Catherine's Hope

Finding hope in unexpected places

Overwhelming Ache

Flipping through the pages of an old journal this afternoon, I came across this prayer…

“God, please take this ache and turn it into worship…”

Take this ache and turn it into worship.

As I read the words in my own handwriting something resonated in my heart.

Ache

To say that my heart has been aching a bit lately would be an understatement.

To be honest there are moments when the ache has been so intense that it’s hard to move.

It’s not supposed to be like this.

After all, I’m a Christian. I’m on full-time staff at my church. I get to give away flowers every week and share hope. I have an apartment, a car that’s completely paid for, relatively good health and I am close to my family.

I am so, very blessed.

But still, there is an ache.

And what do we do when we have an ache? We try to fill it, satisfy it or cover it up with something temporary to stop the pain even for just a little while.

For me the temporary fixes have been food and noise. Food has become my comfort, my reward for getting through a long day or a long week. And noise, be it a movie on Netflix, a random YouTube video or just the music on my phone, has filled every silent moment of my life.

All the while I can’t remember the last time I sat down with my bible and really spent time with God – seeking him for my peace, sharing my heart with Him and resting my soul in His embrace.

I’ve been so busy trying to figure out how to balance my life and not be so overwhelmed with everything that I have neglected the one thing I need to be doing above all else. . . I’ve been pouring myself out, giving hope and encouragement to others out of my own strength, my own time, my own resources and there’s only so much I can pour out before I’m empty.

The ache is greatest when I’m empty.

When I am empty, those things that make my heart come alive, are the things I avoid. Ministry becomes work. The things I love to do are the things that overwhelm me.

I love to write. I know it’s something God has called me to do. I also love to arrange and give away flowers – something else I know God has called me to do to share hope.

I can’t do either one of these things well when I’m empty.

I cannot pour out of an empty cup. I cannot continue to play the part of someone who has it all together when I’m not depending on God for my strength.

Something has to change.

“God, please take this ache and turn it into worship.”

The line in my own journal from five years ago – is more relevant now than ever before.

God, teach me how to let this ache be satisfied in You.

“O God, You are my God; Early I will seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is now water.”  Psalm 63:1 NKJV

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