What Spills Out

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

“Well because someone bumped into me, of course!”

Wrong.

You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out.

I came across this little story on social media, and it really resonated with me. It’s taken me a year to realize what I had inside before all this. They were things I’d allowed to get too close to the surface, prime for spilling, and they were things I never wanted to be full of.

Anger

Depression

Fear

Feelings of worthlessness

Self-doubt

To offset these things, I planned. Extensively. But when things didn’t go according to plan–when someone “bumped into me”–what spilled out was that negative mentality. It spilled out in a variety of ways. From yelling to tears to even making the other person feel like it was their fault. All because I had a full cup of things I hadn’t dealt with–things that, quite frankly, I didn’t have words to describe or knowledge of how to deal with.

This season has taught me to recognize my symptoms and that it’s okay to not have the words to describe what I feel, but that recognizing what I feel is an important step. It has taught me that seeking help to empty the cup of the “burnt coffee” (i.e. the negative) and fill it with hot, fresh, delicious coffee (i.e. the positive) doesn’t make me weak. It has taught me better ways to cope. In this season, I have had the chance to take a look at how I want to respond in those circumstances, and God has begun equipping me with the means to be able to. Because I finally allowed Him that space.

When we allow God to fill us, our perspective and responses change. There’s no denying we’re going to be upset when someone bumps into us and we spill that drink–and that will happen because life happens–but we can take a deep breath and get a new one. Because God is always right there, hand out to us for a fresh start. And the really cool thing is we have a new opportunity every day.

So, what’s in your cup today?