Moving into a new home with many rooms is quite intimidating. When you walk into the neighbor’s, friend’s, or family member’s home, you see rooms filled with beautiful decorations, furniture and perfect corners for hanging out with others. Even the decks have cutesy couches and blankets for guests. We walked into our home and realized that an 800 square ft apartment amount of furniture didn’t exactly fill up our new living space. My family set out to fill the spaces and the rooms. I was given comforters, lamps, ladders, lights, fans and more. I was extremely thankful for their kindness and generosity, but I also realized that I wanted some of it to be empty. The main room that I wanted vacant was the so called “living room” which will be known as the playroom in our house.
Why would I want an empty room? Well, because an empty room has so much potential to be anything it needs to be. I was relieved to walk into a friend’s house recently to find an empty room, which they decided was their “everything room.” It had board games at the moment for their younger boys. I expressed this empty room concept to a dear friend at work and she said that she has also had an empty room and loved it over the years. I didn’t know I wanted an empty room until my niece and nephew came to visit. This bundle of cuteness and energy had no toys at my house, but they had this huge open space. They literally did circles chasing each other with no fear of running into anything. Their giggles and laughter echoed throughout our house as they took the pizza boxes and wore them as hats as they ran around.
For now, I know that this front room will soon have a play yard for when our little one is sleeping, but it will conform to whatever it needs to be over the years. As she grows, I hope that it becomes a race track for her walker sprints or an art room for her paintings. I want this one room to be a blank canvas to accommodate the various needs of what this life will bring us. Giggles and laughter are what I want to hear throughout the echoes of that room. Having a vacant room doesn’t mean that something is missing.
Sometimes I wonder if God were to walk through the rooms of my life, if there would be any rooms empty enough for Him to fill. He probably would find that most of my rooms are full and that there is little space for Him to move. My current home is not full of knick knacks and things. I still have plenty of space, but that isn’t true with my life. If God were to walk through the home of my heart, it would have breakables everywhere, fearing to be shattered. It probably would have huge furniture from all the ways I try to fill it up. He would probably feel like I do walking into the homes of those with breakables everywhere. You know those homes, where people have collected valuable items to look at, but can’t be touched? Therefore you have to stay very still and basically sit on your hands as to not break anything.
There is a story in 2 Kings 4, where a woman says to a prophet, “Your servant, my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” This woman was under going the loss of her husband while also trying to cling to God for providing for her family. The prophet tells her to gather all the empty vessels and fill them up with the remaining oil she had in the house. God filled each and every vessel full of oil. He said to her, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and your sons live on the rest.” God not only fulfilled a need, but put something valuable into an object that would be without value by itself.
Our empty room may be viewed as something to be filled, but I want it to be whatever we need it to be. As soon as we fill it up, there isn’t the potential to be something else. I know for a fact that I have filled my life up with useless social media, many shows of Fixer Upper, and plenty of time for projects. I keep putting God off because I fear what he would make from an empty room. What would He potentially do with a space in my life that I am constantly trying to fill with other things? What would He call me to do? I fear the answers to these questions and consistently settle for the comfortable. I don’t know what to say from this transparency with you, other than the fact that I want more empty rooms in my life. I want God to move, but am struggling with what that could potentially mean. Scripture pours in sayings, “I know the plans I have for you… to give you a hope and a future.”I am going to try and leave this room as empty as it needs to be, so that God has the opportunity to make me what He wants me to be.