Po' It Up

Last week I decided to call someone close to me. I assumed it was going to be just a normal light-hearted conversation like always - lots of laughs and on the phone for way too long. Yet, as soon as I said hello
their dam broke and all of their problems/stress/anxiety/busyness rushed over me like a raging stream.

Almost immediately, on one hand, I selfishly began to think "How can this person truly love me when they don't even have room or excess enough to give? Their plate is SO full that there is literally no time or energy left for them to give to me right now even if they wanted to." (that's that flesh talking y'all)

After allowing the stream to drown me for what seemed like the longest twenty minutes of my life, they finally stopped to ask me how I was doing and what was going on in my life; but empathy wouldn't let me fully respond. "Nothing worth sharing" I said. I mean, how selfish would it be for me to bring up anything concerning myself after being driven down a dark road of their stress for that long without my consent?

But it didn't stop there, because then they asked me to pray for them. Which would have been fine if they hadn't meant right then and there. Out loud. Over the phone. Together.

In that moment I felt so inadequate. So weak. So vulnerable. I was knee deep in my feelings, overwhelmed by the dynamics of their life, and disappointed at how the convo had turned out. After taking a minute to silently pray over myself  before I even attempted to pray for them I felt a little less inadequate. My flesh wanted to say no so bad. But once I finally quieted my flesh I thought:

"This must be what it's like to encourage someone else when you stand in need of it yourself"

 Giving encouragement just hits different when you're in need of it too. However, isn't that what unconditional love is all about? Giving even when you are in need too. Pouring out to others even when you don't feel like it. Extending grace on the days that they fall short just like they do for you time and time again. Being a shoulder even if it feels like yours is unfit for stability. As much as I felt like I had a right to be selfish, in that moment I had even more of a right to be selfless. To give of myself knowing that even if that same effort wasn't reciprocated at that specific moment...during that particular conversation... eventually it would. To trust them through the difficult moments. To know that the thing about moments is that they don't last forever. To encourage even when I don't want to. To just shut up and listen sometimes instead of always feeling the need to fill the air with my words.

I read a quote once that said "if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back". And, after hearing all of their problems (though subsequent blessings 🙏) I quickly grabbed mine back without hesitation.

I'm learning in this season that I don't always have to make noise. That I can think a thought and not let the fruits of it roll off the tip of my tongue. That it's okay to #pauseforthecause and respond when appropriate with grace and love rather than immediately responding with my raging emotions. That night was a bittersweet reminder of that.

God is good. And I'm thankful that He still chooses to use me even during the times when I feel the least bit useable. I will never be worthy, but I'm forever grateful. For growth, and for getting just a tad bit better with each day, with each circumstance, with each situation.

I'm thankful for lessons learned and for having the wisdom and discernment nowadays to be cognizant of what thoughts I allow to simmer in my mind and what I choose to give power to. It's still a daily struggle, but thankfully baby steps still move you forward.

That night might not have been my night to have my cup filled, and that's okay. Because I was able to pour into someone else who needed it more and still walk away with more than enough in my own cup. You see that's the beauty in pouring from a full cup...because when your cup is full you can willingly pour into others and still have enough leftover for yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup [which is why self-care is so important]. And ultimately this is what it's all about -- Giving to others whether we receive something in return or not. Giving even when we really want to hold onto it. Giving simply because it's what we're called to do.

All I'm really trying to say is that it costs you nothing to pour into someone else. Whether it be with your time, an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, or encouragement. We are called to pour. We are called to be a blessing. We are called to love. And we are called to make be the difference, even if it makes us uncomfortable. Because the end result will be worth it. ♡

"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38