I Felt So Empty

Finding the source of true fulfillment.

by Cristin Yasinsac as told to Christy Heitger-Casbon

“Ugh!” I moaned as I studied my reflection in my bedroom mirror. Who is this girl staring back at me?

I’d been raised in a Christian home and had done Christian things, like going to youth group and Bible study. To most people around me, including my parents, I looked like a model Christian girl. In reality, though, I’d never made a decision to follow Christ.

I’d also been lying to my parents about the guys I’d been going out with. My mom and dad believed I had good morals when it came to dating. But I didn’t. I’d let guys push me as far as they could, without actually having sex with them.

Shame

I suddenly felt so dirty and ashamed. As I stared at that mirror, I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

Tears flowed as I sank to the floor in despair, tucking myself into a ball and cradling my knees. I slowly rocked back and forth like a frightened child.

Bad decisions

How had my life become such a mess? I’d always thought of myself as a good kid who made smart choices. But looking back, I know I made some really bad decisions.

Throughout middle school and on into high school, I’d searched for something to make me feel accepted and happy. For a while, soccer did the job. I loved the sport. In fact, I built my entire life around it until a knee injury forced me to stop playing.

Popularity

I was heartbroken. Being sidelined from soccer felt like being sidelined from life. I felt so empty inside. That’s when I turned to guys.

Flirting got me loads of attention. Before long, I was getting picked up by the “guy of the week.” It was awesome. I suddenly felt attractive and popular. And going out with so many different guys was fun and exciting.

Deceit

My parents had no idea what was going on. I lied to them about where I was going and what I was doing. After several months of deceit, I started feeling ashamed for betraying their trust. I also felt shame for another reason. Although I wouldn’t have sex, I’d often go too far with some of my dates. Dating no longer made me feel attractive; it made me feel used.

Full of shame and hurt, I cried every single day for two weeks straight. It was during this time that I collapsed in front of my mirror, wondering who I’d become.

Coming clean

I decided I needed to talk to my youth leader and hoped she could help me straighten out my life. She encouraged me to turn my problems and my life over to God. She also said I should be honest with my folks.

It took me about a week, but I finally worked up the courage to tell my mom what had been going on. My heart raced from fear of how she would react. As I continued to talk, I could see the hurt in her eyes. She sat there, stunned, then finally said, “I’m glad you told me. I’ll talk to your father about this.”

I was thankful that I wouldn’t have to tell Dad. That would have been even more difficult than talking to Mom. Thankfully, he too was supportive, loving, and forgiving. While I wasn’t punished, my parents let me know they would more carefully watch how I spent my free time.

Confession and conversion

Over the next few weeks, I thought a lot about what my youth leader had said about turning my life over to God. Eventually, I went to her and said I was ready to become a Christian. We prayed together. I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.

Afterward, it felt as though a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders.

New priorities

That was more than a year ago. Since then, the Bible has really come alive for me. I find it easier to pray and feel that God is listening when I talk to Him. I also love Bible studies, youth retreats, and time with Christian friends. And these friends help me realize that idolizing soccer is where I first ran into trouble. They encourage me to keep my priorities straight by keeping God first.

It’s great to know there’s so much more to life than trying to fill it up with stuff like soccer and dating. Christ has definitely given me more joy and true happiness than I thought possible.