Empty is Not a Bad Word (Brave Every Day)

There are blank spaces in the line up. The Write 31 Days campaign is short a few. And Write 28ish Days doesn’t have the same ring.

First, technical issues (source still unknown) shut down my site for enough of a day to throw off my posting schedule. And then I got busy. Then tired. Then apathetic. Then out of sorts.

It’s tempting to go back and try to fill the spaces. So the days are complete. Perfect attendance.

I used to do that with my daily journal. Find where I’d left off, think back, and write from memory. Or fill it in with a quote. Anything to keep myself from staring into the blankness. Any way to plant a flag of “I was here” on a 24-hour period of time. As if only writing it down would prove my existence in the world.

I can’t tell you the last day pen hit paper in my 5-year book. Months. There’s no way to fill that kind of space.

Besides, the only way to be honest about those days are to leave them blank. Because I’ve been pretty absent from myself.


I find the urge to fill the pages not much different from the urge to fill my stomach.

It doesn’t take long for me to be uncomfortable being uncomfortable. To look for something to ease the hunger. To add just about anything into a void to stop it from being hollow.

Like a black hole creates a vacuum in the universe, my stomach abhors a rumble. Or a hint of a rumble. Or the possibility a hint of a rumble is coming.

But I am learning to give emptiness its space. To fight the urge to fill just for the sake of avoiding a lack. To ask exactly what the right filler might be.

To explore the possibility empty is not a bad word.

Because maybe empty puts me in the right position to receive. Not to manufacture my own kind of gap plan but to pause. To breathe. To let hunger do its work while I wait.

Because He is faithful to bring good gifts in His time. And if I’m already full of the less-than, I’ll never be ready for His best.


So I will not sugar-coat (pun intended) or arbitrarily fill my missing days this month. My 31 Days will come up a bit short.

And that will be exactly as it should be.


brave-squareIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.

5 thoughts on “Empty is Not a Bad Word (Brave Every Day)

  1. Sharon

    It’s funny how I also seem to run from the feeling of being *empty* – like if I don’t fill up every day with perfect things, I’ll somehow disappear. The last two years of caregiving for my parents has sapped me in a way that I never anticipated. Empty? Yes. But somehow in the emptying, I am praying that God will fill me with new things from His storehouse treasure of blessings.


    • Sharon: I can only imagine how much “pouring out” you’ve been doing during this caregiving season. How fortunate are we, then, to know the Giver of all good gifts. May He continue to fill us both with only the best of what we need.

  2. This right here. This choice. Part of the healing journey. Feeling the feelings that come from emptiness. The best part is this…. You get to have help w those feelings this time. Praying for you this morning.

    • Ps. I get the wanting to fill in your journal.

    • Your love brings me to tears, Carol. God has been so faithful to show up in my emptiness and give me what I never would have noticed with the artificial filling. Your friendship is chief among these.

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