Thursday, March 13, 2014

From Patched Up to Purpose Filled

Life is like a pitcher that has been filled with wonderful things, over and over again and the contents are good and sweet, but somehow, somewhere along the way the pitcher gets cracked. 

Not a huge break, nothing remotely visible. A simple, small crack; but with added pressure, the once unnoticeable nick starts to spread, slowly, but definite. 
And then there is a slow leak and you don't even notice it until you realize everything around it is soaked, and a mess and needing to be cleaned up.

The inside of that pitcher, however, is dry.

Every time the pitcher has been filled, it can't give of all its content
because it's slowly draining itself of the water inside. 
It can't patch itself because a patch won't hold. The stitches will wear and eventually loosen and the leak will penetrate through the patch. The pitcher must be broken and set aside and created again where there are no holes or leaks of any kind.

I was that pitcher.

I had leaks and I didn't even realize it. I was slowly being drained of everything He would fill me with and the little I did to fill myself was just seeping out without any direction or purpose.

I struggled with depression, anger, the mundane of my existence.

I loved my family. I loved my husband and children and
I praised God for them and for his blessing because they were wonderful. 
But I felt lost.

God started peeling me like an onion. 
He knew I couldn't stay where I was. 
He knew He created me for more than "happily ever after." 
He knew He had better plans than what I could dream up on my own. 
He also knew my own selfish and sinful ways would get in the way of all He had planned for the rest of the story.

He slowly began peeling away my securities, my ideals, my plans.

I was still growing in Him, the story didn't just end. 
He was still developing my character. 
I was still being used and called.
I was still praying and seeking Him
and He was constantly teaching me...but I started noticing the leak. 

I was being drained. 

I couldn't do any of it alone...but I wanted to. 
I wanted a plan.
I wanted a formula.
And I did everything the way I wanted.

I was raising my children well and according to God's ways. 
I loved my husband and strove to be a Proverbs 31 woman in my home
and in my relationship with my husband. 
All good things.

I was being seriously drained.

He called us to educate our children at home.
No question, no doubt. 
It has a been journey that I love.
It was draining...and I was running dry.

I was almost empty. 
I was holding on to promises, but scared.
Depression and darkness surrounded me.

I had fought Pre-post partum and post-partum depression in my last two pregnancies with my girls. With my first, I found myself in a dark pit. With my second, I fought it with every scripture I could and I watched out for the traps that would pull me down into that same pit. 
I fought not out of pure faith, but mostly out of fear.

I knew I couldn't fall into that pit again and so I stood on the only thing I could:
His word. 
I stood and trembled with fear and didn't move just in case I was near the edge.

In each new season after, I came to find myself struggling from being pulled into that same pit.
That pit is dark and the voices cry out against me and wickedly whispered 
"you aren't good enough" 
"You are a failure" 
"You never finish what you start"
 "You aren't strong" 
"you aren't able to do any of it."

I had fallen into the pit before and I refused to go back.
By the grace of God I never did,
but there were times when I caught myself from tripping in and I would land face first
and it took all my strength to pick myself up.
There were times when I would simply lie there
and be tempted to just slip in slowly and deal with it later. 
But I knew getting out would be torturous.
And the voices were fierce.

Not long ago I tripped and the pit was in front of me and
as I literally laid on the ground with my face to the floor,
I knew I couldn't get up on my own anymore.
I needed Jesus to pull me and carry me and talk to me the way a mother talks to her child. 

I needed Him to tell me
I was strong, I was brave, I was good. 
I needed Him to tell me,
this wasn't "the thorn in my flesh"
or a "battle" I'd have to fight for the rest of my life. 
I needed Him to save me.

I realized I was empty and my patches and quick fixes weren't holding.
I needed Him to break me,
shatter the pieces of my life that I kept trying to keep together on my own.

He did.
And I broke.

Little things that I had no idea I tried to keep all my own started to break.
 I found myself giving them to Him and not trying to fix them.

Parenting issues, marriage baggage, heart issues...I just passed them over. 
I couldn't fix them so, I resigned my place and handed them to Him.
I fully recognized that I am absolutely nothing without Him.

He is...period.

With that recognition,
He began to fill me and show me how to keep from being drained and dry.
He restored gifts and desires and purposes that I had forgotten about or dismissed.
 I realized that I was so busy trying to keep everything together
that I completely put aside who I was created to be;
that instead, I was trying to become what I thought I was suppose to be.

He called me to be a wife and mother. 
He gave me those ministries early on in my life
 and planned that calling at the tender age of 7. 
Those years when I was waiting and planning and hoping for my life to start,
He had already begun toiling and peeling and molding
for the callings he whispered to me years before.

My life in Him had already begun and I never fully realized that truth.

Those years of crying out and frustration and adolescent desires and dreams and fears
 were all a huge part of His teachings that I never fully understood to be useful.
His reasons and plans were all in preparation for what He created me for in this life.
I just never knew it until now.

I still don't know how it will all work together. 
I only know what's in front of me right now. 
I only know what He has called me to in this moment. 
I don't know where any of it will lead. 
I don't know what any of it will look like at the end of my days.

I do know, however, that He created all of us
for the purpose of fulfilling His great design for the Kingdom of God. 

I know that each of us has a story to tell and each of us has a reason for being called to Him. 
I know that He is always working and moving and that all we have to do is follow Him. 
He will lead and guide us even when we have no idea why, or what, or how, or when.
If you know His voice and if He has called you to be His, you know it's for something great. 

Your life is for something so much more than you can imagine. 
His reasons for You are unlike any others
and all you have to do is follow Him and
He will lead you to all He has for you.

Walk with Him. 
Love others. 
He'll fill in all the rest.

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Psalms 1:3

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