Evening comes and three kids have been prayed for and kissed into the land of nod. The dishwasher is emptied and wet clothes hung out to dry. The kitchen floor has been swept. And swept again. And again. Emails have been sent, texts written, phone calls made. Dinner has been made and cleared away.
Rich and I face-time. He’s one side of the world and I’m another. He’s yawning as he starts his day and I’m yawning as I end mine.
And then comes The Space: that time at the end of the day when the husband is away and the kids are in bed and the to-do-list is ticked off.
The Space comes.
There’s no running away or hiding behind jobs that need to be done or kids that need to be fed.
No. None of that. In The Space my comfortable cloak of busyness is hung up. And it’s just me.
And sometimes it feels more like a void than a space. You see, space is roomy and full of hope and potential. But a void? A void is a little different: a void feels empty and barren. A void can feel desolate. It can feel like a never-ending, bottomless pit. It’s unknown.
Thoughts surface and fears begin to rise; those things that would normally be suppressed by the busyness of life. And in The Void I have to face those inner doubts and inner insecurities that can so easily be pushed down by my close friend Busyness, and by the reassurance of a loving husband and friends.
And so I realise that this void that comes when Rich is away is actually God’s grace to me. And when He offers grace to me I’d be foolish to turn it down, though it may seem easier to do so. His grace is to show me how to fill The Void: how to take captive the rumbling whispers in my heart; the lies that are spoken in the darkness.
His grace is to show me how to re-write that script with the words of truth that He gives me.
And so The Void is God’s hidden gift to me. It’s His reminder to me that I am His and He is mine.
The Void is the place where my deepest fears arise, where the storm comes, the wind and the waves howl around me. And The Void is the place where I am reminded that He merely has to say “Be Still” and the wind and the waves obey.
The Void is the place of exchange: the place where I enter feeling fearful and leave remembering who He is. It’s the place where I exchange fear for faith, doubt for certainty, despair for hope and defeat for victory.
It’s the place where I remember His faithfulness to me and to His people. It’s the place where I stand on the testimony of what He’s done in the past, and remember His promises for the future.
It’s the place where I remember that He is faithful.
The Void is the place where I lean in and look for the gain. It’s the place where I remember that my hope, my peace and my identity is not found in Rich, or anyone, or anything, else. Those people and things may be a channel of grace to me. But they are never the source.
A channel merely carries what comes from the source.
And so God’s hidden treasure to me when Rich is away is to gently remind me that it’s His voice that defines who I am. He reminds me that He fills The Void and takes me into a spacious place filled with expectancy, hope and certainty.