Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Stuffing's Getting Ripped Out

This is what I was processing on the way home tonight.  If I tagged you, then it's probably because this came up in conversation one way or another.

It's like I've been a stuffed animal and God is making me into a puppet.  As humans there is only so much we can do with stuffed animals - we may be able to grab them and move them and talk, but it's not like what we can do with puppets - acting and speaking through them.  But what's the difference, they're both made of fuzzy material on the outside that represents their skin, their being?  The difference is that puppets are empty.  Stuffed animals are literally stuffed with stuffing, but puppets are totally empty.  But it is exactly their emptiness that allows us to act and speak through them.

That's how I feel about what I'm going through.  So often recently I've just been feeling completely empty, just totally void - lonely, alone, abandoned by the Church - empty, all there is is God but it doesn't even feel like he's there sometimes.  But the past couple of weeks he has shown up, through my job, through ministry.  Like Fastbreak or Monday's meeting or tonight - I'd be on my way to these things just crying out to God "I'm so empty that I can't do anything!  I NEED you to show up and fill me if I am to do anything good."  And he has been showing up.  But it's weird because I still feel empty.  But even in that good things are coming out of me.  Like tonight, I drove a student home.  She asked me for advice about something and I forewarned her that I was in a weird mood (feeling emotionally exhausted and just blah from my most recent conversation) and that I didn't know if anything I was about to tell her was going to make sense.  And then, from who knows where within me, I just started spitting out scriptures and truth and things Jesus said and I was like "I don't really know what I'm saying or if it's relevant or if it makes sense" and she was like "No, that's exactly what I needed to hear!"

So, I'm empty - I feel empty, but I guess what I've known in my head for years I am now finally starting to experience in my heart, that only when I'm empty of me can God really work through me.  He's been ripping out my stuffing so that he can stick his hand inside me to move my arms and lips.  I imagine for a stuffed animal (if they were living, feeling beings) it would be painful to be ripped open and have your stuffing ripped out.  And thus is our experience - painful.  And we are left feeling empty.  But somehow it's all good in the end because then we have that much more of God inside us and it is so much less of us acting and talking, but rather him, because we have nothing left.

I hope that makes sense.

And then to really seal it all in, he brought to mind the song "Empty Me" by Jeremy Camp.  So I just blasted it in my car the rest of the way home, like REALLY meaning what I was singing, because that's exactly how I felt.  I was a little hesitant at first to really beg him to empty me, because I know I don't like it, but after the repetitions of the song I sang more emphatically because I admitted that that was the best way - that I'm sick of being stuffed with things that aren't him and I WANT him to burn away all of my desires for the things, the sins, that keep tripping me up!  It was devastatingly wonderful.

I felt like I was bursting with all of this amazing work that he was doing in me and I had to share.

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