Friday, June 16, 2006
Clarifying Just a Tad
You know my post below, the one called, Trying to Share What I Didn't Have? Not always do I say clearly what I believe (drats)... I received a couple questions, so I will add these words...
I do realize right where we are, wherever we are and whatever we are doing...and so very far from perfection... we can... we should always help people. We can always make ourselves, our shoulders, available to cry upon. And God appreciates that so much, especially when, rather than hiding ourselves away in a corner during our own times of grief, we, instead, dry our tears and knock at the door of a hurting friend.
I do believe and realize those things.... and for years and years I have tried to do them.
But I guess what I was really trying to say was that there came a time in my life when for me, I dreaded hearing people say just one more time, "Debra is so thoughtful. Debra is such an encourager. Debra writes such sweet, uplifting notes."
I guess there came a day when I realized something. Debra was being thanked. Debra was being appreciated. She was being thought of as the great encourager, the awesome letter-writing-poet and a darn nice woman.
And it made me sick.
Seriously. I mean it.
There is a different way to live. There is a different way to be. I know--because I have lived both ways... And this way I live now, well, I have found it to be far and away better than what I knew before.
It is better to let God drain me out of me. The me who had way too much of me invested in every kind, thoughtful thing I did. The me who got high on being appreciated. The me who got her self-esteem by exercising her God-given gifts (when actually, God-given gifts are meant to help the other person--not myself).
It has been a million times better to let God fill the newly-empty parts with Himself. With the part of Himself which knows exactly what a person needs and exactly when she needs to hear it or receive it...With the part of Himself who can do anything through a vessel not already filled to the brim with Self's interests and agendas and plans and best-ways-of-doing-everything things.
And here is the greatest, the very best difference of all... Very, very seldom do I now hear anyone say, "Debra is so thoughtful."
Thank-goodness. If I never heard it again, that would be marvelous.
Why? Because now what people tell me is, "God spoke through you at just the right moment... Only God could have known that I needed to hear that... God showed me He still loves me by that one thing you did--that thing that only God could have known I needed someone to do for me."
Do you hear the difference? It shines and sings differently like night and day. God is praised, not me... God is the thoughtful one and I am simply the carrier of his love notes.... Like a simple, blue-clad mailman (and everyone knows it is not the mailman who writes you the letters he delivers). I come out looking only like the vessel God used... The plain ol', ordinary jar filled with one amazing God.
People try talking me out of this Jar Life, but that's Life the way I want it... the way I love it... Being filled and then emptied... being filled and then emptied... And always coming back to the fountain for more of Him.
"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." ... 1 Corinthians 3:7