He Filled My Cup
Have you ever felt empty? Like God was far away? Have you ever found yourself just going through the motions? Have you ever been so busy that you just couldn’t or didn’t take time to do anything more than have a quick prayer in the morning as you walked out the door?
Story by Kathy Pepper
I’ve been there, even as the conference Prayer Ministries director.
Several years ago our church voted to reopen its school, and I was going to be the teacher. Before long it was August and the school year began. Things were going well until my stepsister died after a fight with breast cancer. The wind was knocked out of my sails, but I managed to finish the year. I spent the summer taking two online classes, pouring over books and doing assignments. The second school year started. Again the year flew by. Summertime came and again I was in school. I took only one class this time, but was just as busy as ever. School began for a third year and it was off to a great start. Then my mom passed away. Although she had been sick for a long time, her death took me by surprise. Somehow I made it through the next several weeks.
I “celebrated” Christmas with my family in a fog. During the next three months, my husband and I struggled with whether to move to another conference. We didn’t take the call. A week or so after we made that decision, we began an evangelistic meeting in one of our churches. In the middle of that series, I had a full-scale school evaluation. Then it was on to Andrews University (Mich.) for our daughter’s graduation, and later that same day, we traveled to Pennsylvania for a week-long school field trip. School ended a couple weeks later amidst several other stressful events.
Despite being busy, I began to catch my breath during camp meeting. A week after camp meeting, my husband and I headed to Texas for the North American Division’s pastors’ ministerium and the General Conference Session. That’s when I finally realized what kind of shape I was in. I recognized that I was empty. I knew I needed God. I began praying in earnest, and spending quality time with Him. I also began exercising, something I hadn’t done regularly in a couple of years. Each day I prioritized an hour of worship and Bible study, and at least a half hour of exercise.
Slowly, my world improved. And months later, I feel more alive than I have in many years. I have been blessed with a closer walk with God than I have ever had. I am losing weight and feeling great. And, most amazing of all, I recently was made aware that, despite my busyness and emptiness, God used me to bless others as I was going through my dark valley.
I praise the Lord for the valleys that help us to grow. Most of all I praise the Lord for filling my empty cup and making me whole once again.