Filling the Unfillable

It's tough trying to communicate to teen moms the love God has for them. Consider one teen mom's experience of "love": "My father said he loved me, but I haven't seen or heard from him in 10 years. My mother says she loves me, but she yells at me and belittles me every day. My boyfriend says he loves me, but I just found out he's slept with three other girls in the last month. My friends say they love me, but I caught them spreading nasty rumors about me. What does love really mean? Is it real? And if it is real, then am I lovable?"

For a teen mom, her new baby is born and "wow"! "Is this what love is really like? This little being is so beautiful, and all she wants is me. Finally somebody loves me." This new baby awakens the hope that there is real love. And for a short while, that deep need for love is met in this little baby.

And then that love is challenged when her 6-week-old baby won't stop screaming — no matter how dry the diaper, how well-fed and burped, or how many different rocking rhythms and holding positions have been tried. Or later, when the child becomes a "defiant, temper-tantrum-throwing, only-says-no 2-year-old." Then the old question rears its ugly head again. "I thought this baby loved me, but does she really?"

And the cycle begins again. The teen mom starts anew on her quest to find love — maybe from a new guy ... or a new baby. There is a deep longing to be loved that seems unfillable. Lisa, a teen mom, shares her experience of searching to find this elusive love:

"Before I knew Jesus I was always looking for something to fill me up. I didn't realize it at the time but I had many wounds from my childhood.

"My YoungLives mentor was with me through all the ups and downs. Through her and YoungLives, I had a glimpse of God and His love, but I still wanted to run my own life. After I had my daughter I straightened up my life for a while, but was still scared to give my life to God. I ended up turning back to my old ways of drugs, alcohol and boys. My mentor and other YoungLives leaders tried to help me through this time. I tried to push them away, but they were 'un-pushable.'

"On the morning we were supposed to go to camp, I wasn't going to go. I was homeless and staying at a friend's house, when I heard a knock at the door, and there were two bubbly faces telling me to get my stuff because we were going to camp. Camp ended up being an amazing experience. It was just what I needed. At camp I was filled up like I'd never been before in my life; I wasn't even trying, but I found myself being very content. I realized it wasn't the place or the people, but it was Jesus. Jesus' love was everywhere and in everything and everyone. There was no escaping His love. I accepted Christ one night during a quiet time."

And that's just one of the many amazing things about our God. He takes the seemingly impossible, and makes it possible. He breaks through the deep hurt of a young mom and fills the un-fillable.