A few years ago I packed my entire life into my tiny little two door Chevy Cobalt and drove cross country to a little mountain town east of San Diego. I consider that Summer in Julian, CA to be one of the best summers of my life and if circumstances allowed, I'd go back in a heartbeat. A lot changed for me that summer. I moved so very far away, to be closer to the Marine that I had fallen in love with. And then I got engaged AND married. All in one summer. But those are just the big things. The most noted.
I've always been a giving person, whether it a hug, a laugh, or a gift. I like to give. I like to see others happy. I give and give and give. And eventually the bowl that I've been giving from runs out. Empty.
It was during my counsel for Brown Rag (Read more on the YMCA Ragger Program here) that my mentor used this analogy. In all of the two weeks that I had been at camp, he already saw this in me. I knew it was true but I was a bit creeped that he knew. And do you know what I did.. I avoided him every chance I got after that. I told other what a creep he was and chimed in if he was the topic of conversation. What an awful person I was, seriously.
The funny thing is, those words never left me. That metaphor has stuck in my mind like glue. I've used it several times in arguments with my husband. When I've felt neglected in our marriage I've said that my bowl is empty and it isn't fair that I fill his and everyone else's while mine is left gathering dust. It's not fair.
At least that's how I thought it worked.
Turns out I missed the important part of my mentor's message and over the last few months I've really been thinking about this metaphor and what he was really trying to say. I am a giver, and unless someone refills my giving bowl, eventually I will run out, burn out, become frustrated, empty, depressed, yada yada yada. I could go on and on about what my empty bowl could feel like and what it has felt like. But I was under the impression that someone else needed to fill my bowl, kinda like a you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours kind of thing. Yea, it doesn't work that way.
I have found someone to fill my bowl though. And his love fills it endlessly. In fact most of the time now, it's overflowing. I've found that coming to know Christ, and I mean really knowing him, not just his name and birthday. Really knowing him deeply, knowing his love has given me what I needed all along. His love fills my heart and my "bowl". He gives to me so that I can give to others. When I need strength I can look to Him. When I feel lost or lonely, I know that I am not alone. When I worried that I may not have enough love for two children, he supplied. He does that for you and me. For everyone and anyone who has accepted him as their savior. That is amazing and I'm so thankful that I was able to plug him into the metaphor that was shared with me years ago. Though there is no doubt in my mind that that was not a chance meeting. Summer Camp, My mentor, those words... they were no accident or coincidence. That my friends, was an act of God. A real life intervention. I just had to wait a little while for the revelation.
That being said, I think it's important to know that when you share the word of God, someone may not seem like they are listening. They may not seem to have heard your message. And maybe, just like me, they will just blow you off time and time again. Be patient. You don't need to know where they go, or when God find's them. just know that your words are part of the journey.
My Baptism 2013
God always finds his people.