Monday, August 6, 2018

Hole-Hearted yet Wholehearted

Am I willing to be wholehearted even when I feel hole-hearted?  That is what Jesus is asking me this month.    

Throughout this last year we have walked through scenarios, circumstances and loss that has left me feeling as though my heart has been pierced and left with holes in it, some gaping, some like a sliver, others as small as a pin-needle but nonetheless there.  I am in my early thirties and I can say that there have been a number of times where I have said, “Lord, this is not what I pictured my life looking like.”  Or I’ve uttered the words, “Jake, I just didn’t expect to be here.  I thought this would be different…”  Enter in any scenario you are currently going through.   Maybe you are in the middle of a break up and you thought this person was “the one.”  Been there.  Maybe you are trying to have a baby and God’s timing isn’t quite fitting into your timeline.  Been there.  Maybe you are grieving the loss of someone, a spouse, a parent, a friend, or a child.  Been there.  Maybe you are waiting for direction in your career and that raise, or promotion, or other job opportunity isn’t appearing.  Been there.  Maybe, just maybe, God’s placed a calling on your heart and all you can think is, “Lord, you must have this wrong.  Do you know who you are talking to?”  Been there.     

Whether the holes in your heart are there because there is a missing person or the holes in your heart are there because it feels like there is a missing piece – its ok.  It doesn’t mean you can’t be wholehearted. 

I was recently telling a friend that this year feels like it has been overshadowed with disappointment and honestly, not just for me, for a lot of people close to me.  Our God sized dreams are changing or our real-life experiences just aren’t what we expected them to be.  Life is hard.  Loss is hard.  Marriage is hard.  Again-it’s ok.  It’s real. 

While in one conversation I told someone the year felt overshadowed by disappointment, in another, just today, I told someone that the last two years have been the most exciting chapters of my faith journey because I’ve felt God the closest.  Want to know why?  Because it’s been all I could do – seek him.  I might not have the energy to work out, I might not have the motivation to eat healthy, but I have my Jesus.  I might not be the best version of myself in relationships but Jesus still gives me his best.  Jesus doesn’t care if I’m not in peak physical condition right now or the epidemy of health, or very engaged - he just wants my heart - holes and all. 

To shed light on another perspective, I realize that there are things taking space in my heart that I have clung to white-knuckled because I believe they are supposed to be part of the intricately woven tapestry of my life and without it my heart may fall apart.  This can come in the form of unrealized dreams or unmet expectations.  Has someone let you down?  Have you lost relationship with someone you thought would be there for the long haul?  Have circumstances changed, whether financially, relationally, otherwise?  I am slowly coming to realize that it is when I have come to the point of full surrender, in relationship, in dreams, in finances, in expectations, that is when God far exceeds my imagination. 

I have had to give God access to those holes in my heart in order to become whole-hearted for Him again.  I have had to release unmet expectations, realized losses, and grieve and process through relationship changes I never saw coming.  And yet, here I sit – wholehearted. 

I wholeheartedly love Jesus and trust in His good for my life and my family.  I wholeheartedly believe that He loves each and every person on this earth and He has created him or her for a purpose that far surpasses his or her wildest dreams.  I wholeheartedly know what Jesus is calling me to and I know without a shadow of a doubt it will exceed my wildest expectations.  You see, I wholeheartedly realize that this life is not about me but about what God can do through me. 

In a year that my heart has felt heavy with disappointment and I’ve felt distance in relationships and levels of loneliness that I haven’t known in a long time – I can still say that I trust that God’s path is for my good. 

Tonight I just want to encourage anyone that feels hole-hearted and remind you that this is not the end of your story.  Yes, it may be the end of a chapter, the end of a dream or the smack dab middle of a struggle, but God is still good and he is still there.  He sees your heart, holes and all and wants to fill them in with more love than you will ever know.  He believes in you – even when you can’t, don’t or just won’t right now.  He still sees those God sized dreams and guess what the key to unlocking them is – every single hole in that heart of yours.  It is still possible to live wholehearted even when you feel hole-hearted.  Trust that in the midst of that emptiness – God sees you, the real you, and still pursues you and loves you.  

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.