Filled with emptiness
August 1999, I moved to Paris from the Caribbean to start a new life!
I was supposed to go to Uni to study IT Software Engineering but for some reason, I felt tired of studying.
My brother was working in an IT company providing services to a very famous French bank and they were looking for some IT field technicians. My BTEC in IT was enough and I got the job 3 weeks after landing in Paris. I was so excited!
I had my driving license for 4 months only and here I was driving in Paris with a company car. What a privilege!
I was living on a campus in the South of Paris, as I was supposed to be a student. I was not allowed to keep the room but I was following the flow. Many people would illegally keep those rooms once finished their studies.
They would pay a small fee to register at Uni but would never go as the campus administration would check this only at the beginning of each year.
Even if my conscience was telling me that it was wrong I could not resist the desire to save money and many people were doing it so I did it!
I made new friends on the campus (most of them were from the Caribbean) and I started a long cycle Working, Partying, Sleeping, Working, Partying, Sleeping, Working, Partying, Sleeping.
My all life was defined around those 3 activities. Sometimes I would visit my sisters but that was mostly what I was doing + watching football on TV. Very exciting! You don’t think so?
After 6 months doing this, I started to get bored. All my friends had girlfriends but I did not, I thought that was what I needed to beat boredom so I started to focus on finding a girlfriend.
“I started to get bored…”
In April 2000, I met a girl that I thought was too good for me but for some reason I believed something could happen if I was pushing a bit. We had met at a party and eventually we liked each other and we started to go out together.
A new life was starting for me!
For two years we traveled to so many places together! South of France, London, Guadeloupe, Martinique, that was a pure joy but I started to get bored again.
There was something missing in my life and I did not know what it was.
“There was something missing…”
My girlfriend was brought up in a Christian family but she was clearly living her life without God. She was not trying to take me to church or anything like this but for some reason, I wanted to check if what I was looking for was not in religion.
She eventually introduced me to her church and I really liked it. I liked singing on Sunday morning. Everybody seemed to be so joyful and I enjoyed it very much. I started to go to the youth meetings on Friday evenings and I was amazed to see how this youth like me would believe in a Jesus that they had never seen. All those youth gathering together around this person who was not even there. Jesus! That was what I was thinking at the time.
After two or three months, the youth group was holding an event in the church. They had prepared dramas, songs, testimonies for the occasion.
I really enjoyed the show but the pace of my heart began to go faster when the pastor took the microphone at end and began to talk about this emptiness that every man who was not reconciled with God had.
He was saying that because of Adam and Eve’s sin, God had removed himself from humanity but because of Jesus-Christ’s blood shed on the cross God was now reconciled with the world and was waiting for us to accept him. I was really moved!
He also said that if someone would like to reconcile with God they can stand up and he will pray with them.
My heart was telling me to stand up but my mind was telling to remain seated as all of this was non sense. I was battling and was not sure what to do. After two or three calls, the pastor eventually dismissed the meeting inviting people for fellowship and food in the lower floor.
“I did not stand up”
I eventually did not stand up! I was too afraid to do so but I was regretting already. As we were all having some fellowship at the lower floor. I saw the pastor who was eating a “Quiche” and I told him that I wanted to stand but I had not had the strength to do so. He told me: “It’s not too late!”.
I was surprised as I thought that I had missed the crucial time but he actually took me to another room and explained to me what Jesus had done for the redemption of humanity.
In my mind I was still struggling but my heart wanted to be reconciled with Jesus. I was tired with the emptiness. So I repeated this prayer after him and I believed and I knew straight after this prayer that he Lord was in my heart and I would never feel empty anymore.
That was definitely a big turn in my life. The beginning of something really exciting!
I needed the Lord like the jailer:
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Acts 16 v 29-31
Keep this in mind:
You will never be fully satisfied in your life if you don’t have Christ living in you. You can try everything you want. A goog career, a good family, good friends, travels, food, sports, whatever you will try in your life will never replace Christ. And you only need to believe to receive him!