Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 117 - empty

How am I doing today? I'm doing pretty good, how bout you?

Interesting that my last post was entitled "fullness" and today's is "empty".

Yesterday was a hard day. I spent most of the day missing peace... in two ways... I missed peace as in I was longing for it... and I missed peace because it seemed to have eluded me. I went back and I read my post on fullness and even reading what I, myself, wrote... I almost felt like I was reading someone else's words. Where was she? She seemed so far, far away.

I felt lost. Sad. Closed off. I didn't want to reach out to anyone. I didn't want to do my homework. I even wanted to cancel whatever plans I'd made that day just so I could sit at home and mope. I didn't spend the entire day completely sad but it came and went in waves... it just kept coming back to emptiness more often than not.

Yesterday was the first day that I'd felt so down in a really really long time. I wrote to Anderson. The last time I wrote to Anderson was in September. I wrote a few pages... to my best friend. I told him I missed him. I felt lost and confused and I didn't know what to do. I wished that he was there to listen to me and to know my heart and to tell me what I should do. I really, really felt empty.

I looked at my to-do list and I had checked off the bare minimum to get me through the day. Good enough.

I knew why I'd felt yucky. I didn't spend enough time with God over the past weekend while I was in SF. I was really behind in my Bible reading. I was reminded of a quote from Streams in the Desert that I'd blogged about a while ago...
Waiting upon God is vital in order to see Him and receive a vision from Him. And the amount of time spent before Him is also critical, for our hearts are like a photographer's film-the longer exposed, the deeper the impression. For God's vision to be impressed on our hearts, we must sit in stillness at His feet for quite a long time. Remember, the troubled surface of a lake will not reflect an image.
So I read. I read quite a bit. I caught up to where I was supposed to be. God did speak to me through reading Acts. I was still in a bit of a funk. I thought about what I should be doing... I should be reaching out... I should be letting my friends know that I'm struggling and I need their help. I should be removing my focus off myself and turn my eyes to Jesus and to serving others. I just didn't feel like it. Why couldn't someone just read my mind and just reach out to ME without me asking for it? (horribly selfish, I know...)

And then I got an e-card from Anderson. :) It is so amazing to me that even in my moments of sinful weakness that God still had sovereignly planned to have Anderson send me an e-card in His perfect timing to remind me that Jesus loves me... and so did he. He wrote that I was always in his thoughts. And he wrote again that he loved me. Only 3 short sentences. I broke down in tears at that point. I let God's love and Anderson's love wash over me like a breath of fresh air. You know sometimes when you open the door to a large building and the air pressure changes and you get hit in the face with a gust of wind? Or when you're going up an escalator and somehow a little bit of air kinda just hits you in the face for a few seconds? I remember it happening a few days ago when I was going up an escalator... maybe out of the subway or something... and the air just blew the hair off my face... kinda like the tender touch of a loved one... I don't know if you know what I'm talking about or what I'm trying to say. I remember in that moment, I closed my eyes, smiled and just let the wind kiss my face... just for a moment. Anyway... back to yesterday... I got the e-card... I saved it, I smiled. And went on with my day.

A little bit later, another dear friend sent me an email. A very encouraging email. My heart had been heavy for her for at least a week. The beauty of her words... her transparency... her communion with God... I hope she doesn't mind but I very often find her to be very quotable... here's one that particularly encouraged me and lifted me out of whatever was left of my funk.
You have existed as my God-given stronghold in all the heartaches of a broken world; one that has withstood the battles of distance and time, and remained close in the revolution and redemption of my ailing soul. All this odd and perhaps ridiculous imagery to say that your life and your friendship through the years have disproved and answered to all of my excuses, all of my buts, and all of my useless suffering in believing that love always dies to selfishness.
In all my weakness... in all my emptiness... even despite my refusal to do what I knew I should do... God still met me where I was and used others to touch me and remind me that He loves me and so do other people. How can your heart NOT be moved by such a powerful showing of love?

Not only that, but today... as I was finishing up the last of my BSF homework in John 6... God really spoke to me and answered my heart's desire for guidance, for someone to know my heart, to show me the way... and I didn't need my husband to do it for me... I have Jesus and that's all I need. He is the epitome... the paragon of masculinity and genius... and He chose to empty Himself... make Himself nothing and be completely obedient to His Father's will... even to the point of death. That's what I should be doing! Not only that... but that He chose not to do His own will because He was so consumed with the mind and heart of His Father that there wasn't any room or any time for His own stuff. Once again! Guidance and instruction! Through obedience and being filled with the Spirit... my joy will be made full and complete.

... so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God... Acts 20:24b

mmm... I think that's all for "how I'm doing today". Still have a few more topics related to lavish love that I wanted to finish writing about... later, I guess... thanks for reading my essays. :)

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