We were newly back from China, newly parents, newly moved into a tiny little apartment complex, and not-so-newly swamped with postpartum depression. I sat on my hand-me-down couch and stared at the blinds that I kept closed. Always. My baby crawled happily around the apartment chattering and getting into things.
I was struggling, but not knowing the difference between “healthy” and “struggling,” I told no one. Not even my husband. Though he knew. “Maybe it’s just this hard,” I pondered.
But do you know what I was praying about? How I had failed to reach out to my neighbors. I wanted to. I did love the Lord. But I felt like I was slogging through mud just to get to the grocery store, let alone witness to my neighbors. I was hungry and I didn’t know.
Looking back, I have deep compassion for that young mom. She needed help, she needed to let people in, not to feed them, but to be fed. She needed to pause her desire to “reach out” and let the Lord, let the right people reach in. She needed rest — and not just sleep. And you know, God gave her that soul-deep rest. I am who I am today because of who she was and who He is.
I have this on my heart for someone today. Maybe this is just for you. I sat down with a full and happy heart to write about the joy of hospitality, but I realized that hospitality begins with the heart. And if you’re anything like me, you long to pour out, but forget to be filled first.
So maybe I’ll get to that sparkling report of how fun it is to welcome all kinds of people into your life. How God uses your normal everyday mess to help people relax and have their feet washed and their hearts filled in a thousand little ways. But today some woman (old or young) just needs some grace. Maybe she has her standards too high and would see that immediately if it were someone else, but struggles to give grace to herself.
Lean into the Lord. Reading the Word is healing and cleansing, but don’t forget to soak in the ocean of His presence at the same time. And if all is silent, plead for help and write your bold lament. He promises to come.
Because “Light is sown for the righteous and joy for the upright in heart.” (Psalm 97:11). Imagine seeds of light, seeds of joy literally sown the moment you cry out? They need the time it takes for you to journey to them for you to see their full glory, my friend. They are sown, they are growing, and you’ll burst upon them some day. What type of plant is grown from light? Joy? I don’t know. But you’ll see the mighty canopies they have formed and know in a stunned and deeply personal way that He is a good, good Father. I write this with a prayer that He makes it obvious to you today that He is listening – and He is still sowing.
Then consider asking others for help, the more specific the better. This group is an incredible resource, but also find a face-to-face person to share your burdens with. Your spouse, a friend, a mentor, a counselor or all of the above.
I’m praying for you today, my friend. With your lovely heart that longs to please Him and your guilty mind that pins you down. Rest. Be filled. Be uniquely known by your Savior. And trust Him to do the sowing he promises to do. There will be a day that you are so full and overflowing that pouring out is the most natural thing to do.