A heart, a soul, is a precious and protected thing. Made for a purpose and intricately woven with desires to push and pull and bring us to a place where we will change lives, make an impact, find a passion.
Our hearts are divine treasures since we all have different stories, but how do we know how to protect our hearts appropriately? That question has been stumbling me a lot lately. How do we put up the right walls? Place the right boundaries? Share the right things with the right people? How do we know that we are protecting and guarding our hearts well and for a purpose?
I’m going to tell you right now that I don’t have the answer, but I will tell you I have some clarity as to why we need to do one of the things that is hardest in life when what we are desiring is love and belonging.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
This verse first hit me in December of 2012 and then again in September of 2013. I even had a custom ring engraved with “Guard My Heart” as a reminder to be aware of circumstances and to not let go of the idea that I will be respected for my boundaries. I soon began to think that sharing any bit or part of my heart was letting my guard down. Which isn’t necessarily true, but soon guilt came whenever I had a thought that vulnerability is a good thing. I had to realize there is a difference between healthy vulnerability and letting your guard down, opening yourself up for hurt. The process of gauging those lines stretches me in amazing ways. There isn’t a step by step handbook, it’s between you and God.
This summer I am an intern for BigStuf Camps and I get the privilege of working with some incredibly talented and amazing people who are chasing hard after Jesus. I am in the middle of my internship right now and last week I met Stuart Hall. I heard him speak on writing our love story. I don’t know what it was about his talk that really brought things full circle for me. He hit me with some hard truth, a lot of realizations, and little nuggets of wisdom about the preciousness of our hearts and how our actions can either keep us moving forward or keep us in pockets of darkness. It isn’t just women that need to guard their hearts, men do too. There’s hurt, uncertainty, and emotional turmoil that follows letting our guard down and giving precious pieces of ourselves away even if we tell ourselves it won’t. When we aren’t guarded in proper ways we are hurt in multiple ways. Then there is something about when a person respects your boundaries, leads you well, and truly loves Jesus that gives you hope that there is someone out there for you who will encourage, love, and respect you even when you make the tough calls against lust, temptation, exc.
In the past week I have been thrown into a lot of work. It has been good work that keeps me busy, drains my energy, and fills me up all at the same time. So worth it. Right now, I am in a place where my heartbreak would run deep if I let it penetrate all that is good in my life. I overthink, I overanalyze, I run things over ten billion times in my head before I will let them come out of my mouth, but in that time I have lost all reason as to why I was thinking, worrying, inquiring in the first place.
What am I searching for? I was on the hunt for a reason to believe in love because a true love relationship based on the foundation of God didn’t exist in my household. My soul has craved that model for years and it never came in the way I wanted it to. But what I found when I was searching for love is that this love isn’t going to be found by me, it is going to be revealed by Him.
The hardest thing I have ever had to learn to do is to be patient, and being peaceful in the patience. That is what I think is hard about guarding our hearts is that we are searching for something amazing, romantic, swoon-worthy, and fruitful but we give ourselves away too easily, we settle too easily, because we don’t think we can wait any longer.
You can. I believe it.
Breathe deep and know that nothing will be perfect, but just because nothing is ever perfect and you haven’t found the one yet does not mean it’s time to settle. The pit in your stomach and the little voice in the back of your head are telling you to keep holding on to your hopes and dreams for the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. The best advice I have received for this season of singleness is to enjoy it, to not wonder why we are still in this place, why we are still “alone”. To do things you love, take the adventures, take the risks, take the late night visits to the coffee shop just to read your book in the comfy chair and sip your non-fat, one pump, vanilla latté while barefoot.
Spend time with God asking Him what His will for you is.
Bring wise people into your life to walk alongside you and grow you.
Then when the day does come that your heart flutters and your smile never fades for someone who thinks you are amazing, wonderful, and bright…draw your lines in the sand. I’ve heard that the one you meets your standards and measures up to every characteristic you have prayed for is entirely worth the wait.
I’ve heard you will learn a lot by holding strong to your values.
I hope I do, I hope you do.