What to do with an empty passion bucket?

What to do with an empty passion bucket?

Recently I confessed that I’ve been struggling to do my job. I’ve served as the Consulting Director at Element Fusion (an internet development company) for ten years now.  This new “cancer” season in my life (and Lorelei’s) has led me to question whether or not I should continue to work.  Certainly, medical bills and college expenses indicate I should stay. But I am conflicted.

One of the reasons I’ve been good at what I do is that I am so passionate about our work and the company. These guys I work with are amazing. I’ve always felt like what I did mattered (or would matter in 100 years.) But my passion bucket (at least for internet related things) has been drained lately.

I asked God to fill it back up.

Yesterday, after having been asleep for a few short hours, I was awakened at 2:00am. Wide awake. Tried to go back to sleep for 45 minutes before I gave up and decided to pursue what might be God trying to speak to me during the wee quiet hours. So, I opened up my iPhone (turning down the brightness hoping not to disturb Kevin) and went to my Jesus Calling app. I normally read this first thing in the morning and it usually feels like God is talking to me directly and specifically. (I don’t know how He does it, but I’m so glad He does.) So was the case yesterday morning. Here’s what I posted to facebook around 3:10am:

'Can't sleep. So much on my mind. So many voices. Decided to take an "early peek" at today's Jesus Calling entry:

"The voices of the world are a cacophony of chaos, pulling you this way and that. Don’t listen to those voices; challenge themwith My Word. Learn to take minibreaks from the world, finding a place to be still in My Presence and listen to My voice."

Okay Lord. I'm listening.'

I figured that was what Jesus wanted me to hear. That I needed to be in His Word even more in order to challenge the many voices pulling me every which way. I prayed He’d help me do this. Then I closed out facebook. But as I did that, I saw that there was a little red circle with a “1” in it on my Caring Bridge app. I know that was not there when I checked last night as I went to bed. So, I decided to go see whose update it was.

It was Lorelei’s. Her very first. I’d given her authorship rights but she’d never used them. Until now.

Here’s what she said:

“Today I was still for a moment in prayer. I thought of those around me fighting many different battles and I quickly became overwhelmed. I cannot heal those around me. I cannot mend marriages and I have no power to bring peace in a time of loss. I become uneasy and anxious. But I'm beginning to realize that there is a beauty here. The Lord can heal those around me. He can mend marriages and He can bring peace. The beauty is that the Lord can do these things and DOES do these things so that I do not have to and so that I don't have to feel overwhelmed when I can't.

As I travel along in this journey, I daily learn to praise the Lord that my life is entirely and eternally in His hands; completely out of my control. Besides, how much greater are His plans than mine, than ours? Once we realize this, that this isn't something people say just to ease the blow of a cancer diagnosis or of a car wreck or a lost job, we receive peace, we receive joy.

Through realizing my weaknesses, I become stronger. Cliche. True. I realize my weakness, place complete trust in the Lord and breathe. I think that maybe all the while I remain in this human body my first instinct will be anxiety each time I re-realize how out of control I am. My prayer is that I, and those around me, will remember to praise God when we are out of control. Thank Him that He is in control, and decide to place our trust in the One who created us and loves each one of us so dearly.”

I don’t know if any of you has ever experienced the privilege of being ministered to by your own children. I know I have.

Lorelei reminded me that God is intimately acquainted with the tiny (and big) details of every one of our lives. And that when we feel out of control it is actually a blessing because we can more easily see that He indeed is in control. Any control I think I have is merely an illusion.  None of us can guarantee we even have one more hour on this earth.  Or that we'll have a job tomorrow.  Or that our spouse will remain faithful.  Or that our home will survive a tornado. Once we fully understand that we are powerless, we are finally able to see the big picture and fully let God work through us.  Likewise, I am powerless to fill my own passion bucket.

So, I’d have to trust God to fill it back up. I don’t have any real control over my life. Even my ability to do my job well comes from Him.

The alarm goes off at 5:30. I haven’t slept since 2:00am. I guzzle a few cups of coffee and head on in to work since I have a morning appointment.

The appointment was with a woman whose foundation needed a website in advance of a big event on April 26. And they are considering my company because we’ve built a website platform that allows a professional website to be created very quickly and includes e-commerce built right in to the CMS.

I think, “Big deal. You want to sell something on the internet. “

But then she told me more.

You’ve probably heard or seen something about Kony 2012. Who hasn’t? So tragic is the plight of the many young women who have been raped and mutilated by his godless regime. Once these women escape they have nowhere to go. Their families (what’s left of them) won’t take them back and they have no marketable job skills, no way to provide for themselves. So, Sister Rosemary takes them in. She teaches them a trade. One of the trades has been to make purses out of pop-tops. Here’s a link to an article on CNN about it.

The website we might build will provide more awareness and even an avenue to send additional funds to St. Monica's Girls' Tailoring Center in Uganda.

That matters.

And I can already feel my passion bucket filling up!

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Mike Hoang wrote:
Andrea,

That's awesome! We've all gone through times like those. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for being an inspiration ,
Bucket List Blog ger

Fri, March 16, 2012 @ 12:19 PM

2. Susan Hamby wrote:
Andrea - I don't think you have any idea how MUCH you and Lorelei minister to me each time I read your entries. I continue to pray for healing - but at the same time I feel like I am being healed also, in so many ways. I know that God will continue to bless you and wrap His loving arms around each of you and your family as you continue through this journey He has for you.

Fri, March 16, 2012 @ 12:32 PM

3. Rita Yates wrote:
Susan, I SO agree with your comment. I don't think Andrea and Lorelei realize how very deeply they touch so many lives every day. I appreciate so much the fact you are sharing this journey with everyone. You enrich our lives with your wonderful testimony. May the Lord continue to bless you each day. I continue to pray for health and calm for all of the Decker family.

Fri, March 16, 2012 @ 1:21 PM

4. Aymnl wrote:
Hi, Lorelei I don't have to much faith in those ratings elepcialsy on Amazon there have been several books that had a rating of two that I went ahead and bought because it was an author I really liked. One in particular was a Joan Johnston book called Shattered and everyone was basically pissed because she didn't let the hero and heroine get together she paired them with with other people. But you know what it worked beautifully and I absolutely loved the book so I wouldn't worry to much your die hard fans will always stick with you they know your books are awesome I hope you have a safe trip home.

Tue, June 19, 2012 @ 10:47 AM

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