I am eighteen years old, and what I love to do the most in the world is to help others. That is what I want to do in the future. In spite of everything, I always smile when I am around people. I make the effort to encourage them so that they will feel good…. But there are times when I feel down, empty, at the end of the day, with tears and fears…. How can I be a better person and not feel so empty?

Dear Friend,

Thank you for writing to us. We congratulate you on your social skills and your ability to work with people. There are many professions for you to choose from that will make the most of your desire to help others.

Let’s break up your question into three parts: emptiness, emotional distress (tears), and fears. Fears can be a result of worrying about what the future holds, or of anxiety about the present. We have no way of knowing if you are afraid for your future, or if you have anxiety about your present circumstances, or maybe both. However, the best antidote for all fear is trust. When you ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and be your best Friend, you will gradually learn that you can trust Him with your life.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”(1) So God is watching out for us and working things out for us when we love Him and work together with Him for His Kingdom. Just as good parents watch out for their children, our Heavenly Father watches out for us and works things out for us, when we have committed our lives to Him. You can trust Him to never leave you nor forsake you.(2)

As for the emotional distress that you experience through crying and a feeling of emptiness, there are various possibilities that could be causing your tears. If you give out encouragement to others every day, but don’t have anyone who regularly encourages you, then you have a valid reason for coming up empty at the end of the day. Furthermore, if you have a group of friends and acquaintances that take from you all the time and never give back, then you need to find a few friends who can encourage and motivate you. Maybe you need a mentor or an accountability partner. You certainly need someone with whom it is safe to share your innermost feelings. When you keep those feelings bottled up inside with no outlet, they will come out in tears.

Each of us was created with an emptiness inside that can only be filled by God. Many people try to fill it with good works, which make them have some sense of fulfillment, but the emptiness still exists under it all. Other people try to fill the emptiness with drugs or alcohol, but that just makes the emptiness seem greater. A personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the only answer for such emptiness.

We wish you well,

1 Ro 8:28
2 Dt 31:6