If you’ve ever been dumped, lost someone close to you, or gone through an especially difficult situation you know what it feels like to have your heart hurt.
So basically...if you are an adult human you know what I’m talking about.
It’s a universal in the human experience. This world is fallen and therefore we experience pain, especially pain in our hearts when we feel deeply that things are not supposed to be this way.
Our hearts remind us that we were not created for a fallen world, they are for a world without pain and suffering that we will find in heaven. In that sense, our hearts are some of our truest compasses, constantly pointing towards our desire for fulfillment in heaven.
But we still have to deal with the hurt in our hearts while we’re still here.
Heaven is coming, but we’re not there yet. And so, in the meantime, it’s important that we seek to open our hearts to God for the healing that we need to be able to live wholeheartedly in the mission and gifts that God has given to us while we remain here on earth.
And that can be very hard to do.
It’s hard to let go of the times that we have been hurt. It’s hard to forgive. (check out the heart resource package for a POWERFUL tool to help with this if you haven’t already!) It’s hard to move forward. It’s hard to forget the failures and the times that we have fallen short, even in the work that we feel God calling us too. It’s a whole thing, and we can’t shoulder it alone.
My spiritual director is a lovely older man who is incredibly wise. He has such a sense of peace and contentment about him but I am tempted to envy it every time I am around him. One day he was talking to me about prayer and creating opportunities to listen to God. He said that it would be slow at first and my mind would likely constantly wander, which it absolutely did. But he told me that part of the joy of practicing prayer that creates space for God to speak is not doing a great job keeping your mind focused and patting yourself on the back, but failing over and over, restarting over and over and at the end of it all coming away from the prayer with a sense of peace and wholeness knowing that, despite your apparent failure, you are loved and seen by God.
When you allow that - that knowledge that God sees you as you are - to be the focus in your life in prayer all of the sudden your individual shortcomings and failures start to fall away.
But *spoiler alert* I am far from this point personally.
I still take everything incredibly personally and feel a constant need to prove myself to myself and others despite my knowledge of God's love for me. I feel good about myself until I subconsciously start comparing IG follower numbers and then my day takes a nosedive. I go back into my little Jill shell where I am protected from the myriad things that can ding my ego while I’m still trying to live wholeheartedly under my own power. It’s not pretty.
I know that I do not yet live with my whole heart and the way God desires for me too, but I see the path ahead and am seeking to follow it more closely.