I Have Nothing [Without You]

I sat down to write a blog post a couple of hours ago. It didn’t take long for me to give up and focus my attention elsewhere. I wanted a distraction. I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel inspired. I wanted to feel like I was able to inspire. But I just felt nothing. And maybe that’s because I didn’t want to feel. Maybe that’s because sometimes it is just so much easier not to feel. Sometimes it’s just easier to be numb.

So I sat down at my new keyboard and started playing and singing through a bunch of old songs that I have collected in a binder over the years.


In the process, I came across a song that I hadn’t thought about in ages, but that really spoke to me in the moment. It brought to mind an email that I wrote to Ryan during my eating disorder recovery nearly ten years ago (read an explanation about these emails in A Story and an Invitation).

So I have decided that instead of straining myself to come up with something new tonight, I am rather going to share some old thoughts with you. And in the process, perhaps I will find the inspiration I am looking for. Because sometimes we just need to be reminded of old discoveries in order to inspire new progress.

And so, without further ado, here is a little piece of writing from my original recovery journey, dated January 13, 2008:

I wasn’t really in an awesome mood at all this evening. And my mood became progressively less awesome as I started thinking about writing this email. This happens sometimes. It’s essentially writer’s block, but in an emotional or spiritual sense. It’s like I just have nothing. I have nothing to say; I have no insights to share; I feel emotionally bereft. I know that if I really tried, I could write for days—because that’s what I do, I write. But frankly it would lack meaning and authenticity, because there wouldn’t be any concrete feeling or inspiration behind it. It would be counterfeit. In times like these I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t examine a feeling, because there isn’t one. I just have nothing.

I have nothing. These three words played over and over in my head like a broken record as I sat and stared at my empty email. I have nothing. I have nothing. But then, before I knew it, I was reciting the lyrics of a Bebo Norman song, Nothing Without You

“Take these hands and lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

All my soul needs is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing without You”

These lyrics—not just this excerpt, but the whole tune—are amazing and beautiful. And as I played this song through in my head, I remembered that in these moments of “emotional writer’s block” or emotional desolation, with all of their discomfort and uncertainly, all I need in order to bring me peace of mind is God. “All my soul needs is all [His] love to cover me.”

I really do have nothing without Him. And now that I think about it, it’s as though, tonight, God has bestowed this feeling of emptiness upon me as a gift. Because in a state that is without both joy and sorrow, enthusiasm and angst, I can be free to be only with God. Right now, He is all I have. He is all I feel. He is all I need. He is everything.

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