We recently moved into our brand new home, our forever home. The first week or so it felt like we were on vacation, well, except our things were here, all of our things. I have always had an appreciation for things that belonged to family, especially when it holds a dear memory of that person. Our design style is classic and a great mixture of old and new. We have distributed many family items, antique furniture and gathered things around our home. In this particular home we still have one room that is more sparse than the others. It is a bedroom by design. It does have a bed for slumber, a small toy box for the grands, and some miscellaneous things stored in its closet. I dream of the day when we can downsize the queen bed for a daybed or bunks, and the room is filled with little voices chattering on and playing without a care in the world. This new season of life is quite exciting. All this being said, it is still tough for this momma to see such an empty room in our home. Our girls are grown and gone with children of their own now. That is the sweet spot!
There are some days I sit and think about the past and feel nostalgic as I look around at the family things. My great grandmother’s Hull vase she saved to splurge for back in the 1950’s. A clock my father gave us as a wedding gift that belonged to my Great-great Grandparents. I could conjure up many many memories just sitting and looking around me. There is some small satisfaction in doing so, it brings me a bit of pleasure when I am feeling low.
In my past, before I came to the working relationship I now have with Christ, I would find more self destructive and loathsome things to bring me pleasure. I felt like I needed to escape the unexplained feelings I was experiencing. Those feelings left me for a while, a new love came along. Then when I became a mom and had a few years of parenting under my belt, the unexplained feelings came slowly creeping back in. This time, I had been back in church, trying to go faithfully. Because of this, I felt I had begun building an arsenal for the battle in my mind. Scripture. I knew of Jesus and His death burial and resurrection from attending church growing up, I just didn’t really grasp what it all meant; until this battlefield of emotion surrounded me. Failing as a young wife and mother, disappointing my parents, my employer. Where on earth were these feelings coming from? I realize now this battlefield in my mind left an empty room in my soul that could only be filled with a relationship with the One True King, Jesus. I had to come to the realization that, people we know and love and objects we acquire through our lives, cannot fill the emptiness. Only God can.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
The Apostle Paul wrote these words while in prison, bound by the powers of the Roman Empire. He was weak and vulnerable. He wrote to people who had placed their trust and hope in the gospel he preached. Paul was concerned that his readers might have been tempted to lose heart and give up. So what did he do? He prayed for them. He prayed that God would strengthen them, and that God would be with them. It’s important for us to understand the truth behind this prayer. What we need to know here is not only that God is with us, but how God is with us. When we see how God is with us, and what that means, it makes all the difference in the world. It makes an empty room feel filled with something so substantial we should never want for anything.
When I think back now, deeper into my faith walk, it is hard to imagine being in that place, the place of trying to fill a void with things and people. Things are inanimate; no feelings, no souls, no ability to reciprocate emotions. And people are imperfect, just like us. People come and go in and out of our lives. All of this is temporal. The things that will eventually fill the sparse room in our home as our grandchildren grow may bring us joy in the now, the Spirit of the everlasting God will fill our souls forevermore. May you be blessed with all the fullness of God all the days of your life and truly grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Carol’s Joyful Noise