Have you ever had those days when nothing is really “wrong” but everything just feels kind of bleh? You sit and talk to your friends and try to put words to it, but there isn’t really anything to quantify what’s wrong. Work’s going fine. Your relationships are good. On paper, everything’s going great. But you still feel bleh. That’s the best way to describe it, I think, because there aren’t any concrete words. It just feels depleted, empty, dry.
I hit those spots kind of rhythmically, and I rarely do a good job at pulling myself out of them. Instead, I mostly sit around and try to figure out why I’m feeling that way. I try to pinpoint what’s happened, what feels empty, what is the cause so I can stop it next time. However, I’m learning more and more through each of these seasons that there isn’t any hiding from them. They’ll come, and honestly, that’s fine.
A couple of weeks ago, Jon Acuff was speaking at my church and he mentioned a conversation he had with a counselor that he was interviewing for his new book. The counselor told him that anxiety in particular is like a dial, not a switch. When things start to flare up, we have to try to turn them down. It’s impossible to just turn things off, but we can try to turn them down and manage them. I think the same is true for seasons when we feel dry.
So the question naturally becomes, “What do we do to turn down the dial of a dry season?” Each time I’ve hit a dry season, I think I’ve learned something that can help during that time. Here are a few of the things that help me get away from consistently feeling bleh.
Who are my people?
This is the first and most important one for me. When I’m feeling empty, I want to just sit around, watch Netflix and just steer into the skid. However, what always turns my days, weeks or even months around is my people. Whether it’s my friends or my wife, I have to remind myself that those people are on my team and don’t want Taylor to feel this way. If I’m willing to let them in on that season that I’m feeling, they’ll help turn it around, check in to see if we’re headed in the right direction and dig me out of that headspace.
Whether it’s going to have a coffee with a friend, spending a day on the lake, playing a round of golf or sitting on the deck and hanging with a group, I’ve found the things that I do with my people make me feel full again.
There are a select few people in my life that can actually fill me to the brim, but knowing who those people are has proved revolutionary in my empty seasons.
What are my things?
We all have “things” that bring us life. For my wife, it’s running. For me, it’s definitely not running. But I have found that golf, spending time on the water, reading, working out and hanging with friends are a few of those things. It’s way easier to ignore those things because all of those are harder than sitting on the couch in a dry season. However, taking the effort to make something happen always pays off. Bonus points if it becomes a routine because that’s how to break a cycle of an empty season.
This always comes second for me because oftentimes my people are the ones who force me into doing things that fill me up. And whenever I get to do things that fill me up with people who do the same, that’s always the best combo.
In an empty season, I often think of my life as just being filled with things that I have to do like work and take care of responsibilities at home. However, God designed our lives to be so full of happiness, joy and fulfillment that we need to find the things that fill us up and the people who fill us up to experience a life that God smiles at when we’re living.
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Who am I?
God’s not designed us to be empty. If we’re to believe that God is a good Father who wants good things for us, then we can trust His Word that tells us we’re designed to not just be filled but to overflow. God has created us to be joyful, life-filled beings. That’s who God says we are, so we aren’t made to be empty.
Now this comes third, not because it’s the third most important, but because I think it’s sometimes really hard to remember these truths about who God says we are. At least, that’s true for me. It’s hard for me to feel loved, chosen, anointed, or any other number of things that God calls me when I’m feeling empty. I truly believe that’s a big reason that God puts people and activities in our lives to fill us up. Sometimes we need a tangible reminder of the love and fulfillment God desires for us to feel. Our people and our activities are things that God has given us to be practical and real examples of God’s love for us here on Earth.
Once we get a little filled up by those things, it’s a lot easier to believe the things God says of us. Finding those things in particular in Scripture always helps to fill up a seemingly empty tank. I often feel I have to commit to a book or section or Scripture when I crack open my Bible, but sometimes, we just need to flip through and find God’s specific promises that will help build us up and fill our tanks.
We all get emptied out sometimes. We all feel dry. But those seasons aren’t the ideal ones that God has designed for us, so thankfully, He’s given us the opportunity to fill back up in those empty seasons. These are just a couple of the practical things that I’ve helped me. However, I don’t think those are the only options. What do you do to refill when you’re feeling dry?