Saturday, January 07, 2012

Full at the Empty Place

Sitting in my mom's house, giggles ringing through the vaulted ceilings, it's impossible not to feel a continual pang of sadness on the day we will drive to the place with airplane carpet and fly away. Like feeling gravity for the first time, it's always pulling you back down--"you have to leave this." I remember 7 years ago, this first leaving, this same month, how it felt. Like everything I wanted, all I knew was being ripped from my hands.
I remember driving through a grid of streets I now navigate with ease, as if I was trapped in a bitter jungle that I never would have chosen for myself, crying and crying wondering "why?". I remember that first tiny apartment, that felt like the emptiest place in the world. Small, sad and full of bugs. Friends that I was inheriting that felt nothing like my own. A life, that felt like someone else's. Empty all over the place.
And now, I sit here and begin to realize how full it's become. I texted friends last night and asked them to remind me of why coming home to Colorado is good, and was flooded with one text whistle after another of sunshine, and love, and family, and running, and Christmas lights, and laughter, and slumber parties, and being on my knees. And I started to realize. It's overflowing there.
I read this:
"And emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have the opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy." (Ann Voskamp)
And I realize that emptying of my hands 7 years ago, created a place for God to swoop in. And I think back on all the recent emptying, again and again, where there's been hardship and pain and suffering, and the only things that have come from it over and over are not bitterness and strife, but joy. And peace. Because our God is infinitely resourceful with our emptiness. And he never leaves the empty places that way. He just fills them with the right things.
I realize anew that He is good. His ways are perfect. And he never. Never abandons his children.

And I look down, and see full hands.


Amber said...

I love you. Come over here and let me fill my arms with a Jenn hug! Can't wait to see you, sister.

Courtney Walsh said...

love these words, sweet Jenn. And love the heart they came from.