Abundance in the Desert

I miss those crazy mountains. Moving away from them was kind of hard.

We've been in Texas for three weeks now, long enough for me to see a million things about myself and the state of my heart that I really wish weren't true. Living in the desert makes you feel dry. You notice your thirst. And sometimes God puts us in the desert to make us realize things that we don't notice other places.

I don't just live in a literal desert here. My inside is pretty dry and empty, too.

I want to be more than thorny branches and parched ground. When I am that dry, that thirsty, I am willing to soak up
any drop of moisture that is thrown my way - muddy water, sugary soda, jacked-up caffeine. Things that tide me over. But they do nothing to quench my real thirst or foster new growth. 


In the end, I'm more dried up than before.

Accepting the fullness, the abundance, the satisfaction of Christ means denying anything else that promises to fill me up.

When I look in the mirror, I don't see a badass mom. I see a tired girl. Her hair is tangled, her face is shaped by shadows, and her teeth are unbrushed (most of the time). Her thoughts are fragmented and her throat is always dry, the water never enough. She lives in a desert that she doesn't know how to escape.

I keep trying, really putting in effort to be the person that I want to be. The one who is happy, artsy, full of exuberance for everything she encounters...but simultaneously organized, well-rested, and smart, of course. But it is only pretty clothes put on the outside.
"Maybe I just wanted to look in the mirror and see someone worthwhile. But I was wrong. I see nothing." -MULAN
What if our job isn't to be the strongest, prettiest, most together woman? What if our job is to have unshakable faith and radiant joy?

I know that I have higher (ahem, unrealistic) expectations for myself than anyone else. Want to know the thing I hear most from my husband? "I just want you to be happy." That sounds shallow, but it's not. He's saying something from the heart: he is tired of seeing me worn out, depressed, afraid, lost - for no reason. He can't handle any more tears. He loves my smiles, my laughter. That's what he wants from me. That's it.

Why is that so hard to deliver? 

Because I have to be Wonder Mom and Stunning Wife and Glorious Instagram Sensation, duh. And who am I doing that for? Me. I have to do so many things, not because anyone tells me so, but because I am determined to be it all.

But somewhere along the way, I became afraid of Quiet and scared of Alone. I started running from the words, "Be still." I am filled with Busy and Noise instead. If one thing disrupts my little plans, I let Tired and Moody get the best of me, and I quit. Then suddenly I am exhausted by my failures, falling into bed without the energy to even brush my teeth. And I feel empty, as if the day were somehow pointless.
Abundance is "overflowing fullness." It means having so much that you literally cannot contain it. I have created a sort of artificial abundance in my life, stuffing my day with goals till I'm so full I could burst. But it doesn't feel like abundance. It feels empty.

You may have heard the following words before, maybe enough times to have numbed your understanding of them. Pause and allow them to wash over you like fresh water onto parched ground.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” -MATTHEW  11:28-30

Come. Be still. Let His water quench your desert-soul. He asks for nothing - not perfection, not success. He seeks to have your surrender, so that He may shower His abundance of peace and love on you.
If you're interested in exploring abundance with me, I'll be here, just dreaming about running barefoot in lush green grass (one of those things I actually miss about Ohio).

2 comments:

  1. I hear you. I'm with you-I miss my state of NC and alone time (ahem) while at times feeling trapped under a nursing newborn. I'm glad God brings growth out of what seems dry and barren.

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    1. Yes, He always brings growth out of it. Always. Sometimes it just takes awhile to notice it.

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