One of the natural consequences of putting my heart into what I do is that I am exhausted. Emotionally drained.
That has been the case with the Prayse project, for sure. I imagine it will be much the same with Stations of the Cross. And probably this Sunday, too, as I prepare to share another thought with my church family.
It's not uncommon to find me wiped out, on the verge of tears, and unsure as to whether I have the strength to do one more any thing - even the normal things like wash the dishes or pick up the yard. I have to admit, I didn't really expect it.
That's the thing about giftedness, I guess. And I'm not saying that to sound arrogant; I mean that in light of the gift God has given each of us. There's something about what we do, what we were created to do, that energizes us. There's something else entirely about it that drains us.
There's something about pouring your life and your heart into what it is God has honored you to do that both infuses you and sucks it right out of you in order to infuse that thing which you are doing, that work to which you are putting your hands. Rather, your heart.
For me, it's because everything I do in my gift now depends so much on what my heart is hungry for. It's not the work of it. It's not the long hours or the revising or the details coming together or any of that. It's that everything I do comes from this empty place in my heart that God sees fit to fill to running over with His invitation to do what I do, what He has created me to do.
It was easier in the old days, when I thought myself better than all of you. When I thought I was the best at everything I did. When I thought I had the special insights to make it awesome. When I wasn't really putting myself into it because I was more concerned about getting it right than getting into it.
But those days are over, and now I'm fully into it. (Which is good because those days kind of sucked. I mean, I sucked.) While it seems like I do what I do for the sake of an audience, or even for the sake of simply doing it, the truth is that I am a depraved woman. I do what I do for the sake of the hollow place inside my own heart that is thirsting to have the experience I'm trying to create - whether that is in writing, in speaking, in word, in action, in journey, in thought. Whatever it is.
I do it because I need it.
It just so happens that very often, I am not the only one. That is a comforting and humbling understanding to have.
It's an important thing, I think, when you're working in your gift to realize that you're not so otherwise separated from it. That you're not just and hungry and just as thirsty and just as desperate for what you're infusing into the world as the people you think you're serving with it.
A few chapters ago in Prayse, I wrote that the men and women of the Bible, the prophets of God, the bigwigs of faith so rarely prayed just for themselves. When asked to pray for their nation, they often prayed "we." Because they knew they were a part of the community. They knew they were a part of the people. They knew that just because they were the prophets, just because they were the pray-ers, this did not exclude them from the very real need for God.
I am honored to be called to pour my heart into doing what I do. I am honored let life flow out of me and infuse what I am doing with authenticity, humility, grace, mercy, and love. And I am so, so thankful for those who do the same with their gift of music. Their worship helps fill up my empty place as I give myself into the hands of God to do what I do, be what I am, live created, and love hard.