A Life Poured Out

What would a poured out life look like? Strange question to ask yourself when driving seventy miles per hour with a pickup bed full of cattle feed. The answer, I suppose, would be as different as the person answering the question. What I am certain of is this; what is poured into your life is what pours out.

Through much of my life, I poured out the same worldly poisons that had been poured into me. They didn’t come out as physical and mental abuse suffered as a child. Instead, they came out as angry words, lies, mistrust, and self-abuse such as drinking and smoking. It took twice as many years of nurturing, kind, and caring godly love being poured into my life to overcome much of those early years. Sad to say, there are still remnants of those scars that come out under times of duress. I’m not proud to admit that, but my life is like the words I write, a work in progress.

Since finding my way back to my faith in Christ in 1996, God has poured a river of blessings into my life. Even before that time, when I was walking in darkness during my crisis of faith, God continued His watch care over my life. God blessed me with a loving Christian family who adopted me as their own; who poured His love into every aspect of my life. He protected me during my military service. He blessed me with a loving wife; and He waited patiently as my life began to unravel. Most of all, He was there when I cried out from “the bottom of the pit” in anger, fear, and pain.

God came into that little one-bedroom apartment in St. Charles, IL (so far from my home) and brought me back to His home. He restored my faith and began refilling me again. He started slowly at first, gradually increasing His presence and control in my life. It took Him almost twenty years of patient growing; with lots of pruning, deep tilling, and re-planting until He achieved His goal. His goal you might wonder? I think it the same for each of us; my willingness to surrender my life to Him. I was then ready for His use.

Since “discovering” the world of Christian writing a few years ago, I’ve read several posts from other writers about a Writer’s Prayer or an Editing Prayer. I’ve saved several of these for reference during my journey. Recently, while driving and listening to one of my favorite worship songs, my own Writer’s Prayer sprang forth. Through the tears of my Heart Hug, I prayed these words aloud.

Fill me with your wisdom Lord. Help me understand the message you want me to share and show me the audience you want me to share it with. Pour me out Lord, onto the pages You want others to see. When You’ve used me up Lord, I pray you allow me to come home and be with you for eternity. To rest in your bosom. To gaze into your loving eyes and know that I gave my all to serve You precious Father. Help me hold nothing back in my life, but to give all that You have made me to be over to your will. In the name of my loving Christ I pray.  -Amen

Since being called to become a Christian writer, God has continued pouring blessings into my life. Many of them come in the form of those of you reading this post today. He has sent wonderful teachers, mentors, prayer partners, patient editors, and gracious friends into this new season of life. Some of you are fellow Christian writers. A few of you are ministers of God’s word, shepherding His flock until His return. Some are spouses, parents, farmers, and ranchers. All of you are blessings in my life; and I thank God for you each day.

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So let’s get back to my original question. What do I want my poured out life to look like? I pray God uses every drop of living water He’s poured into me to help someone else in their journey. I fervently hope something I am led to write or speak helps others find their way to a submissive surrender to God’s will in their lives. I pray God refills me as many times as He sees fit; and uses me until His mission for my life is complete. Then, as I lay exhausted on the field of battle, having given my all for Him, He allows me to come home. Whether that homegoing is peaceful, or it happens at seventy-five miles per hour with my hair on fire, home is all I long for.

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Thinking about this post, the words of the Apostle Paul kept coming to mind. In letters to the Church at Philippi and in his second epistle to Timothy he spoke of being poured out as a drink offering. I can’t think of any words more eloquent to express my heart than his. “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Philippians 2:17 (NKJV)

God’s blessings,

42 thoughts on “A Life Poured Out

  1. Thank you for sharing a portion of your testimony. The following Scriptures came to my mind:

    “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:2-5‬ ‭NASB‬‬
    Blessings, Marcy

    1. What a wonderful thought Ms. Marcy. Thank you so much for sharing ma’am. Like you, I love reading the Psalms into my life. Isn’t it amazing how God still uses them to bless us? God’s blessings ma’am; and thank you for contributing.

    1. Awww. Such kindness Ms. Joyce. Thank you ma’am. As I often say, you get what you give my friend. God’s blessings to you, Ms. Barbara, and young Mr. S. (not sure he’s over 18 yet, so didn’t want to use his full name). 🙂

  2. I love your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your testimony, and I especially love these words: “my life is like the words I write, a work in progress.” Oh, that we writers would always consider our writing a work in progress so that we will plead with God to continue pouring those words into us – we’ve never “arrived” such that we don’t have a need for Him in a mighty way with everything we write.
    J.D., Your consistent comments on others’ posts and blogs are so inspiring and encouraging that it is quite evident that you allow God’s living waters to flow through you to others such that they (we) are refreshed and inspired to do our best for Him, and I thank you for that. I think you bless way more people than you’ll ever realize, with your positivity and kindness!

    1. That you even think of me as that capable is such a blessing Ms. Julie. I assure you, it’s a lot less of me and lot more of God. Ms. Katy Kauffman’s post this morning on The Write Conversation blog (https://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/2019/09/how-to-write-with-attitude-of-prayer.html) is much closer to my truth also. I suspect yours also ma’am. I can only echo what I stated earlier here today my sweet friend; “You get what you give.” God’s blessings Ms. Julie.

    1. It’s easy to stay humble when so many of my friends bless me with such graciousness Ms. Beckie. You are so very kind ma’am. I hope you turn 29 every week. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am; and I pray you had a wonderful birthday celebration.

    1. Tears of joy are flowing from your words Ms. Deborah. Am asking God what I may have done to warrant such friendships as I have found in this community. Praising Him for how He’s patiently transformed my life.

  3. You had me at “with a pickup bed full of cattle feed” but your words only got deeper and richer, J.D. It’s so true that what we pour into our lives inevitability flows out. My past isn’t pretty either, but thanks be to God, and the pouring out of Christ on the cross, fresh mercy awaits us every morning (Lam. 3), and forgiveness with every breath. Thank you, J.D., for pouring into so many of us with your words of encouragement. God bless you & your sweet wife.

    1. Amen Ms. Cathy. Undeserved grace fills our lives ma’am. I was just sitting here working on a new manuscript and listening to Wilburn and Wilburn singing “It’s What He’s Done.” What a blessing to read your words that allow God to show us all He’s done. Without Him, I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have the honor of knowing so many wonderful people like you and Mr. Brian. God’s blessings young lady.

    1. My goodness Ms. Melissa. You certainly are a blessing in my life ma’am; and I pray I in yours in some small way. It always amazes me how when I look back upon my life (not living in the past, but remembering) I see blessings received when I was anything but worthy of God’s love. I wonder to this day if I will ever be worthy of His love. Perhaps when we are perfected in glory my friend. God’s blessings.

    1. Ms. Robin, your artwork and your courage inspire me young lady. Praying for you and your entire family each day ma’am. I’m so glad God has allowed me to meet you here on this blog. If it be His will, I’ll one day sign one of my books for you in exchange for you signing a piece of your art for me. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

  4. Wow. Just wow. Although there are many takeaways from your testimony, I especially like how you compare life to a battlefield and the visual of God’s warriors lying exhausted on it at the end having given their all for Him. And what we have to look forward to. Life is a fight, harder for some than others.

    I also relate to how patient God was in your life, “gradually increasing his presence and control.” Thank goodness He never gives up on us.

    1. Thank you Ms. Candyce. I am always humbled by your words ma’am. I love it when something I’ve said or written helps others see how God is working in their lives too. I’m right there with you in praising God for all His patience. So many of us would never make it without His patience and mercy in our lives ma’am.

  5. I’m so sorry for the abuse you experienced as a child, J.D. It’s certainly true that what’s poured into us comes out in some form. So thankful God pours living water into us, like how you said…”every drop.” A thousand Hallelujahs!

    1. That is so sweet Ms. Karen. Thank you! I don’t look at anything that’s happened in my life with regret or remorse. God has used every bit of it to make me who I am in Him. This may seen strange to some, but I wouldn’t be such an advocate for child safety and stopping abuse had certain things not happened to me. I wouldn’t have the heart I have for the military had I not served and experienced the horror of it all. I know little in this life, but one thing I have learned for certain is that God wastes nothing in our lives. He can redeem us all and use our every experience for His purpose. God’s blessings sweet friend.

  6. What a powerful and beautiful post, my friend!
    I feel your heart and have had similar conversations with God myself, but not as eloquent as yours.
    It’s apparent that God has done and continues to do a mighty work in you. Your testimony is a blessing and encouragement to many. Isn’t it amazing what God will do when we come to that place of surrender?
    I love your prayer and if you don’t mind I’m going to print and keep it nearby because it beautifully expresses my own requests to our Father.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. God bless you.

    1. You are far too kind my dear friend. Thank you! You are welcome to re-use any part of something I share if it helps bring glory to God. Somehow, I think that goal is behind everything you do ma’am. God’s blessings.

  7. Your message took me back to 1998 when I had sunk into a pit of my own making. My life and marriage were crumbling and in final desperation, I cried out to my God. He pulled me from the pit and guided my struggling attempts to fall at His feet in full submission. He was always with me, of course, but I had separated myself from Him. Like you, my journey since then has been uneven, with lots of pruning and tilling, but praise His blessed name, He has steadily led me as a wife, mother, teacher, and author in service to Him.

    1. Thanks Ms. Katherine. I sense we’ve traveled many of the same roads my friend; and I’m so glad to know we are not alone in our journey of faith ma’am. Have found that surrender is not always a one-time event, but something I need to do each day.

  8. I’m always struck by the sincerity of your posts. This was a moving reminder to let God pour into our lives, and your writers prayer is beautiful. May the Lord guide and encourage you in your writing and on your ranch.

  9. Oh, J.D. It pains me to know your childhood was so similar to mine, but I celebrate and give Him all the glory for the restoration of faith and family God has given both of us. I’m agreeing with you in spirit that I, too, might be poured out until I’m called home.

    Peace and grace,
    Tammy

    1. Amen Ms Tammy. While we were in our trials, it felt like we could never escape. I look back on my life, and only now can I see God’s hand through it all. We were never alone sweet girl. God’s blessings ma’am. May our past improve someone else’s future.

  10. My thoughts go to the Lord; if anyone poured out their life it was Jesus. When I think of how He came so far from glory, to dwell among the lowly such as I, to suffer shame and such disgrace, on MT Calvary take my place then I ask myself this question, who am I that a King would bleed and die for, who am I that He would pray not my will but thine. These words (from the song Who Am I) are what motivates me to surrender my life or as you have shared to pour out my lift to Him who poured out His life for me.✝️❤️

    1. Amen Ms. Judy. As Christians, we are purposed to live out our lives by following the example Christ sat for us during His human life. Oh that we could achieve even a small portion of that ma’am. For this, we strive. Well said ma’am; thank you so much for adding to the conversation. God’s blessings Ms. Judy.

    1. As are you and Mr. Kenn’s dear friend. Your family’s friendship is counted among my greatest blessings ma’am. I stand in awe when I think of how much God has expanded my world since starting this writing journey with Him. Thank you as always for your comments; and especially for your prayers and encouragement. 🙂

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