May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Friend to Friend
Our five children sat on the edges of their seats as Daddy began to make his promised dinner announcement. The electricity flowing through me and my husband permeated the atmosphere; the room was charged with excitement!
“We have something to tell all of you,” he began, trying to mask his thrill before the big moment. “Mommy is going to have a baby!” Hooray! Shouts and laughter and questions tumbled out in every direction. That night we all slept peacefully dreaming of the future gift of another sweet family member.
But the next day, a strange feeling in my lower abdomen turned into cramping that turned in bleeding. One day after sharing the exciting news with our children, we lost our precious gift through miscarriage. No one could explain why. No one could give details. “Sometimes this just happens without understanding.”
While the empty place in my body ached for some time, it healed appropriately. But the empty place in my heart? It stretched on for weeks and months. Day after day, I walked through routines, doing my best to be present, yet feeling very absent. Have you ever experienced emptiness of soul? It’s a hollowing that can scarcely be explained– a depletion beyond fatigue. Emptiness is like a piece of your soul is missing.
In the deep fog of grief, I didn’t know how to be brave when our baby blessing didn’t live to see this world. Sometimes the boldest thing we can do is just take the next breath. I don’t know your circumstances, but I know you’ve been there.
The vacancies we experience in our lives are reminders that we live in a temporary world. There is nothing on earth that can fill the empty space of the sweet baby our family lost. But God. Paul writes it like this: Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. (Colossians 2:9-10 MSG)
“When you come to God, his fullness comes together for you.” I was experiencing the emptiness because I was missing God’s fullness. I didn’t have to succumb to an empty soul; in my state of destitution, I needed to come to God for filling. Remember today’s key verse? May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13, NIV)
When we show up at the feet of the almighty God, he extends everlasting hope to fill our hollowed-out souls. The God of hope never runs out of hope! We can and will experience moments and seasons of complete and total desolation, but when we come before God? He fills. He replaces. He empowers. He overflows our empty souls with joy and peace and newfound trust.
He is the more we are searching for.
Dear Father, Here I am. I’m showing up before you as an empty soul. You know all the circumstances that have depleted me. How I long to be filled with trust and joy and peace! Thank you for your promise that if I trust you, you will fill me to overflowing. Will you give me your power for this today?
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
This will take a little work, but this exercise is worth it!! Create a list of your barren heart spaces- the ones with vacancy signs on the door, such as disease, divorce, miscarriage, abortion, addiction, and so on. Now write down the substitutes with which you’ve attempted to fill the vacancy. Next, pray over these lists and surrender your substitutes. Ask God to fill these shallow places to the brim with his fullness. His Word promises he will do it!
More from the Girlfriends
Ready for more help to walk through empty places in life? Take the One More Step 5- day devotional challenge or grab your copy of Rachel’s book, One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up.