When You're Empty


It feels like there is nothing left in me to give.

Have you ever spoken those words out loud or whispered them to God in desperation?

On any normal day, do you feel like there’s not enough of you to meet the needs pressing in?

What happens when normal turns into a string of chaos? Then how do you manage?

I confess, my normal can look like chaos to many. While I feel energized by juggling a lot of hats, the number on my head feels like too many recently. My normal hasn’t been normal for months, because in mid March, the Lord opened up a door for my husband to consider a new job opportunity. Three months later, we uprooted our family, after 18 years in the same place, and relocated to a new state, new home, and new community — so let’s just say I haven’t had a day of normal for quite some time.


So what's the secret to staying kind and loving and generous when we feel all dried up and stretched too thin? Meeting Jesus. Come meet him in these 3 ways today.

The lack of normalcy and intensity of this move has certainly used up my emotional reserves. I feel it in the fatigue I awake with each day. I hear it in my tone and the attitude that slips out from my weary heart. I see it in the way my words sting when I correct the children.

I don’t want my empty to quench the spirit of those I love.

 . . .on a normal day or when my life is totally out of whack . . .

So what’s the secret to staying kind and loving and generous when we feel all dried up and stretched too thin?

We need more of Jesus.

It’s in our desperate times that we must make it habit to run to the Lord, begging Him for a filling of His Spirit, because in our own flesh we will inevitably come up short.

So, how, in the middle of chaos and in the face of so many demands, do we make it habit to seek Jesus and live by the strength the Spirit provides? That’s the question I desperately brought before the Lord, and this is what He spoke to my heart:

1. Take a Holy Pause

Take two breathes before saying a word, especially to those wanting something of you. Breathe in and out. Give yourself this pause as a way to keep your tongue in check and to release to the Lord the strain you feel.

2.  Look Again

That person before you is a Christ bearer, as are you, so treat them as you would the King of Kings while walking in light of your identity in Christ.

3.  Do the Opposite

In spite of how you feel in the flesh, seek to respond to the Spirit’s leading. For example, choose to give even if you wish you were the one getting, serve even when you want to be served, and extend grace with truth even when you feel harsh judgement is deserved.

My friend, the Lord is not asking us to respond from a place of empty.

He wants us to depend on Him.

He wants to fill our empty places and enable us to serve from what He’s given us.

So when our days are chaotic and our normal feels out of grasp, the need to seek the Lord becomes all the more pressing. Even a few moments spent in prayer and reading a chapter of Scripture early in the morning can become a critical investment of time that bears fruit throughout the day. When the Spirit is fed, we will experience a greater sustaining power to meet the needs facing us all day long.

How can you make running to the Lord, even first thing in your day, part of your normal in the midst of chaos?

For resources to encourage you to connect with the Lord,
consider Praying the Scriptures, Abide, or Overflow.

Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She’s the author of "Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change," which is a book designed to help women embrace a fresh encounter with God, and "Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified." She is also founder of moretobe.com and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. She considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.

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