Emptied and Filled by Grace

Sunday, October 14, 2018
Earlier this year, I went through one of the most challenging phase in my life. It broke me. It shattered my faith and my self-esteem. Little did I realize, it was God's way of preparing me for something better.

When big challenges come to us, almost always, the very first thing that we feel is fear; the very first question that we ask is "What if?".  We feel afraid of the uncertainty that lies ahead. We taunt ourselves about the many possibilities that things could go for the worse.

I won't deny it, I'm an over-thinker. So when I heard about that bad news, I was shaken. Since it was a first, I honestly didn't know how to handle it. I panicked and I got so worked up that I eventually fell into depression.

And so for weeks, I've battled the inner struggle to overcome my depression and pessimism. I hit rock bottom. I felt lost and empty. I detest being depressed but I felt like it was something very hard to share to others because I thought no one would understand me. I just prayed and kept it all to myself all those time but when it felt like I was really on a dead-end, I told God, "Lord, I am very tired. I don't know what to do. Help me please."

Eventually one Sunday, I came to The Feast HK gathering, which I haven't done so in many months. I joined the other members of the community in worship and we all listened to the preaching like we always do. When it was time for sharing our reflections and thoughts, I mustered the courage to open up about my situation. One of my sisters in the community then consoled me saying, "When you feel empty, be expectant because it means God is filling you."

Those words really stuck with me like glue. Later that day, I thought to myself, "Oo nga no! Why did I let myself be blinded and bounded by my fear and anxiety? Why did I forget that God is bigger that any of this? Why was I afraid now when God has delivered me through countless challenges in the past. He will get me through this one too!" 

It was a eureka moment for my empty and drained self. To be honest, I was ashamed of myself because even though I believed in God, at that time I didn't believed enough to see that He will deliver me.

From that day on, I surrendered to God all the what-ifs and the fear that I had about my problem. I started talking to my loved ones and few close friends about my situation and my depression. Indeed, little by little, I was filled and I recovered. My family and friends reminded me that I am not alone and that I am loved no matter what. They assured me that things will get better, that I will get through it.

Coupled with tons of prayer and the support of the people around me, things brightened up again slowly. Fast forward to few months later, I received one good news after another but the highlight was about something that my husband and I have been praying and working hard for for years now. It was then that I saw the bigger picture that God has planned for me. He was actually preparing me for my next move! Most of all, I realised that He is not deaf to all my pleas. I just had to trust His timing.

My friends, it was a really crazy ride. But looking back at it all, I am very grateful that God broke and emptied me because I learned to trust Him more than ever. I experienced to live by faith and not by sight the song goes. It's such a life-changing episode. I may have cried buckets of tears but it was totally worth it because I came out stronger and better. For sure, there will be bigger battles to conquer in the near future but this experience taught me that when we totally let God work in our lives, we will surely come out victorious because God is faithful in His promises.

Before I end this post, let me leave you some verses that helped me during my struggle. If you are going through something right now, I hope in some way, these will console you. Always remember, when God empties you, it is because He is filling you. Cling on to that promise.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (Corinthians 2:10)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. (Malachi 3:10) 
 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Psalm 37:4)
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

P.S. Thank you to all the people who helped me in their own little ways. You know who you are. May God bless you more!