Empty Lies


     My life was based on lies for years. But I’m not a liar. Others too. Perhaps you’ve unwittingly been trapped by lies. Some examples:

I would feel good about myself if only someone would give me attention

  If only someone would listen to me

if only someone would give me trendy clothes and cool music

  if only I lived in a nicer house

  if only I weren’t sick so often

  if only I were accepted as I am

  If only someone would give me compliments

  If only I wouldn’t make so many mistakes…

I am unlovable. I am unworthy of love. I cannot change. I’ll never be good enough.

     Reading that list, it’s easy to imagine a person experiencing loneliness, rejection, dissatisfaction, turmoil, sadness, depression, and an aching for loving relationships. All children, teens, and adults know these feelings at times. Being stuck there is deep hopelessness.

     So, why call those feelings lies? No person, clothing, house, condition, nor attempt at perfection is the source of our sense of value. Problem is, no one and nothing can perfectly fulfill someone’s need to feel loved, approved, and accepted. Sometimes hope begins to blossom in a hopeless person’s life when someone provides what feels lacking; but the never-satisfied longings demand more and more.

     Another problem is that perpetrators seek those who believe those lies, first giving them what is desired and, after gaining the other’s confidence, taking advantage of that person. Ultimately, the victim is worse off, burdened with the profound wounds of exploitation.

     That’s why I’ve published books, and I speak out as often as possible about the threat of exploitation to girls, teens, and young women. Empowering them with the truth makes them wiser about relationships and enables them to protect themselves.

     Truth defeats lies and empowers us. So, what is truth? Where do we find our value? How can we live in truth? What can fill our emptiness?

     “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each person which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ,” said Blaise Pascal, a 17th century mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and theologian.

     When I yielded my life to Jesus, He cleansed me and made me a new creation. The Holy Spirit filled me with a peace and joy that is not dependent on circumstances. I have learned and am learning truth through the process of studying God’s Inspired Word over the years and now. Still, lies may pop up when I feel overwhelmed or disappointed, but they don’t stay long when I pray and remind myself of the truth:

     Without doubt, Jesus is always with me, patiently listening, providing all I need, healing me physically and emotionally, accepting and affirming me, forgiving me, loving me, growing me, and treating me as a woman of great worth. Jesus also has given me a loving husband and good friends, but still He is the only one who truly can fulfill the deepest longings of my heart, now and forever.

Sylvia L Rivera