Sometimes my heart decides it’s a good day to pack up and take a hike. My days are so full of good things, but somehow this past year I have slowly found myself moving away from my former agreeable self.
This one particular night, I took my seat on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand and husband across the room. It had been a long few days of not being on the same page. Twenty years of love and doing the hard work of selfless living had gotten the best of us that week. But don’t all relationships go there eventually? Those precious to us are worth the fight.
I did my best to explain the condition of my brutal heart and why I felt like things had changed in me, but it all came out sounding spoiled and needy and lacking hope. I could feel God calling me into question and refining the places I had wondered.
He always has my number.
Have you tried to explain your stress or hurts to someone, and instead of the struggles coming into focus . . . they got messier?
Those stubborn streaks rise within us, and soon the gal who was once walking around graciously, giving her time and energy away, was now running for the hills.
I said some pretty ridiculous sounding statements that night like, “I am upset because there are things I want and need but don’t feel like I have a voice to say it.” I am rarely in high maintenance form. I’m usually a pretty simple, roll with life kind of gal, married to a guy who is as loving, helpful, and intentional as you can find.
Bless his heart.
In his discouraged, yet patient voice he offered, “Like what kinds of things are we talking about?”
I jumped in, “Like guacamole at Chipotle. I really wanted some last week but felt like I couldn’t order it. I mean that’s not what this is about, but it’s been a series of little decisions that I have wanted to make for myself, and I’m just weary of always yielding.”
Maybe it was the turning 40, or just becoming more self-aware that made voicing things I’ve kept to myself in the past sound like a great idea. At this point, I’m offering up all of the silent “heaven help me” petitions I can get out.
Where did my voice go? Why can’t I buy a dress instead of borrow one or leave my closet looking like robbers had ransacked it if I wanted too? It was more self-inflicted frustration than any one else’s doing.
By the time we got to the end of our words, the Spirit began to settle my heart and the word selfishness surfaced again. It always does when we don’t feel up to yielding doesn’t it?
What in the world was going on? My heart hike took me from compliant to complicated. It all hit the ceiling, and I learned in those hard moments of speaking honest and sometimes hurtful words that God doesn’t always bring about immediate change. The journey to making peace with a change of heart can be a steep climb, but from what I know of Jesus, He climbs beside us and carries us when our legs give out.
I am learning at a snail’s pace what yielding looks like and who it is for.
It’s rarely for me, and always for my God. Honestly, it is in the yielding that we find God doing His A+ work.
In the midst of refinement, we can say yes to staying the course. Thank heavens we are never abandoned in our selfishness or self-pity. Jesus helps us deal with inner wars about guacamole and our sometimes needing to put ourselves in front of the line just to feel especially cared for.
Here’s to a year full of walking in change and getting to know ourselves better while yielding to the Spirit and those dearest to us.
Related: Adorn your home or office with this charming printed canvas block that says: “Regardless of what else you put on, wear love.”