God Can Use Empty Cups: Part 1

Originally published Wednesday, 11 May 2016.

preach, minister, burnout, stress, worry, anxiety, motherhood, seasons, faith

This summer marks eight years that I came back to the Lord after being a prodigal daughter for many years, believing in God, but living as if He didn’t exist.

In the course of those eight years, I have grown so much in my spiritual walk that it’s sometimes hard to remember myself before that divine encounter with God on 4th of July weekend in 2008.

As time has gone by, I’ve learned to recognize the ebb and flow of what a journey with the Lord looks like. In the natural, God created Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall and I believe, if we pay attention to what God is doing in and around us closely enough, we will be able to discover what spiritual season we may be in.

In fact, I believe it is important to be attentive to what our current season in life is because I think God has specific directions depending on the demands that particular season brings or what is ahead for us when it’s time for transition.

I also believe we need to get honest with ourselves, honest with God, and honest with each other when things aren’t going so great.

Not every season in life is going to be refreshing April showers, May flowers, or Harvest Time!CLICK TO TWEET

For instance, what do you do when you you find yourself spiritually dry or weak? In a barren, winter season?

Admitting weakness has never been my strong-suit, but it always seems to be a lesson God brings me back to time and time again.

One of these days, I’m hoping to pass that test so I never have to take it again, but I don’t think I will as long as I’m in this earth-suit!

I believe that’s one of the main reason Paul tells us that he chooses to  “die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31) and to take off our “old self” and put on the “new self.”

assuming that you have heard about him [Jesus] and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self,[f]which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:21b-24, ESV).

I believe while we are here on this earth, we must choose to do that every single day.


…sometimes our flesh gets in the way and our spirit man wrestles with those old stinkin’ desires!

And sometimes that wrestling match turns into an all-out brawl and fight to the death!

Days can quickly turn into weeks. Weeks can quickly turn into months. And months can quite possibly turn into years, if we tap out let our own flesh be declared champion over us.

I must have been in denial this time around because I’ve hard-core wrestled with my flesh since my son was born, which was 19 months ago today to be exact.

Learning the ropes as a new mom who battled postpartum depression and anxiety for almost a year and who also very quickly became a stand-in mom to another little boy over this last year, I can say that I have thrown some good punches as I have tried to figure out how to walk with the Lord in motherhood. I have felt God’s grace carry me through this season more than ever before, but today, I’m choosing to be honest.

I’m dry. I’m feeling a little like I’ve been running on empty for awhile. I really hate that I am, but I am.

I’ve allowed loneliness in the midst of chaos and stress to quiet my voice to my Father. Not to say that I wasn’t able to hear His voice or sense His Presence or that I haven’t made great strides in my faith or put forth any effort into nurturing my relationship with the Lord, it seemed that every time I took a few steps forward, something would come along and knock the wind out of my sails and I was right back at square one.

Time management has been very difficult for me: between mom duties, housewife duties, babysitting duties, trying to pursue a potential career as a writer/author/blogger, and then discovering a new fiery passion for health & wellness- too. many. articles. Can’t. stop. researching.

Not to mention, the fact that we sold our house that we hadn’t owned for even two years, moved into an apartment closer to our church home, then left said church home, tried to find our new church home, lost countless friendships, our second car crapped out on us completely, and now trying to form new friendships all while my hubs works 60 plus hours a week so we can get out of debt, I’m stuck at home with no car when I desperately long for conversation so I get sucked into making pseudo-friendships online, and have stress up to my eyeballs from playing referee with two active toddler boys, which had been affecting my health all along but I chose to ignore it and dive into working out and losing weight instead (I’m on the uphill, but there are still some chronic symptoms regarding my oral health and sleeping patterns that are lingering around).

And then my grandpa passes away.

And then I can’t fall asleep the night before the funeral because God tells me that He wants me to share my faith and the truth of the gospel with my (mostly all Catholic and/or unsaved) family. The ENTIRE family. Plus distant friends and family who I have never met before in my life.

What? God, I haven’t read my Bible in weeks. I’ve pressed the “Catch Me Up” button on my “Digging Deeper Daily” one year Bible plan so many times, I’m about 7 months behind on where my original end date was. My prayer life consists of “Help me, Jesus” and just praying I can stay awake. And YOU want to use ME? To be your vessel? Right now?

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Or can you?

Part 2- To be Continued…

Yielded in His Hands

Check out more of my blogs on www.emilyrosemassey.com! Also, visit my website for more information on how to stay connected with me, as well as info about my book Yielded in His Hands- now available on Amazon.com!