’t eat today, I’ll quickly lose the weight,” are thoughts that the world puts in our heads to make us quickly cling to it. It’s such an easy trap to fall into, and it becomes addicting. We constantly end up unsatisfied but constantly go look to those temporary satisfactions.

If college has taught me anything, it’s that there’s a much more fulfilling way to fill these voids. As a kid who was raised in the church, I can’t tell you the number of times I was told that I have a “Jesus-shaped hole in my heart.” And as stupid as it always sounded, that “stupid” little phrase has been so applicable to me this semester. I tried to fill that hole with too many world solutions. And no matter how great and fulfilling they felt in the moment, I was always left unsatisfied the next morning.

One of my favorite songs is “Good, Good Father,” by Chris Tomlin. It honestly words the solution to this problem so well:

“I know we’re all searching for answers, far and wide. But I know we’re all searching for answers only You provide.”

It’s so true. We literally do some pretty crazy things to fill the emptiness we sometimes feel. I went pretty wild last year trying to cover up my insecurities. However, how sweet is it to know that the Lord is an ever-present solution to our troubles? We don’t have to do anything crazy or wild to get Him to fix our solutions- all we have to do is ask. It’s so simple yet so easily overlooked.

I’m not telling you to quit drinking or to quit dieting and I’m not telling you that the things the world offers are all that bad. He gave us this world to enjoy! However, the world isn’t here to satisfy our emptiness. Yeah, the world has some pretty fun stuff to offer, and embracing these things isn’t a sin. However I’ve started to ponder and pray about what it is exactly that I am desiring in my life, and after a lot of thinking and talking with Jesus, I’ve realized that I’ve tended to look to the world to fix my problems. And you wanna know how that’s been working out for me? Well, it hasn’t.

I urge you to think about what it is you’re desiring and what it is you’re looking to for fulfillment. And with that I ask, how exactly has that been working out for you?

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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