Emptiness: Anna’s Story

Being a woman has often been a miserable experience for me.  I’m not even talking about the hormonal or physical issues.  I’m talking about the emotions—the feeling of inferiority, the feeling that I am both too much and not enough all at once, and the baggage that has come from being abused and misused.  I spent most of my teens and twenties feeling empty and that unless I had a man, I wouldn’t be complete—and feeling that God and the world saw me that way too.  But once I reconciled myself to the fact that I don’t need a man to be complete, I still couldn’t figure out what in the world would make me complete.

Friends, it is possible to walk in God’s will and still feel incomplete.  I’ve been there.  Some days, I still am there.  And so, I continue to seek.  And as I have sought Him, He’s leading me to the answers.  There’s just not time to go into them all here.  But for today, I want to share a story within a story…

My friend, Anna, is very much like I was.  I have known her for half my life and I have watched her make every mistake that I made—almost as if she was intentionally following in my footsteps.  But when I chose to seek God for wholeness, Anna chose to go the opposite way. 

A while back, Anna had a devastating breakup.  She called me for advice and I pointed her to God.  She listened politely and then disappeared from my life again (which is her signal that I’ve gotten too close for comfort and that she’s not going to listen).  A few months later, she turned up again.  This time she is pregnant.  And in conversation, she confessed to me that she got pregnant on purpose because she wants someone to love her unconditionally and to belong to her.  She believes that a baby will do this and be this for her.  She believes that a baby will complete her. 

And my heart breaks for her because I see she’s bought the same lies that I had bought and that she’s going to have to bear the consequences of believing those lies.  My prayer is that this child will bring her back to Christ. 

A while back, I wrote her a fairy tale as a gift.  She had come to visit me.  She sat at my kitchen table and read it with tears in her eyes.  But she put it down on the table and when she left, she glanced at it, left it on the table, and walked away.  So today, I share Anna’s stories with you.  Maybe her stories will help you identify the lies in your life or the lives of the women around you.  And once the lies come into the light, that’s when God can bring His Truth.


Once upon a time, in that hidden place where little ones live until they are sent to earth, there was a little girl named Anna.  Anna was a precious little girl.  She was very special to God and so He gave her a special gift: a big, soft, tender heart.  He gave this to her because He knew that with this heart, she could love people deeply and that love could heal people and change their lives forever.


Because Anna had such a special heart, God gave her a special assignment.  He sent her to be born to a particular Mommy, but then, that Mommy went away and He sent her to be raised by a different family—a second family with very special parents.  Anna didn’t understand why her first Mommy couldn’t stay.  She wondered if anyone loved her, but she didn’t know how to ask, so she didn’t.  She felt abandoned and rejected, but she loved her second family so much that she couldn’t imagine life without them.  And so even though her big, soft, tender heart was hurting, she tucked away the pain, and loved her second family anyway. 


Anna looked different from other little girls.  She had a strange little scar on her cute little face.  People would sometimes look at her strangely or ask her why she looked different than other little girls.  Anna didn’t understand why she looked different.  She didn’t like it and it made her wonder if it made her hard to love, but she didn’t know who to ask, so she didn’t.  She felt ashamed, but when people would come into her life, she would tuck away the pain and love them anyway.


When Anna grew up, she met a man.  When she was with him, she was so happy that for a few minutes, she would forget that she felt rejected and ashamed.  He made her forget that she was different.  And because Anna loved people with all of her heart, she gave her heart to him.  But the man didn’t want the gift.  He didn’t appreciate her heart and he threw it away.  Anna didn’t understand why he didn’t want her heart.  It made her wonder if she would ever be loved and if she deserved to be loved, but she was afraid of the answer.  She felt abandoned, rejected, ashamed, and broken.  She tried to tuck away the pain, but it was too big.


Then Anna became angry.  She shook her fist at the sky and cried and screamed at God: “Why did you make me this way?  Why did you let this happen to me?  Why doesn’t anyone love me?” 


God looked down at Anna and cried.  He held her sweet little face in His hands and whispered: “You are loved.  You have always been loved by Me and you always will be.  I sent you where I sent you because I knew that those people needed you and that you needed them.  Your first Mommy gave you life.  Your second family taught you have to live it.  And even though you look different than the others, you are more beautiful because you love harder and deeper and stronger.  And even though this unworthy man doesn’t want your heart, I have one waiting for you that won’t just want your heart, but he will also give you his.  Anna, you are worthy of love and I want to spend the rest of your life proving it to you.”


So now, the choice is yours.  How will the story end?  Will you take God’s hand, follow Him, and let Him prove His love to you?  Or will you walk away and spend the rest of your life trying to find your worth in empty promises, broken dreams, and shabby counterfeits?  It’s all up to you. 

This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on Emptiness at Bridget Chumbley’s blog. For more incredible posts on this topic, please visit her site.

About Sarah Salter


  1. I agree. Anna is like you with that big, tender heart brimming with love.

  2. So hard. We can’t make decisions for people, but we can keep pointing to the answers even as we discover and embrace them ourselves… Thanks Sarah.

  3. You’ve told a beautiful story here, Sarah. And in a real way, you’ve told all our stories.

  4. What a wonderful way to help Anna see. I want to know how the story ends… I really do.

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Duane- The baby arrived a couple of months ago. But so far, the story doesn’t have a happy ending… YET. I’m still believing that one day, it will.

    Glynn, Jason, & Anne- Thanks for your sweet words! It’s always a blessing when y’all drop by!

  6. I will be praying for you and for Anna and child.

  7. My prayers and blessing are that Anna love her baby and care for the baby the very best she can, so that the baby knows that love exists and experiences love as Anna has not except through friends like you, Sarah. Also, that those of us who know another Anna somewhere else be present in love, too.

  8. This reminds me of that song by 10th avenue north, By your side.
    “Why are you searching for love? Why are you acting as if I’m not enough?”

    Allowing anyone or anything other than God to determine your worth is a losing and painful proposition.

  9. I’m on the song theme with Katdish – “Does anybody hear her?” or maybe more appropriately, does she even realize that someone cares? The fairy tale is awesome. I’d love to hear how it ends.

  10. Sarah, I deeply admire your creativity in writing this for Anna, and even more so your courage in sharing it with her! What an amazing, tender story. The fact that you took the time to craft a tale relating the story of God’s love for her must have touched her deeply. She just wasn’t quite ready for it. Even though she didn’t physically take the story with her, it’s in her heart. Kudos to you for using your gifts to speak truth.

  11. What a picture of God’s love you are to her, always there to come back to. May He bless you and give you wisdom and grace as you guide her to Him.

  12. There is still time for that happy ending…

    You are a blessing to Anna (and so many others). Thanks for this, Sarah.

  13. It is so easy to be seduced in more ways than one… to try to somehow meet all the expectations [whether actual or fictional] and always guess the right road to take… when the wrong guide has been put in place. Only our Lord can reverse us when we live that life, when we have somehow allowed ourselves to be counseled, but not by the Counselor. See this all the time in some lives around me, and it’s devastatingly sad. However, just as you described, we need to be available to drop in love and blessing and wait for the day that is absorbed into their life beyond measure and bring them to freedom. Thank you for sharing.

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