My heart tells me many things when I am paying attention. When I am listening to the deepest desires etched into my heart I know that I am called to dive into my creativity and live an art-filled life; I know that I am called to be a wife; and most of all, I am made to be God’s beloved.
But what about the times when my heart is being naughty and telling me I want things that are simply not good?
Follow your heart, the world says.
Following your heart is daft, dangerous, and perhaps even deadly, sometimes Christians say.
Ignore, avoid, and kill the heart’s cries, is preached and we are confused. Certainly when the wishes of the heart becomes wayward and goes against the wishes of God’s heart we must not go down that path. But what if I don’t just ignore, avoid and kill those wishes? What if I were to dig up the muck and dirt surrounding all my heart’s cries and really examine them? What if I can dig far enough below my heart’s cries and discover my deep heart’s dreams? We are so quick to dismiss the ugliness that comes out of our hearts but what if those things were simply the evidence of deep heart needs and our dismissal misses the point of what we truly need altogether?
Sometimes the heart’s cries are superficial fixes whose source is this world, this culture, this easy answer found somewhere to solve a problem that arises. But the problem itself exists and I need to not give in to the quick fixes, but I also need to feed my deep heart the nourishment it hungers for.
Because your heart -no matter how naughty it is being- is trying to tell you something.
When someone overlooks me or treats me poorly, an internal rant is quickly on the rise. If I were rich and famous, this person would not treat me this way, I begin to think. What if I were to look into my heart’s feelings truly and discover that I am not feeling seen, not feeling as though I matter. And if what I truly want to experience is being seen, noticed, and mattering then I can turn to the One that cares for me the deepest and to whom I matter the most.
I have an urge to speak to my husband sharply on a matter that he brings up. Should I just ignore my urge and move on? Certainly, I should speak with grace but it would benefit me to not just move on. If I could look at my source of irritation, be it an unresolved hurt from my past unrelated to my husband, or a source of conflict with him that has yet to be dealt with, or if I want to speak sharply simply because I hadn’t had any sleep last night, the urge reveals a lot.
When you want to leave your family or have an affair because you wish to “follow your heart” then you could also notice your heart’s deepest stirrings for intimacy, for romance, and to be understood. These are not bad things at all. In fact, we are created to crave all these things. It’s where we think we can obtain intimacy, romance, and understanding that is tricky.
Don’t follow the heart’s desires blindly but do pay attention to them and follow the deep heart’s dreams. Hear the stirrings of the heart even if they aren’t the most ideal; notice your motives, and apply wisdom. Most of all follow the Spirit’s guidance through it all.
“For this people’s heart has grown dull, And with their ears they can barely hear. And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes And hear with their ears And understand with their heart And turn and I would heal them.” There Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 6:9-10 as he talks about unbelief leading to spiritual blindness. But it is useful to also note that God’s desire for us is to hear and see and understand with our hearts. Whatever we have uncovered about ourselves is never done without God’s help. So we can take our deep heart’s cries and turn to Him and His heart is always for our healing and our wholeness.