When You are Empty as a Drum, Let Him Play You

People keep telling me I overthink too much. (I always want to argue that they’re not thinking enough.) But, at this point, I have to wonder if having too many thoughts is what’s keeping me from so many things right now.

At this moment, I find that my soul is quite overwhelmed with thoughts and worries, things that have yet to be done and things I continue to push to another day’s to-do list because daylight runs out too quickly.

All the while, my spirit remains quite underwhelmed, underwhelmed from the absence of friends and loved ones who I once relied upon to speak my true self-worth over me, underwhelmed from a sudden loss of a serious, 7-month relationship in my life, underwhelmed from misplacing my sense of joy during this past semester, and underwhelmed from starving my spirit of the only truth that can satisfy. Excuses, excuses. I know how I ended up here–but that doesn’t matter right now.

I feel hollow and empty like a drum. Every time someone or something beats on me lately I just echo back with rumbles of inaudible noise, stemming from inner aches and pains that I can’t yet diagnose.

This is the end of my second semester in Texas, my second semester in graduate school pursuing a degree I’m not sure I need yet for a purpose I feel I have no clue about. This is also technically my fourth year in college. (And I can now understand why most people stop at four years of schooling! Holy Smokes.) At now 23 years of age, I wonder if I’m just getting rusty and tired of ‘playing school,’ if I’m just exhausted from trying to keep up with the demands of college assignments as the natural demands of growing older and wanting more out of life (like being a wife and mom, dadgummit) grow stronger. With this exhaustion at the end of the semester comes the usual slumps of depression doused with lack of sleep, poor diet, and little attention to anything outside of the present deadlines.

But, something tells me these things don’t completely explain my emptiness right now.

Unfortunately, I feel too empty of strength and truth to figure out my real problems. Maybe you’ve been there too. It’s like falling into the bottom of a deep, deep well, and with the darkness around and no strength to climb the walls you have no way out. Or, it’s like starving yourself  to the point of near-death, and you find you’re beyond the point of just being able to feed yourself to get your body back to a healthy state.

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I’m the obsessive type who can listen to a song I love 100 times in a row before I grow tired of hearing it. And then, I not only know the song for the rest of eternity, but I never want to hear it again… (Again, the curses of being obsessive.)

But alas, there’s a song right now that no matter how many times I listen to it I still can’t seem to lock the words in my heart, mostly because they’re just too powerful to comprehend. My favorite parts of the song go like this:

“My heart a storm, clouds raging deep within
The Prince of peace came bursting through the wind
The violent sky held its breath
And in Your light I found rest

Tearing through the night
Riding on the storm
Staring down the fight
My eyes found Yours
Shining like the sun
Striding through my fear
The Prince of peace
Met me there…

Hope like the sun, light piercing through the dark
The Prince of peace came and broke into my heart
The violent cross, the empty grave
And in Your light I found grace…

Your love surrounds me
When my thoughts wage war
When night screams terror
There Your voice will roar
Come death or shadow
God I know Your light will meet me there

When fear comes knocking
There You’ll be my guard
When day breeds trouble
There You’ll hold my heart
Come storm or battle
God I know Your peace will meet me there”

Here’s the quick answer to where I think I’m going with this: I know being in a place like this is no easy fix. Empty is a state that takes more than one “fill” of Jesus to go away. And I think He knows that.

In fact, I think He knows I’m more drum-like right now than I am harmonica-ish or guitar-ness. I’m as empty as a drum, and He still wants to play me. The Prince of Peace wants to come to my rescue and do what I’m incapable of doing myself. He wants to create music with my life even while I feel mute. Even while nothing is working out. Even when I still don’t have a clue what I’m actually doing here. He wants to play the drum that is my empty soul and show me that He’s the Great Musician who can do the impossible.

So, I think I’m going to let Him do what He wants. I’m asking the Prince of Peace to play me, empty and broken, since I don’t know what else to ask for right now. He is good and faithful to come when I call, even if my call right sounds more like the hollow beats of a lowly drum.

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