Have You Ever Felt An Emptiness Within You That Nothing Seems To Fill?

Have you ever felt an emptiness within you that nothing seems to fill? If you have, then you can probably relate to my words today and how I’ve been feeling for most of the past several months. I honestly feel like there’s this gaping hole within me that I can’t seal no matter what I do. Helping others, positive affirmations, healthy eating, meditation, spending time outside, artistic expression, prayer, reading uplifting materials, listening to spiritual music, you name it, I’ve tried it and yet I still feel this profound emptiness constantly gnawing at me inside. And for a recovering addict like me, that’s when things always start to get a little dangerous. Because prolonged feelings of emptiness have consistently led to me giving into some type of temptation in the past, that at least was able to numb that sensation for a short while.

Regardless, I do know what this emptiness stems from and is about. But let me first say this. I don’t believe it’s about something I’m not doing in life and need to be doing, or something I am doing in life and need to stop doing. Rather, it’s about something that has proven to be 100% out of my control to obtain and that alone has definitely been oh so frustrating.

So, what is it? What do I believe this emptiness is coming from?

THE LACK OF FEELING GOD’S PRESENCE WITHIN ME.

There, I said it and at least that weight is off my chest now. I’ve fought so hard to put a smile on my face when I’m out and about lately, especially when I’m engaged in recovery work. After all, who would want to pursue a life in recovery, seeking something Greater than themselves when the person they’re listening to is showing nothing but sorrow and despair all over their face.

But indeed, that’s truly how I feel inside, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., where nothing I do, no matter how positive, how uplifting, and how driven I can be to get it ends up getting it. Instead, I’ve been left with this abysmal pit within me that is in stark contrast to how my best friend feels, the one who led me into a life of recovery and the one who guided me to seek a life filled with Christ.

He tells me that every day he wakes up feeling God’s presence bubbling up within himself and honestly, his smile, his words, and his actions all naturally demonstrate that. It exuberates out of him so much so that when you’re around him, you really do feel compelled to seek a closer relationship to God because of it. It’s the very reason why I sought a life of Christ and God again, after decades of giving into temptations to temporarily fill my emptiness.

Truthfully, I don’t know why I’m not feeling God’s presence right now, nor why I haven’t for as long as I have. I can only compare it to what Job or David described in the Bible in their respective chapters. Like them, I’ve felt God’s Grace before and lived for long periods being driven by such an amount of it, that no matter what pain I felt, I was always able to rise above it. Yet, that’s not what’s going on within me right now. Instead, it feels like I’m living in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Some might say, like those church signs have often displayed, “If you’re feeling that far away from God, who moved?” The irony in that is that I haven’t moved. Not one bit. I’ve continued to do all the things I can to seek God. I have resisted all those temptations. I haven’t fallen back into addictions. And yet here I stand, feeling like God’s a million miles away and that’s precisely what my emptiness has been about.

I wish I knew how to feel God’s Grace right here, right now, as I type these very words. I wish I knew how to turn that switch on like it happened back in August over the course of an entire weekend, where one second I was feeling precisely like this and the next second I wasn’t anymore. For four days after that, I felt God’s presence exactly as my best friend describes and passed that on as much as I could while it lasted. But then it switched off again suddenly, as abruptly as it began, and for no specific reason.

So, that’s left me asking myself, what do you do when you’ve exhausted all avenues to fill that emptiness with God’s presence and are still left feeling empty?

Here’s my answer…

Stay the course.

As hard as it is.

And keep praying for the strength to not give up or give in to temptation.

So far, that’s helped me to keep going, to keep trusting, and to keep loving God, even as I continue to feel all this emptiness. Maybe this is what building faith is meant to be about? Who knows? What I do know is that I’d rather sit in this emptiness than fill it with something that will only cause more emptiness in the long run. Because in the end, I ultimately believe the only thing that will ever permanently fill it is God’s Grace…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

I’ve compiled my five most favorite knock knock jokes for today’s Silly Joke Friday! I hope you like them and get a few laughs!

#1

“KNOCK KNOCK!”
“Who’s there?”
“CONTROL FREAK!”
“Con-”
“OKAY, NOW IS WHEN YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO SAY, ‘CONTROL FREAK WHO?'”

#2

“KNOCK KNOCK!”
“Who’s There?”
“SOMEONE WHO CAN’T REACH YOUR DOORBELL!!!”

#3

“Knock Knock!”
“Who’s there?”
“Cows go.”
“Cows go who?”
“No, silly. Cow’s go Moo!”

#4

“Knock Knock!”
“Who’s there?”
“Etch.”
“Etch who?”
“Bless you!”

#5

“Will you remember me in a year?”
“Yes.”
“Will you remember me in a month?”
“Yes.”
“Will you remember me in a week?”
“Yes.”
“Will you remember me tomorrow?”
“Yes.”
“Knock Knock!”
“Who’s there?”
“See! You already forgot me and it’s not even tomorrow yet!!!”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Question To Ponder For The Day

If you suddenly received an emergency message on your phone that said “Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not A Drill.” and discovered it really wasn’t a drill, what would you do in the last few minutes you might have before it hit?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound To Hawaii. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not A Drill.”

“Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.” These were the words that came across as an emergency alert on every cellphone in Hawaii on January 13th around 8:07am.

While this message proved to be a user error that happened in a shift change during an internal drill at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, there were many who thought it was real for a short time period and began to prepare for the worst. By the time I caught wind of this news headline, this major mistake was well over with, but it still left me thinking.

What would I do, if this ever happened to me and the warning I received on my mobile phone wasn’t a mistake?

In today’s day and age where war seems like a constant threat, especially between North Korea and the United States, I’ve often asked myself this very question. While I certainly hope I never have to face something like this in actuality, I’m not afraid to die.

Look, I’m a firm believer that when it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go and there’s nothing I can to avoid that. I tend to believe that each of us have a set expiration date on God’s calendar and that if our time is up, it’s up and there’s nothing that can be done to change that. But if it’s not our time, then nothing we can do will change that either.

The main reason why I have this attitude is because of my experience with death so far in this life. I’ve witnessed people that should have died from multiple suicide attempts, but were never successful. I’ve known of others who did die from suicide on their very first attempt, where others it took countless attempts. Then there’s those I’ve known who’ve been on drugs for years and never died from an overdose and those who got high for the first time and died instantly because of it. There’s even those I’ve known who’ve died tragically from things so bizarre and those who’ve lived through them as well that should have taken their lives. And so on and so forth. Death seems to have its own expiration date for each of us where there’s never any rhyme or reason for what takes one’s life and what doesn’t.

Nevertheless, I say all this because if I was going to be in the vicinity of where a ballistic missile was about to explode and it was my time to go, then I fully believe there’s nothing I can really do to change that. Thus, running around and screaming, crying and looking for some type of shelter to save me most likely wouldn’t happen. Instead, I’d attempt to call my sister and tell her I love her and then embrace my partner one last time. Yet, in the same breath, if I was meant to survive a tragedy like a ballistic missile landing near me, then I also fully believe that God would guide me and protect me somehow through it all.

Regardless, I still hope I don’t ever end up seeing a message come across my phone, like the one Hawaiians saw just over a week ago. But if one like that somehow ever does, I truly do at least have that much acceptance in my life that if it’s my time to go, then there’s nothing I can do about it and I’m really ok with that, just as much as I’m really ok with living through it too, if that was what was meant to be instead…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson