Emptying Yourself

A few weeks ago one of our pastors preached a message on generosity, which lead to a discussion on fulfillment. It’s a prayer I’ve been painfully yet consistently praying. “God just help me feel fulfilled. Fill me.” And at the end of the service, our Pastor said “God can’t fulfill you until you empty yourself.” It definitely struck a nerve with me, and it’s replayed in my head a trillion times since then.

Since my divorce, I’ve felt a need to fill the void. My marriage helped me feel complete, for maybe the first time in my entire life. And it was never his job to fulfill me. But there I was,  holding my head high walking into any social event, with him by my side. Was it for show? Maybe a little. Was it because we fit a mold of mom, dad, son, daughter (and a cute Aussie dog to boot…!)? Probably a smidge. Those admissions of truth don’t discount the love I had for my husband, and the reality of the good (and bad) in our marriage. But in addition to that love, it was also a fulfilling season of my life because I truly felt complete, a family. As I write those words, I realize that I had not been part of a “family” since I was eight. Sure, I had a “broken” family, but a family of four was new to me for the first time in twenty years. And I realize now, I wanted that soo desperately for myself and for my kids. Whoa, revelation time, ya’lll. 

And so I think I have worked super hard to keep myself full. Busy. Distracted. I realized during that sermon though, none of those things equal fulfillment. Cheap relationships, fake friendships, ridiculous amounts of wine, and painfully dreadful reality television all filled my time these past eighteen months. All those things left me feeling emptier than my failed marriage. And though I’ve always known that only God’s love can truly fulfill me, I’ve ignored it. And I’ve tried to do it my way. I meeeeeean, I don’t wanna say God’s slow, but….c’mon God. This girl isn’t getting any younger! (I’m kiddddddding!)

So since this epiphany, I’ve realized that filling my time with more important people and things is crucial to my growth as a human, but even more important to my growth as a Christian woman. Filling my mind and my heart with anything other than God’s purpose for me is well….wasteful. And so, I’ve read books. I’ve done devotionals. I’ve equipped myself with Godly women who fiercely invest into my life, and vice versa. I have tried to rule out any potential suitor at the moment, because I am still full of all the wrong stuff. I gotta get right with the Lord, ya’ll. I have some WORK.TO.DO!

I encourage you to empty yourself. Allow something other than this “failure” take over. But not just “something”….make it purposeful. Make it worth it. Because if not, you’ll find yourself suffering even more. These cheap imitations won’t fulfill you. Trust me, friend. I’ve tried.

 

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