For the longest time in my life, I used to be what you would call a party girl. I liked to party and I made sure that all my friends were into the same partying lifestyle, just as I was. I needed to have people to party with … right? :-)
I was never home on the weekend. During the week, my main focus was on getting through the week so I can get my partying fix. I would plan out my weekend by researching what was going on, plan my outfit, who I was going to go out with, etc. 9 out of 10 times there was always someone ready to paint the town with me. Drinking was my thing. Drugs and smoking were of no interest to me. But, Red Bull and Vodka...yes! Wine... yes again! I partied through college, grad school, post grad and work with no sign of an end to this lifestyle. It was a cycle, you can’t, and really don’t know you want to escape from. Party on Friday night, recover on Saturday, party Saturday night, recover Sunday, and then work on Monday. This was the usual routine. Of course there was also the after work hang. Those spur of the moment opportunities you are always looking for but don’t want to be the one to always suggest, for fear of coming across like the office party girl.
The sad thing is, I was always looking for a good time but I never really found it. No matter how much I partied, the hanging out and drinking always left me unsatisfied. I was always looking forward to the next weekend hoping to finally get that fun and excitement to fill the void deep inside. But, it never happened. I was always looking for something to fulfill me, but I never found it.
Don't get me wrong. I had a great childhood. Great home life. Had an opportunity to work and earn my own spending money beginning at the age of twelve. Bought whatever I wanted. Had all of the friends I wanted. Had a car. Lived and studied abroad. Traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean. Frankly, from the outside looking in, I had a pretty charmed life. At least that's what people thought. But, I was empty on the inside. I could never put my finger on what the problem was. I wasn’t depressed, but I was unfulfilled and unsatisfied.
My now mother-in-law has been a Christian for over 50 years and she would often bring up my partying and how I should be going to church instead of being out. I would listen, out of respect, but I was not interested. Church? For me? I associated being a Christian with living a boring life. Can’t party, can’t drink. That was my lifestyle for so long, I couldn’t imagine giving those things up. So, I kept on partying.
I will never forget, that fateful trip my cousin and I planned. We went to Trinidad for a carnival. We planned on playing Mas as usual, all inclusive of course. But, somewhere inside I knew this kind of partying would be my last. I didn’t know why I felt that way because I didn’t know what else I would do for “fun”. We went on our trip. Red Bulled it all the way, barely got any sleep. When I got back I felt something leading me in the direction of getting baptized. To be honest, I didn’t know what that really entailed but I strongly felt like it was something I should do. I am not sure what kept pushing me in this direction. Maybe the many conversations my mother in law had with me over the years had finally resonated with me and I now wanted to experience the joy she described in her own life. Whatever the reason was, I was set on being baptized.
I was familiar with a local church that I had visited before, so I decided that this was where I should get baptized. The baptism was offered once a month. I attempted to get baptized on four different occasions and it was just not happening. Several times the ceremony was rescheduled and once it was even canceled due to a tornado. I began to doubt whether I should be even doing this. Maybe it was not something for me? It shouldn’t be that hard to get baptized! After all, shouldn’t God want me to do this. I thought … He should be clearing the way for me.
Following my fourth attempt, I had an appointment to get my hair done at a new salon. I am not a talker, but I decided to share my story with a woman there. I told her about the four attempts I made at getting baptized and how frustrating it was getting. She had on Christian music when I walked in so I thought she would be able to relate.
She thought the struggle I was encountering was strange and suggested that I visit her church that same Sunday.
That simple decision, to talk to that woman and visit her church, changed my life.
I visited her church that Sunday and a year later I can only remember missing at most two Sundays of church. I was there each Sunday and most Wednesdays for bible study. I had finally found what filled that void that I could not explain; that emptiness I could not put my finger on. It was like I had a thirst that had finally been quenched and it felt so good. I no longer had the urge to drink or party because I no longer had an emptiness that I needed to fill. There was no longer any room in my life for it. That void had been replaced with the word of God. I was, and still am, like a sponge. The word of God is akin food for me. It entices me, fills me and if someone would have told me this would be my life I would have laughed. Honestly. But I am a believer. I am a living proof of how the word of God can change your life and fulfill you.
I have seen my prayers answered right before my eyes. Things that I create and am able to do now - I never knew I had that ability buried inside of me. With prayer and meditation, these abilities have been revealed. the word changes was birthed out of my relationship with God and his ability to download ideas and skills in you that you had no idea you could ever do.
My life is not perfect, but it is so much better than it was when I was living la vida loca. All I can do is tell you my story and the peace I now have in my life. Peace that I did not know could exist. The type of peace that when chaos is going on around you, you can still sleep at night. That’s what you call peace.
So … think about your life. What are you using to fill that VOID? Maybe it's time to give HIM a try.