The other night was a women’s ministry event complete with good food, laughter, and creativity. The speaker’s bread and butter was the ministry of relationships.
Her recent book is all about listening well, loving those in front of you, and relationships. She told of her new favorite practice, listening for heart drops.
The definition of a heart drop is (in Karen’s words): When a person, either directly or in a subtle way, gives you a peek into their heart. It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness. It could even be a simple preference or “like” of theirs, such as their most-loved high-maintenance coffee drink or a favorite sports team.
I sat next to a only-known-for-a-year-but-love-dearly friend and told her in between dinner courses how overwhelmed I have been feeling lately.
A few days later, I opened up to the girls in my small group, friends (and they families) I have come to admire, trust, and love. I was honest about where I’m struggling and my raw emotions about my current situation.
They pointed me to Jesus and Scripture, but also were bummed with me.
They reminded me that they love me, and committed to pray for me.
Today I am especially overwhelmed with this thought: no matter what comes, whatever joy or circumstance or disappointment, Jesus remains. It’s simple and seemingly basic, but for me, today it is day-changing.
This morning I was up and doing a few tasks, feeling worry and doubt creep in, and then suddenly – peace. I am His, He is mine.
I have only felt that tangible of a peace river a handful of times. Undeniable, compelling, wonderful.
How beautiful and gracious our God is. No matter what comes, no matter what I feel, God remains. His care and love for me transcend all natural feelings.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16
The King James Version of the Bible says, “because he hath set his love upon me.”
These promises are real. We set our love on Him, he will deliver us. He protects us (from sin, from the enemy, from even ourselves) because we know His name. He answers when we call, when we reach out and talk, He is with us in times of trouble. He rescues us and honors us in Himself. He satisfies us with his salvation and freedom.
Thank you, Jesus.
I went out of town a couple of weekends ago. J was home, eating DiGiorno pizza and tackling projects around the house. We texted back and forth a little bit, but not much. While we are both relatively independent people, and while I greatly enjoyed the weekend with the girls, by the time I was in the car headed home, I was ready.
I was ready to be back in J’s presence, ready to once again be able to get his opinion on whatever was on my mind, ready to laugh with him. Why is that? Why were those the driving reasons for my excitement to return? Because I’ve come to find that my deepest joy in being married to him is found in the small things.
This is long one, guys. Many thoughts. I hope you stick it out with me.
First things first: I am relentlessly and unconditionally loved by God, and have all I will ever need in Him.
Granted, we all were created with a desire/need for love by other humans. But when I expect from my husband what only God can give or be for me, the days are going to be slightly dreary. I’ll continually be disappointed, easily annoyed, and probably not very kind.
Within the first 6-8 months of our marriage, reality set in, graciously. Some of my expectations were:
- Expecting J to instinctively know how I was feeling.
- Expecting love to be a natural response instead of a fruit of the Spirit that must be chosen and cultivated.
- Thinking he would eat, live, and breathe romance. (Although the man is sweet.)
- Thinking that he would think like me. (I think more like him now, and I’m thankful.)
Taking him and myself too seriously, my righteousness becoming my marriage and not Christ’s work, holding him under standards set by me. Poor guy, what an impossible burden for him.
Being that we are married, there is a certain healthy expectation of each other. For example, I expect J to be protective of me. I expect him to love me through my ridiculousness, to desire my companionship, and to be in my corner. He expects me to pray for him, to care about what’s going on in his day, to support him. A beautiful union.