Happy St. Patty’s Day to you! Maybe you celebrate it? It’s my birthday so I’ve always been fond of it – though I’m not wearing green today. I’m actually wearing red. For my birthday I’m sharing from a place of struggle over how to let my heart find space to grow and go free. Maybe there is a piece of this struggle we share and if so I hope you are blessed. This post is part of the audio series I aim to send out by email each month. If you would like to hear the audio version of this post or read a bit of what prompted me to write this, you can subscribe at the bottom of this post. Thank you so much for being here today. The time you spend here means so much to me.
Like a young river finding a way to forge its own path, is the human heart finding a way to go free. She must go free.
Without her freedom, the heart walks alone.
To walk alone through a valley without one friend who knows just where you are – perhaps these are some of the hardest valleys we walk. The pain that has never been spoken. The hopes you’ve never shared. The struggle that has never been revealed to a single soul. And hurts can pile up and scars don’t just go away and learning how to trust can be the scariest thing in the world. The human heart can feel the most lonely ache in the world when it cannot find a way to let its nature go free.
I was twenty-one years and I was in this valley. But all the while I never knew that you who laid beside me in bed every night were walking the very same valley. We never had to walk it alone. But we did for too long.
I think part of the reason we finally took the risk of letting our our hearts find some freedom in front of each other was because we could feel something unspoken.
Somewhere in the darkness, I think my spirit was saying it to you begging you to know. And somewhere in your silence I think I could feel it coming from you too. This plea that was not yet spoken with your words, but somewhere in your eyes, somewhere inside your touch it was there. It was there because I could feel you say it, because it was true.
I could feel your heart speaking to mine, begging me to know that if there was something crazy in my heart, you had a crazy-something too.
That if that something was too dark of a struggle, yours was that dark a struggle too.
That if I ever felt alone, I didn’t have to wonder if you had a secret yourself.
Because your eyes told me… that you were human just like me.
The human heart is wild like that.
And for every bit of my heart that I’m afraid to let you see, you love me there and you ask me to show you more. And even when I don’t understand how you still love me, I know I can trust you. You have helped me find a boldness to tell you the things in my heart that can hurt you. Because you have convinced me that you are as human as I am and you have taught me that you love me so deeply that you value being closer to me even if it means you feel all the hurt I can bring.
You help me get a start at going free.
Now I know I can be bold with you. And if a husband is told to love his wife like Christ loves the church you have done that and in doing so you have taught me more about the way Jesus loves me than I have ever known. I’ve been told of Love, but Love can never be explained well enough with words. And after all of the love you’ve shown me, after all the ways you’ve treasured me in my humanity, it lets me feel this whisper.
The Spirit of God uses you, speaks to me through your Love.
And while I’ve always claimed to know that I could come to Jesus in the middle of my mess, I never had come to Him in my mess the same way that I’ve learned I can come to you, my husband.
Jesus uses your Love to tell me about His own. And though I can’t hear His heart, I can feel it through you…
He uses your humanity to speak to my heart… begging me to know when I am tempted, that he has been tempted like this too.
That when I long for my heart to be known, He knows the longing too.
That if I ever cry out for love from the darkest of places, He knows this cry even deeper.
He uses your Love to tell me… He was human too.
As hard as it is for us to admit to each other that we are human, Jesus, you said it first. You let yourself be the human that none of us wanted to admit to and claimed the wild human heart.
You identified with us.
You say it with words in our Bible that you have been tempted in every way and understand all of our weakness. Heb. 4:15-16.
You ask us to come bold into your own presence. And even if I come bold to you with my struggle right after the struggle has taken place, I am still putting limits on how bold I can be with you.
Maybe all you ask of me is that I dare to be as bold with you as I am with my own husband. Because maybe a mind fixed on you isn’t a mind that is strong enough to say no, maybe it is a mind that exposes each wild feeling to you as it comes and finds your grace abundant. Because maybe any crazy idea brought into your presence can’t help but be shaped by You and Your love.
I wanted to have a heart with straight edges.. like a river so young and straight. But instead my heart ebbs and flows like a river that is growing. It is stubborn and beautiful finding paths I never knew it could where it’s edges are wild and glorious.
It does not have the straight edges I wanted to give you. And I wanted to hide this river’s edge from you.
But you seek out my edges, you feel every bend and you delight to send more wind to the flow of these crazy waters. I don’t understand it, but I’ll let the river flow if your heart can delight in the free ebb of my own.
Maybe I can trust that you, Jesus, delight in the wildest parts of my heart.
My humanity is my deepest insecurity. But my humanity is the very place where Your Love finds me out.
I am human too… Thank you for saying it with your life Jesus. And give us grace to say it with you in the safe place where this crazy heart can go free.