One of the things I love about cars is the low fuel light. It is even better when it even tells you how many miles until you are completely empty and will need to call AAA. I really wish my brain and heart had one of those warning lights, I am pretty sure it would have been going off a few times.
I started the week with a pretty full tank. I was able to join people in worshiping God in church. I generally am exhausted because I have worked nights, but the music seeps into my soul and strengthens me. The people in the congregation fill me. I then sat on Sunday and wrote out little notes to people to let them know they were on my mind. On Monday, I joined with other women at Ladies Bible Study and left filled. On Tuesday, the kids and I spent the day with an amazing friend and her children. The conversation and her warm heart just filled my spirit. I was blessed with little gifts in my personal Facebook inbox this week.. Also, I was blessed with gifts and cards that arrived in the mail. I focus on my blessings everyday and that helps sustain me. I listen to sermons on line to feed and fill me. And I tried to squeeze in a little reading from Christian authors to fill me. It sounds like I should have a full-tank… and I should! But…
Sometimes I have a big hole in my heart and mind and let things drain me. This week, I read a blog that I took personally. I do not want to bring up the conversation to avoid conflict and rationalize that I was wrong. I have hidden some people from my Facebook newsfeed because they drain me with their posts. I am dealing with a silence to some emails requesting information that directly impact my life. No reply. It feels as though my life is not important and can be left on puppet strings. I have made a sincere apology to someone I apparently offended (unintentionally), and silence to accepting the apology.
So it drains me as I dwell on it. This week, I have had some pretty deep conversations with Mary. She is so amazing to talk with, but this week the topics have weighted heavy on my heart. Maybe it isn’t they drain me, but that I let these things “fill” my mind and thoughts, it keeps me from being filled by greater things. These things keep me from giving full concentration from people and things that matter.
For me there are many dangers in becoming empty or being filled with the wrong stuff. First, when I am in this situation, it prevents me from helping others. This week, I so blew it with someone I love dearly (different from the person above). I do not believe I lifted up, but possibly tore down. I feel like by me being empty (despite my attempts to stay filled this week), it prevents me from filling others. It also tends to make me more on my opinions, then on what they want/need to hear. I am so focused on the things that are draining me that I can’t be the person I love to be – the one who people can come to be filled and lifted up. Last night, I just felt like there was a big knot in my gut. Even my normal filling of comfort (food) is not an option because the “pit” makes me nauseated. I don’t even want to eat. Maybe it is God’s way to help me with understanding others. I have attempted a warm bath to relax me, listening to my sermons online that always fill me, and even hot tea in my favorite cup.
The problem is that I am looking everywhere to be “filled” – I love this video I came across in my search for answers and comfort. http://reneeswope.com/2012/02/letting-god-fill-the-empty-places-in-our-hearts/ I have this book and I do believe I need to re-visit it. It is so unlike me to be on empty…
I think He has allowed me to become empty. To teach me empathy so I can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4). To trust that He has a better view than I do (Jeremiah 29:11). To make me stronger (James 1:2-4) To teach me to lift up my heart and mind to Him to fill!.
The song that keeps coming to my mind – Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up Lord. Come and quench this thirsting of my soul. Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwvqX4nm2sE
I need to intentionally watch for the warning signs. Stop before I hit empty.