Matters of the heart
I spent the last month talking about love, and since this month is ending, this is my finale. More personal than some of my other posts, read it and gain an understanding of who I am if even just a little.
As I was sitting in church yesterday, I was lost in thought. It wasn’t that my pastor wasn’t preaching good stuff (I took notes; Ephesians 4 is where we were where it talks about putting off our old selves), I was just lost in thought. See, I am the worship pastor here. I say pastor because there are other elements to my position that are outside of the realm of music. Music is only one small part. I also counsel and lead a small group. There are times where I get lost in thought during church, and yesterday was one of those days. What was I thinking about? I am so glad you asked…
In church a lot of times, we hear about the heart. Preachers will say things like “Jesus wants your heart” or “Protect your heart”, or even “Don’t trust your heart”. In all of these conversations, the central piece is a small part of a large body that gets all the attention. The question I always think about is why the heart is so important, and why does it get so much attention if it’s in fact so bad. Starting with myself, I took a look at the heart, and what it means to me.
What is the heart?
When speaking about the heart, it is not the physical, 4-chamber, blood pumping mechanism that most are speaking about. It is, in fact, deeper than that. The dictionary actually defines the heart as “the central or innermost part of something”, and another definition is “the vital portion or essence. That’s the heart that most people are speaking of. The part of us that gives definition. The part where desires, hopes, fears, hurts, and feelings live. To go even a step further, the literal heart is the same as the figurative, it is where it gives life. Without the heart, we are lifeless. So when people place importance on the heart, they are saying that without it, they are nothing. To place importance on something like the heart is paramount, and it is the central most important thing to take care of.
What About You, B.A.?
In my own life, I have not taken care of my heart like I should, and I have paid for it. I compare my life to letting someone take a drink of my soda. The cup has been passed around because I let it, and once it came back, the cup was empty. I have given out my heart to friendships, relationships, quick flings, and everything in between. I did it because I wanted to, and I wouldn’t take it back. Whether I wanted to or not, I would stay around because I had “invested” in it, even if it was killing me inside. Each time it ended, I would take pieces back with nothing to show for it. Other than a trail of broken hearts, I don’t remember much about them either. I block them out to dull the pain that I feel. Many times people assume that I am playing when I say I don’t remember things. It’s not a joke, it is intentional. I have an airtight memory of things that I want to remember. If I don’t want to remember it, I block out the moment. Yes, it’s not the healthiest option, but’s it’s how I cope. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about this very thought (this friend is my oldest and closest friend who I also dated at one point. We broke up, didn’t speak for 6 months, and we’ve been closer now than we have before. My pride doesn’t say this often, but while I appreciate her friendship, losing her is something that I will always regret). I was explaining the thought process that I had in church, and I was thinking about my life, and how my heart did some weird things. From 2014-2016, life was rough. It was hard for me. In that time, I found myself trying to fill the pain that I had with things. Summer 2014, I started drinking heavily, Fall of 2014 I was sleeping around. 2015 I came down off of my binge assuming that things would get better only to see them get worse. Late 2015 I went on another binge, same stuff, and then 2016 I decided I would be the best version of myself. I got my head back on straight, I thought I was falling love, life seemed to be going fine. It didn’t. My past came back to haunt me, and I had to lie my way out of that to stay afloat. It was rough. That friend I mentioned before, she was my girlfriend back then, and life was good at first. 1 totaled car and a list of other things, and it all shot to hell. That was the summer. The next season of my life started when the next season of weather started. It’s been good since then. Except for this one time. No need to elaborate. I would screenshot the conversation, but it’s unnecessary. I will say this: sometimes people embellish the truth for their own personal gain, and that’s not ok. Don’t assume something about someone until you have all the facts. Also, don’t ask for closure when you’re the one who is keeping the door open. Anyway, so all of this to say, I haven’t been the best with my own heart. It's a struggle for me; it’s my tragic flaw. I am making strides I think, but I am nowhere near perfect.
No one cares about your sob story, what are going to do about it?
If you don’t know anything about me, know this: I hate hearing people cry about their problems with no solutions. While I am for getting out the emotions, if left at that, then what was really the point in talking in the first place? So taking my own advice, I thought about how I can be better with this entire premise of the heart, and what have I been doing to assure this to be true in my own life.
1. Know your worth. Many times, we find ourselves in situations where we are heartbroken due to the fact that someone mishandled us. Once we have been mishandled once, it becomes regular and we continue to settle for situations where our hearts are broken until we have nothing left. Know this, that you are amazing, and beautiful, and special, and worth so much more than some knucklehead or knuckleher can ever comprehend. You are worth it.
2. Undoing the terrible 2s. For the longest time, I would give my heart out in 2s. One would be who I thought, I wanted, and the other would be what I felt like would keep me after the other messed up. It’s a strange reality, but I felt more comfortable in a triangle than I ever have in a line. But don’t think like me, find one who is worth your heart and give them all you have. So what if it doesn’t work out, at least you will be able to say that you gave it all to one soul.
3. Something about that name. Finally, know that there is a God who loves you with everything inside of you. He knows your good and bad, and doesn’t care. He loved you enough to die for you. Your life was worth more than his. Your peace, freedom and hope were worth it. Whenever you feel like you want to settle, don’t. Someone loves you unconditionally. Trust me. Name? Jesus.
I am still learning about the matters of the heart, and I appreciate you listening.