“Stop texting first and see how many dead plants you’ve been watering”
Is this you? Are you the first friend to check in, the first to text or call and you feel exhausted as if the friendship is a one way street? That was me, until I realized what God was actually doing.
For the better part of the past few years I have made a choice to choose happiness and to be a kinder more loving person. Gone were the days of venting and posting negative things on Facebook, any passive aggressive undertones and boasting for praise and acceptance. Positive Polly was in the house and she meant serious business! Not only was I going to encourage and motivate others, I was going to love people intensely and generously without judgment. I was going to crush comparison one thieved joy at a time, and I was going to nourish and cultivate some beautiful friendships.
I’ve always filled my own heart by filling others hearts. Some may disagree with this and think I can’t pour from an empty glass. However, maybe my glass refills from another source. Making someone else happy or making them feel loved, valued and noticeable is the most incredible feeling, it’s medicine for my soul. And, giving something that personal is one of the most risky things one can do. But, I do it, time and time again. Because out of any desire in life I wanted most it has always been To love so greatly that my heart is overgrown with stretch marks. If I do everything else wrong but love correctly – I count that as win.
"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
My heart has always caused me to care differently than most. To be honest, having a bleeding heart or leaking reservoir has felt like a curse at times. I’ve asked God, “why does my heart get me into such trouble, why did you give me a heart like this? It’s been broken, bruised, manipulated and yet I still continue to love others. What is wrong with me?” It wasn’t until recently that he answered me, and revealed that my heart is not just an organ with vessels, it’s a chosen vessel in a whole different sense.
As with all the good that came from my reaching out, texting first, encouraging, being a social cheerleader and defender of all, bad was sure to follow. There were days when being the one to check in was exhausting and would deplete my heart. And, then there came days when I noticed that if I didn’t reach out, I was surrounded by silence. There were days when I really needed someone to ask how I was, to check in on me, to remind me that I was important and necessary to them. But, no one did. Facebook became my lifeline of key events, life changes etc instead of my friends and that hurt.
That hurt soon turned into bitterness and the bitterness made me feel guilty. After all I knew that don’t give to receive and I knew that was not my intention. However, I was saddened that it appeared I was unimportant to so many people around me. So, one day I just stopped. I stopped texting, I stopped going on Facebook and I withdrew completely. And, you know what happened, the silence multiplied, I lost contact with many people, no one noticed my absence and I was socially a ghost. And, I felt worse because I was forcing myself to not be who I felt I was meant to be.
Sometimes, a season of silence and separation ends up being the loudest connection.
Silence in the waiting. It became evident to me that this was supposed to be a time of just God and I. This was a time for me to build and love on my friendship with God and to see things that only would be visible with my attention fully on him. I’m a social person, and I love people, get-togethers, trips, anything and everything out and about with others. My happiness comes from inclusion, and that is why I always invited and planned, because that assured I would be included as well. But, God needed me to understand something more.
God words don’t always come in a beautiful moment atop a mountain over looking his creation. Sometimes they come while floating on a $2 float in your clearance backyard pool that’s only 30″ high. As I was floating attempting to erase the tan lines from a different suit, I was listening to a sermon from Steven Furtick, Frozen Oil and Chosen Vessels. About 22 minutes in, he explains the oil only flows when you’re pouring. It is not a situation of not having enough to pour, and waiting until you have more, it is pour now and it multiplies.
You see, I’ve always poured my heart out and into people and life. You will get the same response from my enemy and best friend that I have a huge heart. And, until now I thought that was both a blessing and a curse. Because, I don’t always get that in return. BUT… God told me I was so wrong about 8 minutes later in this sermon. It was not about me, and not even necessarily about my connection with them. My heart pouring into them was from a whole other source, God. He was filling my jar of oil as I was pouring into them. Whether they returned it, accepted me, appreciated me or not, that doesn’t stop God’s need for me to keep pouring. I am his chosen vessel with an organ of vessels that loves so entirely and endlessly – for his Grace and his purpose.
As I took that in, my heart settled and swelled. It doesn’t matter if my loving a person doesn’t get returned. Or if my writing goes unseen and only helps one person – it is not about me – it is about him. And to me, that type of blind love, faith and obedience is the freedom I needed and a beautiful reminder that the oil will never run dry when your pouring from a source of love; God.