And to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19 (NIV)

 

The pillow propping my back is wet and covered with a muddy mix of mascara and eyeshadow.  Tide Stain Sticks will be a friend to my bed sheets today.  That one bully of a tear hatched an escape plan, and once she got out the whole followed the leader.  I’ve been crying ever since.  This dam is broken.

My heart got crushed today.

I was threadbare with exhaustion before the criticism came, and by the time I digested those words, this fragile frame was primed for collapse.  So that’s what I did… but not before making it home to my quiet bedroom in the nick of time.

I like to think I’m a strong girl… capable of healthy growth through criticism balanced in the confidence of how far I’ve come.  But I’m not most of those things most of the time.

See, at my core, loving on and pouring into others is my ministry.  And I have the honor of doing so across a calico of people in my life.  The platform is varied, but the means is always the same: I’m an encourager.  It’s my language.  It comes naturally, fluidly:  I. pour. out.

Sometimes we have to dig deep to find the positive to highlight in someone.  But it’s that synergistic mix of truth and encouragement that resonates and, therefore, has transforming power.  Let’s be honest, most of us could use a better cheering squad.  Where our efforts are SEEN, where our personalities are CELEBRATED, where our hearts are ADORED; our new hairstyle, COMPLIMENTED 😉 …. it motivates that spring in our step in a way little else can.

I’m in a season where I’m working harder than ever.  Pulled in more directions than before.  A manicure on these worn out hands might as well be a rainbow unicorn.  And I’m at empty.

Have you ever stopped to think, we tend to give what we require?

In my case, encouragement.  We love people the way we desire to be loved.  We gift what we want wrapped up for ourselves.  It’s in our nature.  And when replenishments aren’t coming in at the pace at which we’re doling out  reserves, our ability to feel loved and valued can run dangerously low.

Because people fail us.  Oh my, all the time.  From the say, what(!?) moments to the ones that leave our jaw on the floor.  You might have seen it coming from a mile away or been blindsided by the sucker punch.  But it’s the dependable truth, people will fail us.  People who love us, people who won’t, people who are paying attention, people who don’t.

Today, the color palette of my pillow exposes the truth of where I’ve placed my confidence.  The reality is that I have not been loved well in this season, my tank a rolling tumbleweed.  But as entitled as I feel licking my wounds and holding onto this hurt, I am reminded by My Father there is room on this pillow for neither excuses nor the words that cut so deep.

Our supply can not be located in this broke-down-stop-off of a world we live in.  Those people who fail us?  Yeah, we fail them too.  And the gaping hole we spend so much time trying to fill with nuggets that can rarely speak life to our highly individualized hearts?  Those snickers just won’t satisfy.

Our SOURCE is not our spouse, not our kids, not our boss, not our friends, not our Instagram, not our ministry.  Our source?:

“[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!” Ephesians 3:19 (AMP)

It’s taken 26 hours for the words of my Father to find a heart capable of receiving HIM.  Volumes of tears to remember that with one simple ask, I can be WHOLLY FILLED AND FLOODED with God Himself.  I’ll sit here for a moment, frozen and stilled, lest a drop escape my soul.

We have all found ourselves buried in our “pillows” from time to time, and I’m thinking someone else out there might value a gentle encouragement (it’s what I do, after all)…  Your Father’s got this.  He’s got YOU — FILLED.  Let Him rise in your dry places like a flood of cool quenching water.  Let Him satisfy the longings of a heart He designed.