My greatest fulfillment and joy emerges when I speak at women’s conferences. During one of my favorite sessions I say: “Imagine that your heart looks like a bucket. How do you feel when your bucket is full, and how do you feel when your bucket is empty?”
Then I draw two buckets and I ask women what it feels like when their bucket is empty and when it is full. Without hesitation they jump out of their seats, line up at the whiteboard and furiously scrawl some of the following words on the empty bucket:
Angry, Depressed, Sad, Close to tears, Suicidal, Hopeless, Frustrated, Lonely, Resentful, Mean, Overwhelmed, Anxious, Like running away, Like giving up, Hopeless.
Whenever I see these words on the empty bucket, my heart aches for all of us. We try so hard to fill our lives by doing everything that is expected of us with the hope that someday it will be enough. Striving for the day when we feel completely fulfilled. In the meantime we feel tired, anxious and end up bankrupting our soul.
After the women and I discuss the painful words on the empty bucket, I remind them that you and God are the only ones who can change the trajectory of your life journey. A verse that has profoundly impacted my daily decisions is:
“Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). A wellspring is water that constantly moves and refreshes. To rid ourselves of anxiety, we need to be empowered to say yes and no to all the right things that enter our life so that our energy is constantly being energized, refreshed and moving in the right direction. Another astonishing verse that helps me focus on my daily purpose is: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6:6).
We need a daily dose of “ant purpose” to help us focus on what God has called us to do that day. After surviving my own anxiety filled days and nights, for over two years I prayed this simple prayer: “Lord help me to do today what needs to be done today. No more. No less. All to bring Glory to Your name.”
At the end of each day my soul was at complete peace. By guarding my heart and focusing on my daily purpose, I had done only that which God had prepared for me to do that day. If it didn’t get done, well, I guess it was not meant to be.
Consider the ant my friend. What is one, or two things you can say no to in the coming days so that your soul is refreshed and restored?