A hollow hole whistles through my soul and I can’t imagine where it comes from. I’ve lain in the arms of accolades and warm graces, filled up with the applause of sunshine’s spotlight. Yet, in the filling, the space grows wider.
My stomach is full with laughter around a table laid with plenty. My mind rests satisfied in swirling conversation with my husband, the man who sees clear beyond the dust of others and loves deep.
Earlier, I sat across from consolation in a girlfriend of answered prayer. At a table of white linen, crunchy salad and smiling eyes.
My inbox fills with requests from bloggers and websites and magazines for words of story. Of comments, new followers, the undeserved kindness from strangers in tweets and in direct messages from the notable. I’ve experienced the heart full in a first video chat with a blogging friend.
All these things to satiate the soul, like answers of water for thirsty prayer. And with every glass of what should quench, I become a piece of parched desert soil, more guilt-ridden for feeling this way.
As I wake up to dawns earliest rising, the volume of His voice crescendos and I’m aware of this revelation:
The path to fulfillment isn’t in the number of comments or followers. It’s not in the affirmation of others, the number of requests in your inbox, or the number in your bank account. It doesn’t come from an eloquent sermon, being understood, or standing in the glow of appreciation. It doesn’t come from the place where you live, the place where you visit, the weather report, or the food around the table.
Fulfillment doesn’t come from what you do; it comes in the understanding of who you are. You’re my beloved. The hollowness of soul can only be satiated with my presence. And I’m right here.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Linking with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday with the one word prompt: Path
Oh yes! Only He fills us to completeness, makes us whole. Beautiful words of truth.
Thanks Erin, lovely to have you visit.
This encourages me so much for the path that I travel now. “Answers of water for thirsty prayer”—yes! So thankful for you words and for the space that is filling. God continue to guide you daily as you live in the fullness of Life. 🙂
So blessed to know you were encouraged here after all the encouraging you do for me. Thank you.
Good reminders for those of us who blog, who keep our eyes on numbers and stats and kudos and comments …
Yes, those were His words. I’m trying to live them.
Thanks so much, I needed to hear this reminder today.
So glad Leslie. I love the reminder that you are reading when I see you here. Glad to be walking with you here.
This is a lesson I must learn over and over. Only He can make me whole and fill the void.
Oh me too Rebekah. I wish I could just get it once and that would be it. But I have to re-live it when life gets skewed.
What a beautiful, beautiful post. I found such freedom and truth in your words. God bless you.
Freedom – its the best way to live. Thanks for stopping by.
Beautiful, Shelly. Look forward to some face time this summer. Thanks for the revelation and wisdom of these words. They are soothing my soul even now.
Glad to hear that Elizabeth. Sounds like you are still reveling in the inspiration of your bus trip.
I should have said “I look forward to some face to face time this summer with YOU.” Sorry it was murky. Your words are beautiful today. They provided inspiration too.
Oh, I used to think that spiritual thirst was a dreaded thing. Now I understand that it only drives me to Him for quenching. Perhaps I only seek Him passionately when my tongue is parched pitifully. The world’s water (even truly wonderful water) leaks from my sinned-sieved soul. When I come to Jesus, He plugs soul-holes and transforms my heart to become an artesian well–a wellspring gushing Living Water. Oh blessed thirst. Oh blessed longing. May I never be sated except by Him. Such a beautiful post, Shelly, and it reminds me of this, by A.W. Tozer: “O God, the Triune God, I want to want thee: I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me thy glory, I pray thee, that I may know thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me.” Drink up, dear Shelly. He’s right there to fill your soul….even to overflowing, with a new work of His love in you. Cheers!
I should collect all your comments and put them in a blog post Lynn. You are so prolific with wisdom and insight. Like a walking book of beauty from experience. I’ve had several say that they are enjoying our interchange here. What a gift!
What a truly gracious thing to say. I’m afraid i’m hopeless with a keyboard under my fingertips–words just pour out. But if you read anything redemptive, remember *your* posts prompt the outpouring. What a wonderful wordsinger you are, Shelly! Keep lilting. Keep loving. Keep longing. When you long, God shows up!
A lesson I try to teach my kids and myself along with them. Whatever it is you want, blog followers or toys, there will always be something more desirable around the bend and the only place of satisfaction is in looking to Him.
I know Laura, me too. And then I have to teach it to myself again! 🙂
I do not listen to nor do I like country music but this post reminds me of: “be careful what you pray for – you just may get it – thank God for unanswered prayer!!!” I want His GAP will, Good Acceptable Perfect will!!!!
Oh yes, reminds me of a portion of scripture where the mother of James and John asks Jesus if they can sit at His right and left (like all good mothers trying to pave the way for there children) and he says you have no idea what you are asking. I have no idea what I need – but He knows.
Shelly, this is many-layered and beautiful. I had to read it twice.
My humble thanks Alyssa. Hope you felt his presence with you in the reading. That is all that matters.
Simply such a lovely post! I could not agree more!
Have a beautiful weekend!
Really thrilled you dropped by, thanks for leaving a comment. And you too, a lovely weekend to you as well.
Alleluia to this:
“Fulfillment doesn’t come from what you do; it comes in the understanding of who you are. You’re my beloved. The hollowness of soul can only be satiated with my presence. And I’m right here.”
For in getting joy out of anything…. it comes from Him. The joy of others getting a drop of fresh living water for the the parched soul…… still it comes from Him. If not for the Holy Spirit, how can words come across…. all the way to my orient seas…… to the ends of the earth?
Praise and glory to Him, through you, Shelly!
Lovely words……. emeralds, more emeralds….. to the beholder of lovely thoughts, given out for those who need them the most.
BTW, Shelly. May I snag some of your lovely pictures? I want to use them as desktop wallpaper. Thanks.
Of course you can. Have at it.
Yes, I agree with you. I find that really, all joy is temporary outside of Christ. It’s like drinking a milkshake or eating a big piece of cake when you crave something sweet and then feel yucky afterward.
This is beautiful and holds so much truth! Your words are perfect. Thank you for sharing with me!
Brenda, thank you so much and for following Redemptions Beauty as well. It is really a privilege to have you join in the conversations here.
…and when you are you, you can help others to the path of fulfillment too….You have helped me friend.
That blesses me Kim, more than you know. Thank you friend.
I “stumbled” upon you early in my entry into the blog world…you my friend are like watching a flower blossom…there was always beauty…like a closed rose bud…but now the flower is opening…reaching it’s petals out…touching further…opening wide…rejoicing with you in all God’s love being poured over you right now.I have watched the ocean every morning…it is the rhythm of His love…always there… never stopping…pausing… just constantly washing over us…I am leaving the beach today…this is one of my only drop -ins this week…
Ro, this comment and the one you left for me when I guest posted at Journey to Epiphany feel like words from God right to my heart. They both have settled in a place deep in my heart. I have copied them and will hold them close, especially when doubt and fear raise their ugly voice. Thank you so much, I appreciate you more than you could know.
I love your wisdom on where to seek fulfilment – and your honesty in the feeling of dissatisfaction and restlessness that comes from pinning our identity onto those ‘measurables’ that fail to measure the things that really matter. I love the way that you approach every topic with such depth of insight. Thank you. (and thanks for stopping by again – I enjoy hanging out with you on Fridays!)
I enjoy hanging out with you on Friday too. Love that community at Lisa-Jo’s. And thank you so much for your kind comment, your words give me much needed clarity. Sometimes you can’t see the forrest for the trees, ya know?