I had waited all day for momma to say it was time for me to open my gift. Since Dad bought the delivery company years earlier; special occasions, like birthdays, were sometimes spent in the warehouse between delivery trucks. But for this one I didn’t care where I was. I just wanted the one gift that was sitting on the big wooden desk.
I knew what was in the box. I had asked for the same gift for the last 2 years. A telephone. Not the small computers we all carry around with us nowadays. I wanted a Princess phone. The type of phone with a curlicue cord connecting the headset to the base.
I had dreamt of how that big hunk of metal, plastic, and wires sitting on my night stand would change my life. There would be late night giggles with girlfriends as we discussed which boys were cute. I anticipated some of those same boys calling to ask for missed a homework assignment they had conveniently forgotten.
I just knew the phone was a gateway to relationships that would grow over the years, as would my popularity. All the hope of my 13 year old life was wrapped up in pretty birthday paper.
Weeks passed by, and to be honest my life didn’t change much. Girlfriends called. Boys called. But the only real difference was I was able to talk to them on my phone in my room instead of the family phone with everyone around.
The hope I had held on to for all those years was not fulfilled. The hope that somehow the void I felt would be filled, was quickly dwindling away. When you lose hope; you begin to lose yourself slowly. That is exactly what happened.
I begin to question my worth. I wondered why I wasn’t good enough to have the life I saw others living. Those are heavy thoughts for anyone — but especially for a 13 year old.
Although the phone had been my focal point, it was really people’s approval I had looked to for my fulfillment. I expected the love and acceptance of others (that were really just as messed up as me) to fill the void in my life, but instead the emptiness grew.
Over the next few years, I searched in more places and various ways to find joy in life. I tried being the extra good church girl. The rebel rule breaker was short lived, but I tried it. There were periods of being just like the popular girls and times of doing nothing like them. No matter what I did, expectations were never met, for me or by me.
My hope had been for things under the sun.
In his sermon series, Landon walks through the book of Ecclesiastes verse by verse. He carefully explains how sad and unfulfilled lives become when we are apart from God. God is our hope, and things above the sun should be our focus. He warns us that happy and prosperous lives will end in disaster if centered on earthly things. Finally, He calls us back to God, the only one that can give us the true abundant life He designed us for.