How to Revive a Dry and Thirsty Soul

“Do you have your parents’ permission to go with us?”
“You will need to bring in the signed permission slip in order to attend the field trip.”
“Did you receive permission to leave the show early?”


Often our use of the word suggests that it is passive  –
Someone else granting consent; agreeing.
Us on the receiving end of the allowance or assent.

In actuality, however, the word in its Latin origin is a verb of action.

Permitto means:

  1. to let pass, let go, let loose
  2. to let go, reach with, cast, hurl
  3. to give up, hand over, yield, leave, intrust, surrender, commit

Permission, according to its definition then, is a conscious, intentional act; a “thought-full” decision.

I have lived most of my life by a school-year calendar – the routine and schedules of September through June (now August through May!) and the freedom and ease of summer.
For the most part, I enjoy routine and schedules, but even good things can choke and suffocate.  And that is where I found myself two summers ago.
In the crazy, busy of babysitting grandchildren and carrying out my daily responsibilities, I was no longer enjoying deep connection with God.  Some days, time alone with Him did not happen at all.  It got squeezed out of all of my “doing.” Other days, I marked my time with Him, but it felt dry and, often, mechanical. 
As the school year waned and the days of May trode heavy upon me, my soul was beyond thirsty.  It was suffocating.
Even before June arrived, I knew something had to be done.  The question, “What?”
I had reached my critical line.  It was time to show up – to investigate the longing within; the need of my soul.
As the days of June arrived offering a lingering summer’s promise of refreshment, I heard God speaking deep within urging me to “let go.”

“Let go:

  • Of the way I’d always done things.
  • Of the way I thought things should be done.
  • Of what I thought others might think.”
It was then and there at the beginning of that summer two years ago, that I granted myself permission.

Permission –

  • to explore new avenues for connecting with my Heavenly Father,
  • to try new things as I spent time with Him,
  • to continue doing these new things if they rested and replenished my soul,
  • to abort anything I tried that did not satisfy my soul,
  • to say, “No,” when something drained my soul.

Reviving a Dry, Thirsty Soul

Giving ourselves permission can be hard.  And it can feel uncomfortable.  But haven’t you found that often it is from these hard and uncomfortable places that we experience the most growth?

Once when speaking to a crowd and His disciples, Jesus asked, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”  (Mark 8:36)

I can see it clearly now looking back.  That summer two years ago — I was losing my soul, my healthy center.  My soul was collapsing.
It was time for me to show up; to do the hard and the uncomfortable.
Time to make a “thought-full” decision, to be intentional, to take personal responsibility for the care of my soul.
Two years later.  It is June 1st and another summer spreads its long days before me.  Days of ease and refreshment and promise.  Days of permission. 
Once again, I plan to try a few new things.  I plan to slow down.  I will say, “No.”
As the rigor of schedules and routines becomes a memory, I will move into a summer of permission granted.  Permission to rest and replenish; to nurture this one and only soul that I am responsible to care for.
And I invite you to join me.

As we enter these summer months (in the Midwestern US), won’t you take the “thought-full” step and give yourself permission?

Permission –

  • to explore new avenues for connecting with your Heavenly Father,
  • to try new things as you spent time with Him,
  • to continue doing these new things if they rest and replenish your soul,
  • to abort anything you tried that does not satisfy your soul,
  • to say, “No,” when something drains your soul rather than nourishing it.
  • to rest and replenish the one and only soul God has given to you?
It’s your turn.  I’d love to hear about where you might be giving yourself permission this summer.  Or if you have ever personally granted yourself permission to do the hard and uncomfortable for the benefit of your soul, please share your experience.  We learn so much better together.

May you grow more and more in love with God as you discover new ways or rekindle old ones that draw you to Him.  And may your soul be satisfied.

10 comments on “How to Revive a Dry and Thirsty Soul

  1. Loving this message. I was a plannerless person and super spontaneous and it is new for me to be living this way, but now that I am I can see how it is easy to become mechanical. I appreciate this post!

    • Meghan, I was just the opposite — super planner and spontaneity through me completely off. Yet, I too, was afflicted by the mechanical. Seems we are all subject to it! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Deborah- I love your words to give permission to be refilled. I need to be in the Word every day. I need to make that as important as brushing my teeth!
    Thanks for this post!

  3. Often, those hard and comfortable things are what we really need! Truth!

    Visiting via Holly Barrett’s link up! I’m so glad I stopped by today!

    • Thank you for stopping by today, Lillian. So glad to meet you. I agree. I think our greatest growth occurs in the hard and uncomfortable places.

  4. This is encouraging, Deborah. I need to give myself permission more often too. Love your definition and examples here!

    • Lisa, I certainly need to give myself permission more often, too. Still working on it. Delighted to have another sister along on the journey!

  5. Thank you for sharing the post, Meghan!

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