Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Soul Holes

       I had the privilege to share at my Church this year on Mother's Day.  I was a part of a woman's Bible Study on a book titled "One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp." Our Pastor had asked myself and two other amazing people to speak on the subject of gratitude.  Below is what I shared in "blog" form. If you are interested in listening to the entire sermon please feel free to click on the link below.

Soul Holes
     Brad asked me to share this morning on how this Woman’s Bible Study and this book One Thousand Gifts has influenced my life. 

      If I am honest I will tell you, reading is not something that comes easy for me.  I so admire my friends who are voracious readers.  I have 1000 excuses (no pun intended) for why I don’t read more.  But regardless of how far I have gotten in the book, I can honestly say that what I have read has been life giving and life changing.

     I have read this book as I believe it is to be read. Just as a rich dessert is to be eaten.   Slowly, savoring every morsel of God’s truth spoken through this amazing author.  

     In the first chapter I read a paragraph that truly moved me and I felt myself wanting to “chew on the truth that it spoke of.”

    “He means to rename us-to return us to our true names, our truest selves.  He means to heal our “soul holes.”

     When I heard those words “soul holes”, being the visual person God made me, I immediately had a picture similar to one below. 

     I was born and raised in the the Southern California Dessert.  It rarely rained but when it did we would experience what are known as “Flash floods”.  After the rain had stopped and the flood waters receded.  This is what would be left behind.  Cracks or Holes in the dry scorched earth.  Some larger and deeper than others.  These larger and deeper crevasses give rise to smaller ones but they are all somehow connected.

     I spent some time with the Lord and processed this minds eye picture He had given me.  I saw the dessert wash as my own soul.  The cracks in the earth were my “soul holes”.
    The times in my life that these crater like places originated varied in depth and degree of damage.  
 But regardless they left a void an impact...a hole.  

       I believe we all have these “holes in our souls.”  They represent times in our lives when something traumatic or very difficult happened. A death or loss, failed relationship or divorce, a major disappointment.  

     These holes could have been made by someone else or maybe choices that we ourselves made. The common theme however, is what ever happened it left an empty space in our souls. 
      Whatever the reason it originated most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to fill it.  Some fill it with a relationships, sex, food, drugs, alcohol, money and material things.  Whatever it is it NEVER satisfies the longing in our soul!  Our “soul hole” just NEVER seems to get filled!!

      For some of us our “soul holes” are surrounded by a slippery edge.  Every time anyone or anything gets near that edge, even if they mean well, and are there to help, they get sucked in to the ugly dark, mistrusting well in our souls. 

      Until you first identify your “soul holes” and how you have been filling them you spend countless hours sucking life down into that ugly place.  I know I sure have.

    God helped me identify one of my deepest “soul holes” through this study.  What’s interesting is that I thought that hole was covered over and redeemed.  

     I’ve realized now that it has been filled by the “rains” that have come in my life.  The times of refreshing I have experienced.  The “rain”, in my opinion, represents when people have “poured” into these areas of my life through encouraging words and even powerful prayer times. I leave those times feeling filled up, refreshed.

      But this hole is so large and deep and when my walk has been desert dry and the “flood waters” have receded and the enemy’s lies scorch like the desert heat I am left with a gaping dry deep crevice in my soul.

   What this study has challenged me to do is look for the refreshing to come from the opposite direction.  By tapping in and digging deep!

   I learned in order for these holes to stay filled I needed to go deeper into the vast darkness, as painful, scary and intimidating as it is.  

   I love the 40 weight lyrics that read...

I wait for You to hear me
Won't You come just a little bit closer
Your love is deeper than the oceans
I go down, I still breathe
And wait for You to fill me up
Fill me up
Won't You come now and fill me up.

     This 1000 gifts study challenged me to move beyond my pain, failure, disappointments & darkness and to tap into  “The well spring of life!!  That’s where Jesus is.  That’s WHO JESUS IS!  That’s where the refreshing lies.  


     Jesus is the LIVING WATER to our souls!!!  When you are tapped into that constant source of living water your soul holes are constantly filled and refreshed with clean, pure, HOLY WATER!!!

     So how have I “tapped in” to this living water!  What are the things that I have been doing to “fill” my soul holes.

     It is first in the recognition and in the Thanksgiving.  In realizing that beyond that hole lies an opportunity of a lifetime.  Had they not have been there I may not have needed HIM.  And oh how grateful I am for NEEDING HIM!  

     I then remember and recall His faithfulness.  His redemption in spite of my choices.  I look at my incredible husband and beautiful children and I am Grateful and Thankful with every ounce of my being.  That my God Loves me that much to gift me with their lives.  

     I acknowledge that without particular soul holes in my life I would not have the heart for broken young women that I have.  I am thankful.  I tap in....Holy Water flows....

     At the last lesson Ann talks about how water flows into a river, The Jordan River and flows downward into two other bodies of water- The Sea of Galilee and The Dead Sea.

A quote from the book....
   “The first to be fed from the freshwater of the Jordan is the Sea of Galilee.  It receives water in the north and it gives from the south as the Jordan continues to flow downward.  The Sea of Galilee, it teems with life; it is fresh, and alive with fish.  If you dive into this clear water, you can open your eyes and swim freely.”

     “The second body of water is the Dead Sea.  It also receives from the north as the Jordan pours forth its freshwater.  The difference is that the Dead Sea does not give.  The Dead Sea just takes.  There is no outlet”  As a consequence, nothing can live in its toxic, mineral-filled , bitter waters, If you dive into this body of water and open your eyes, you will need to call a medic, it burns like acid.”

   “Two seas fed by the same by the same river.  One gives and lives.  The other holds on and dies.”

     “What is true for these ancient bodies of water is just as true in our lives.  When we receive gifts, grace and joy and give them to others, we are fresh and filled with life.  And when we receive, take and hold on to the good gifts of God and never pour out for others, we become bitter and toxic.”

      I am inspired now to be like the Sea of Galilee to be constantly refreshed and tapped in to the source of Holy Water and then instead of stagnating in my faith, holding onto this Grace and drying up.    I will give and pour out this water of Life to others.

     There is a song that several of us sang in Sunday School growing up.  As God was speaking to me about this “soul hole” concept.  He reminded me of this song on day. I have sang this song several times in my life but NEVER have I really recognized the power in the lines of this song until now.  It is a song we have now been singing on a regular basis around our house.

     Since it is Mother’s Day I have asked my two beautiful Children to help me sing it.  I would also love it if you joined in if you know it.  Most importantly, as you sing the lyrics pay attention to the power and truth that they hold.


I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me.
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see

Opens prison doors, sets the captives free
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me

Spring up a well within my soul
Spring up a well and make me whole
Spring up a well and give to me
That life Abundantly!!!!