Filled to Overflow

Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds, “All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink!”

John 7:37

I am so excited to share with you an excerpt from my new book Shining Freely. This is one of my favorite sections in the book. I just love God’s heart for us and how much he longs to fill us up, take away our shame, and empower us to be all he sees in us. I hope you enjoy!

Are You Thirsty?


Fear is driven by thirst. I realized I was thirsty. Thirsty for accomplishments, titles, and a platform to prove my spiritual worth. I needed you to like me; to approve of me so that I could feel okay. The beautiful thing about God is, when we truly ask him to search our hearts—he does. He searches for and shines a spotlight on the places in us that will make us fall flat on our face in heartache if we continue to try and do life and ministry our own way. He knew that if I kept seeking your approval, I would always be thirsty. The “Am I enough?” void continually threatened the growth he wanted to give me.

I share this because I know many of you reading this feel the same. We are hard-wired to connect, to belong, and to be liked. It is a matter of survival. I was listening to one of my favorite pastors, Steven Furtick, talk about “The Thirsty Trap,” and it shined a spotlight on this approval-seeking tendency in me. He said, “Everyone is thirsty. It is not a sin to be thirsty. It is where you go to get fixed that determines whether your soul will be satisfied.” The truth is, “Everybody drinks from somewhere.”

I think I already mentioned I am a “doer.” Being busy made me feel important. I had a sudden light bulb moment as I realized this thirst was destructive to the very calling I wanted to fulfill. My fix couldn’t come from titles, even though it sounded really good in my head to be a “Cofounder”, “Author”, and “Clinical Director.” It can’t come from accomplishments, the number of followers on my blog, or likes on Facebook either. All those things can change in a moment and leave me thirsty for more.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, “Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a bubbling spring within them” (John 4:14, NLT). Jesus knew this woman was dying of thirst inside. Not the kind of thirst any man could fix. He was a Jew and wasn’t even supposed to be talking to this Samaritan woman, let alone be sharing a drink with her. It didn’t matter to him that she had five failed marriages. What mattered to him was that her heart was empty, and he knew how to fill it. What mattered to him was freeing her from the shame that brought her to the well in the hottest part of the day, because she didn’t dare show her face at a time when other women would be there. He didn’t need the water he asked her for, he wanted to fill her. He went there on purpose with the intention of giving her Living Water. The kind of water that would cleanse her soul and forever fill the empty places inside her. He knew no other source could provide what she was seeking.

From what source are you drinking?

Are you dying for people’s approval? Are you caught up in the rat race of gaining accomplishments or things to finally answer the “Am I enough?” question looming in your mind? Are you striving and pushing yourself to produce something on your own because in the end you fear God really won’t provide as he promised? What things do you feel you need to have in order to be enough? Is it a relationship, a bigger house, a degree, and letters behind your name? Or do you fill your empty heart with alcohol, sex, shopping, food, caregiving, or a number on a scale? We are all thirsty, in need of filling.

All fear is rooting in self-preservation. “Will I be liked?” “Will I be enough?” “Will I have enough?” The woman at the well was so focused on meeting her need in the moment that she almost missed what was right in front of her, waiting to fill her completely and fully. But God wasn’t going to let her leave that day empty. See that’s what he does, he never leaves us where he finds us! Her encounter with the Living Water that day changed her forever. She left the well a completely different gal. Free! Head held high. She became a woman with purpose. A woman on a mission to spread the gift she received with everyone who would listen. All because of an encounter with Jesus. Never underestimate the power of an encounter (time in God’s presence) to heal you, restore you, to set your heart free, and point your feet in an entirely new direction.

I am now that woman on a mission. I have been changed by an encounter with him. You see I was thirsty and he sought me out. He filled me in a way no number of Facebook likes, titles, or accomplishments ever could. God, his love, his acceptance, his approval, his living, breathing water is the greatest gift and I want to share it with you. There is only one Source that never leaves us empty. A Living Water that never fails us. A longing exists within us all to be accepted, approved of, and loved. His presence is where we find it! When I finally got it, nothing else mattered. God delights in me. God delights in you! He wants your heart, not so he can condemn you and point out all that is wrong but so that he can fill you and show you all that is right about you!

Uncertainty drives our fears. Luckily for us, there is a source of certainty that is always flowing waiting for hearts willing to be filled. Our thirst is quenched by God alone, in time spent with him—time in the filling. You come, he fills enough for each day. Learning how to cease from ourselves to take time to be still in his presence is the key to a thirst-filled life. It’s time! Time to lay down your self-protective strategies at his feet and let him guide the way. He is the most gentle, comforting, and loving guide you will ever have the pleasure of encountering!


Lighting the Way

Heart Check

Take note of any moments while reading this chapter when a light pierced a place you would rather keep hidden.

Reflection Question

What have you been thirsty for and how have you been trying to fill it in your own way?

Prayer Moment

Lord, I ask that you open my eyes to the ways I have been trying to fill the empty places in my heart that have only left me thirsting for more. Forgive me for letting fear drive my thirst instead of trusting in you to provide for my every need. Teach me how to be filled by you. Thank you, Lord, that you delight in me, love just to be with me, and can’t wait to fill my heart to the brim with your love, acceptance, and grace.

Shine Mentality

The “new me” is beginning to take shape. God’s love is changing me from the inside out!

Write your own personal shine mentality or mindset shift you need to focus on creating in your life on the lines provided. You can use the example above, use one of the power verses below as a springboard, or just simply pour out your heart. Let this be your spoken prayer and focus this week.

Power Verses

First Peter 5:7 (AMP)

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Romans 8:37 (GW)

“The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties.”

First Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT)

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.”

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”


Be Blessed – Be a Light

Shining Freely and its accompanying workbook can be purchased HERE…

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