1.containing nothing; not filled or occupied.Synonyms: vacant, unoccupied, uninhabited, untenanted, bare, desolate, deserted, abandoned.
Empty. It’s not a word often associated with the positive, especially when used as an adjective to describes one’s life. And while my life is full of incredible people, and experiences and things, there has been an emptiness that I have pushed down and ignored and dismissed because it’s just too hard. Instead of sitting in my emptiness, I have tried to make it go away, to quiet the hunger pangs of a starving heart. And I try to fill the emptiness but my body metabolizes the junk too quickly and I am left with an even greater void and a deeper hunger.
In today’s world it’s so easy to feed our souls with things that leave us hungry and wanting. Moments of silence are interrupted by the constant stream of texts and emails and social media posts. We wake to our alarms and before our feet hit the floor we are streaming our ever growing to do list in our minds. And between work and family and all of our commitments, we run around on fumes, never allowing ourselves to stop and feel and contemplate the hard areas of our lives where we fill hurt or weak or empty.
Today, I woke feeling off. I was not physically ill, but I felt uneasy and restless. I sat down with my warm cup of coffee and my Lent devotional. This year for Lent I decided that instead of giving up something I was going to add something. Maybe my soul already knew what I did not – I was already empty and needed to be filled. So I added a time of prayer and reading and reflection. And the prayer for today was everything I needed to hear.
God, help me to live slowly; To move simply; To look softly; TO ALLOW EMPTINESS; To let the heart create for us. AMEN
And as I opened my eyes I knew for the first time that my emptiness is not one of sadness or weakness. My emptiness is not without plan or purpose. The void I feel is not without love and redemption. But unless I ALLOW myself to sit in my emptiness and welcome it in, I will continue to ache from the artificial junk on which I’m binging. Because God has a plan for my emptiness and He’s asking me to be still and patiently sit in the void. He’s asking me to have faith that He will take my emptiness and fill it with something beautiful and lovely. And unless I let myself remain empty, unless I let go of the distractions and busyness and junk that I feed on each day, I will just continue on an emotional treadmill, moving my feet but going nowhere.
God, Help me to live slowly; To move simply; To look softly; God ALLOW EMPTINESS; allow me to remain empty so that there is space to be filled with the goodness and love that you have planned for me; give me the strength to sit in my feelings of weakness and inadequacy and wait for what is beautiful and genuine and worthy.
I’m thankful for this Lenten season. This sacred time set aside each year to reflect and contemplate the depth of God’s love. This time to sacrifice and suffer and clear out the junk. Time to allow ourselves to be emptied and patiently, but expectantly, wait to be filled.