A couple of years ago my sister and I were visiting on the phone. You do that when you live across the country. A couple of years ago she was in the thick of attaining her Masters degree in Biblical Counseling. She was in ministry at her church, in a small group weekly, RA on campus at South Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and working a job. She was knee deep in homework, papers, reading assignments and all that comes with that Masters Degree. We were talking that evening on the phone, it was for a long few hours and I finally just asked her, “what do you like?”… “I mean, what makes you, you?” I asked if she would make a list of 25 things that she likes or enjoys, whether it be ice cream, chap stick, rainy days, a good book, Dr Pepper or movies… there was a little bit of hesitation, but she thought about it and decided it might be a neat exercise. She emailed me later that week and it was so fun to read all of the things she came up with. She told me later that it was harder than she thought it would be, but it was so encouraging and inspiring to dig deep into her likes and personality. It was a fun list, nothing too deep, nothing extremely silly either…just her. I sent her a list as well and it was just a fun exercise in taking time to get to know ourselves.
Why do we need to get to know ourselves? Well, you can probably answer that fairly easily. What is something you enjoy? What is making you tick lately? You realize that you change and evolve from year to year and if we do not take the time to get to know ourselves currently, then we could possibly be treating our old selves a way that our current self does not need or maybe even want. Does that make sense?
So if you were to have asked me a month ago what was something I enjoyed/liked I would put Dr. Pepper. Hands down, I love Dr. Pepper. Well, I haven’t been drinking Dr. Pepper because current me is trying to not drink the stuff anymore. I realize how much it drags me down and so it can’t be part of “who I am” anymore. Something more deep you say…Well, I probably would have put staying busy/doing things with people as something I enjoyed/do often on a list a few months to a year ago, but current me is in a season that is needing to include lots of quiet and rest. So, there is not much time/want/desire for being busy or out doing a lot of stuff.
When we are not sure of who we are, how can we be sure of what God is doing in us, saying to us or asking of us? Finding our heart includes finding our true selves in the truth of the cross and its freedom, first. When we see ourselves in light of God’s goodness and grace, we see ourselves as free, forgiven, worthy and lovely to the Father. We can then explore what makes us tick, what makes us enjoy life, what drives us and what things in life that we are passionate about.
Find your heart, first, in Christ. Then, you will be able to find your heart for your career or dream. You will be able to find your heart in your marriage, your parenting, your hobbies, your ministry.
So what does a list of chapstick and snow cone flavors have to do with #findingtheheart?
Everything. Finding the heart of your life, includes all of the little things that you enjoy and God wants you to delight in your life, in who he created you to be. Quit thinking you have to like certain things because everyone else does. You don’t have to love shiplap and farmhouses. You can genuinely hate it and still be a great person. Am I right?! haha! You can love licorice (ew) and black coffee (ew) and not be wrong. Truly. You don’t have to like contemporary worship, you can love hymns. You can love Chicken Express instead of Chic Fil A…really. You can. You are fully capable of loving what you love and disliking what you dislike, pick the style of home you desire, food you enjoy and hobbies you spend your time doing. Your kids don’t have to love sports. They don’t have to be in every activity if they don’t want to! You can like to be home. You can have FOMO, fear of missing out, or you can totally be content with not doing anything anyone else is doing. Whatever the case, be honest to who you are. Let Christ show you who you are. Have you asked?
I think when we get in ruts and feel stuck in our routines and mundane lives, we just haven’t been listening to the Father, asking him to revive us and shine his light on our lives. Ask him what makes you excited and passionate and then chase after it. God has designed us to live full lives of His love, His work, His goodness…don’t waste your life wishing it were something else…begin by making a list of 25 things that make you, you. Just start there and see what God opens up in your heart.
Perhaps you are able to start #findingtheheart in your own life.
If you make a list, send it to me! I’d love to see it!
Have a blessed and rich Spring Break!