What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

Philippians 3:8


The other night I had a most uncomfortable feeling, one I’ve frequently experienced in the past. I felt lonely and lost – wishing I had someone to be with and talk to. I longed most for a friend who had been like a mother to me in the past. And yet, I knew even she would not be able to fill this need.

Others have written about this sense of emptiness or longing – among other things, a feature of BPD. It manifests itself in different ways. For some, as it was for me, it’s a yearning for love, connection and fulfillment. One blogger wrote how she felt it was “as though a giant chasm opened up inside her – a bottomless black hole of need that is longing desperately to be filled and made whole.”

People suffering from such a hunger for “something” try all kinds of things to find satisfaction. Some turn to alcohol or drugs. Others harm themselves, trying to overcome the numbed feeling  and make that “something” happen.

But there’s a much better solution.

Blaise Pascal, a mathematician and philosopher from the 1600’s is often quoted saying, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator.”

Reflecting on my experience, I wondered how that would have helped me. I recalled what I wrote not long ago after telling everything I needed to about my past few years. I had felt like a child, relieved to finally have told all the details of how it had hurt. “As if in the arms of a mother who had too long been distant, I cried in the arms of my Lord. I felt the compassion I’d needed so long.”

That gave me some huge insights. Although I spend time with God most days and I don’t have chronic feelings of emptiness, once in a while “holes” still appear. Maybe due to BPD? Next time this happens I’ll try to bring to mind my most vivid experiences with God and – within my mind – enter that place again.

This makes me wonder:

I’m sure that Pascal is right and that our emptiness needs to have God to fill it. I also know that there are many facets of God’s character available to us. If the strongest image of God for me is as a compassionate mother*, it would follow that we all have images of God that are particularly meaningful. For each of us they will be unique.

How can we capture that aspect of God we most long for and let it fill the void we have inside?

I’m going to try one of these ideas next time it happens, taking lots of time to sit with God:

  • Remember what God has done for me in the past and try to recover the feelings it gave me.
  • Recall my most memorable time with Jesus and enter that experience again.
  • Look upon Jesus as my brother who, in his kindness, will stay close.  (Hebrews 2:11)



  • PLEASE NOTE: When I talk about God having the compassion of a mother, I’m not saying that I see him as female.  I still see him as “Father” God.