It didn't seem like a gift.
And it seemed like anything but good timing for John to travel abroad for work, anxiety still trying to take captive my heart and mind on a weekly basis and my physical imbalance throwing me through emotional and actual loops. And, honestly, every day I'm still giving over the inevitable stings of having lost our baby in March.
When John first told me he'd be leaving for Paris, thus, leaving me alone with the boys to parent them solo for five days and night, I wanted to cry.
So I did. I cried. And I asked God how He could be so callous with my tender heart.
How could I parent our boys alone in this season of intense healing all while keeping up with the other responsibilities that come with owning a business and working part time?
But, God, in His goodness, showed me, the very day John left, that I didn't have to do it alone.
I did it with the help offered and given freely by my in-laws, my own mom and my friends and their husbands.
I did it with His provision, and His provision for me in this season included a lot of help.
So much help, it's sort of mind boggling. Normally I try to muscle up and do as much as I possibly can by myself so as not to be a burden to others around me.
God, however, in my brokenness from the loss of our baby back in March, has gently picked up my pieces, softened me and put me back on the Potter's spinning wheel, intent on making me into something new.
During a Guided Prayer session in which my therapist asked the Spirit to reveal what He wanted me to know in this season, God brought to mind the baby we lost and whispered to my heart that He wants and has always wanted all of me so much more than I want and have always wanted all of our babies. And with that whisper, He challenged my deep-rooted thoughts of feeling like I'm a burden when He really created me as a gift.
This realization was the kind of reshaping that takes a cup and turns it into a pitcher, reshaping its very character and growing it in its purpose and its ability to be filled with much more than it was previously capable.
With space to be filled, though, there also comes space to be empty ...
empty from not truly understanding what we've been crafted to be
empty from always trying to pour out blessings
empty from rarely allowing ourselves to receive blessings from others who want to fill our pitchers
empty from keeping our bodies so busy we hardly ever allow our souls to be stilled and filled by His presence.
Burdens are, indeed, heavy with an emptyness.
But we were made to be gifts, overflowing with His very goodness.
We were made to be filled with His love over and over
day in and day out
moment by moment.
I am not a burden, but I carry the burden of heavy lies when I sit empty of the goodness with which He wants to feel me because I feel like I don't need/deserve/crave the fullness of what comes when we open our hands to receive.
In the days leading up to John's departure, I wrestled hard against that heavy lie of being a burden.
I wrestled hard against emptyness.
And I wrestled hard with understanding of the nature of the gifts He gives.
Though John's trip seemed like a burden, it only would have been if it were empty of receiving what He'd intended; his trip was actually a gift.
A gift that taught me much more about gifts
about how God created each of us, about how God created me to be a gift
a pitcher just waiting to be filled by the love He's ready to pour into each of His creations
not at all empty
but filled from receiving His provision of overflow
making us overflowing.