I thought my babies filled the void.

After all, the love that overtook my soul when my cheek touched their damp hair while we lay breast-to-breast for the first time felt like completion in my heart. Nevertheless, it was fleeting.

There is something missing. We are born with a longing in the very depths of our being and life always comes back to the desperate attempt to satisfy that empty space. As a little girl, I can remember longing for something—always resulting in tears because the feeling would ache and no attempt at my 8-year-old perfectionism could fill it.

This chase after an unknown missing piece of my life continued into adolescence and into the foundational years of my adulthood. I had attempted all the usual suspects to make my heart feel whole. Drugs, alcohol, sex, you name it and of course, nothing was what I was looking for. I gave my life to Jesus, stopped the carousing and fully committed to living a different life.

We all know this empty space, or the missing piece, is a deep hole only to be fulfilled by God and the love of Jesus when we get to Heaven. And it is always there. It doesn’t go away once you become a Christian, it’s a constant desperate reminder of how we need Jesus.

When my babies were born, I experienced a love that only mothers know. This love runs deep. Deep, deep, deep. Like lay your life on the line and sacrifice everything for the little person you created deep. But as mothers, we can mistake this love for something that will fill the longing void in our souls.

That is exactly where I went wrong. 

I thought my babies had filled the void. All my purpose, time, energy, love, and commitment was focused on my babes. And this is not a bad thing—we should do all these things for our children—but we cannot depend on being “needed” by them and the love we have for them to fill the void we have in our hearts. This only resulted in me putting God by the wayside.

Our babies needing us the way they do when they are little is fleeting. Cherish it with all your heart but do not depend on it to satisfy the empty place. I only discovered this when my second by-birth daughter turned two, and I realized she didn’t need me the way she used to and whoosh! That longing empty unsatisfied place was flooding right back. Truthfully, it had never gone, I was just trying to fill it with my love for her and her need for me.

I can only imagine the damage to ourselves if we go our children’s entire life at home depending on them and them needing us to fill that place that was meant to be directed toward our God.

My babies will never fill my void. Your babies will never fill your void. I will soak in every waking moment, knowing that it is fleeting. But my eyes still remain upward and inward in my desperation for God to complete me.

Originally published on the author’s blog 

Edith Runion

Edith Runion is a woman who knows what it takes to live out a re-birth in Christ. She is a wife and mother in the midst of a very big and blended family. She loves Jesus and her drive is to see women empowered to be authentic and live a life full of Grace and second chances.