I’ve written a little and talked a little publicly (at the Influence Conference) about the days that led up to us having a massive scare in this pregnancy. Because of the sensitive (read: a little gross) nature of what went down medically, we left a lot of people in the dark and because of the sensitive (read: super convicting) nature of what went down spiritually, we left a lot of people in the dark. I don’t think you have to tell the whole story to tell a true story, so I’ll continue sharing the bits of those days that feel appropriate.
I really had not been feeling right. On the day before my girl’s vacation, I’d walked around Target – pushing the massive three-kid cart, occasionally stopping to rub my abdomen. I was tired to the point of tears. The day was full, full, full but I saw no way around it. I was needed. And people’s need for me was what kept me going. If I got quiet long enough, I could admit to myself that I simultaneously hated being needed so intensely and loved being needed. I vacillated wildly between wanting EVERYONE to know how much was on my plate and how much I was juggling so they’d respect me and wanting to hide it all away, completing my tasks in secret so they wouldn’t judge me for taking on too much.
I just wanted to meet the needs, you know? Well. Maybe I didn’t always WANT to meet the needs but when I was presented with them – kids, homeschool, pastors wife, community, emails, shop, blog, conference, websites, business ideas, friends, family - I only saw two options. The view from my small mind was that I could either MEET THE NEEDS at all costs or I could fail. At everything.
So I lived a day that was far too full, where I refused to say no to a single task or person or whimsical demand that crossed my mind and the next night, I began to bleed. I laid in the hospital bed with the full realization that I was bleeding out because I had ministered out of myself rather than taking a single minute to ask the Lord where He wanted me to be ministering. Because truly, if I’d asked Him what He wanted done and let Him do the work, He would’ve received all the credit. But the way I was headed, I did all the work, I met all the needs, I got all the glory. Or – all the blame when it all came toppling down.
The Lord saw fit to change that story. The bleeding stopped physically and the baby is now safe. And He reminded me that day – my blood is no good. It will not do this world, this family, this internet, our church, our friends any good if I continually bleed out in an effort to meet the needs of those around me. Jesus has bled for all of us – once and for all – and any effort I put forth in servitude rather than motivated by His lavish grace is useless. When I want to be the hero, He can’t be. I mean – He will be, because I’ll fail and He will pick up the pieces. When I want to bleed out and be the mama-lady-martyr, I’ll just keep bleeding.
I’m learning that being a drink offering is so different than being a blood offering. A drink offering is a saint who looks to the real sacrifice and is constantly refilled by Living Water as they seek to serve where He sees fit. A blood offering is someone who looks at the great gift of grace and mercy on the cross and says – “No. I think I’ll meet my own needs. And those of the people around me”. Jesus is either a great example for something we can never be or He is our everything. For me - Jesus cannot just be a good example of a human, He has to be the perfect and complete offering of all I desperately long for.
For me, I’m done bleeding out. My blood is no good.