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July 6, 2016, 12:00 PM

The Heart

By Haley MaKenna Hardman
       In my last post, I talked about the difference between religion and relationship with Jesus
Christ. In my last post I also explained that the book I’m reading right now is literally a book that
calls you back to your heart, to wild love, to adventure and excitement, and most important,
God’s heart. I feel as I’m starting to write this post that it could possibly have the same theme.
God just has not released me from this yet. In this time that we live in, I feel it is extremely
important that we know where our relationship with God lies. Not only so that we can be face to
face with God one day, but so that we can be face to face with God now! Okay…I’m getting
ahead of myself.
“Every great story involves a quest… Alice stepped through the looking glass into Wonderland;
Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter stumbled through the wardrobe into Narnia. Abraham left his
country, his people and his father’s household to follow the most outlandish sort of promise from
a God he’d only just met, and he never came back. Jacob and his sons went to Egypt for some
groceries and four hundred years later the Israelite nation pulled up stakes and headed for home.
Peter, James, and John all turned on a dime one day to follow the Master, their fishing nets
heaped in wet piles behind them. The Sacred Romance involves for every soul a journey of
heroic proportions. And while it may require for some a change of geography, for every soul it
means a journey of the heart.” –Brent Curtis
       What is a journey of the heart? Well I’m glad you asked. I believe that it begins with
connecting to your heart. Have you ever watched a sappy love story movie? In every single one
of them, I promise that someone either says, “The heart wants what the heart wants,” or, “Follow
your heart!” What does that mean? In my opinion, your heart’s desire is the very thing that you
long for most-basically what you live for. So, if you were to follow your heart, every action
made would be to take a step towards what you live for. For example, in those sappy love stories,
the main character takes steps towards their “true love” when they start to follow their heart. It
may sound sappy and unrealistic, but God wants us to “follow our hearts” to Him. One of my
good friends once told me that in every human being, there is a longing for Eden. I believe that
that longing is found in the very heart that beats inside each of our chests if we could only listen.
       Listening. That’s another very important task. How in the world do we listen to our
hearts? For me, if I even sit down and try to listen to anything but actual noises, my mind starts
going a hundred miles an hour. I’m reminded of my past, things I’ve been labeled as by others,
hurts (what Brent Curtis calls Arrows of the heart), basically all of the muck on the battlefield
that is my mind comes through my actual thought process in these times. Most people, including
myself, stop listening there. They come to the conclusion that they’re forever hurt, forever
branded, with past things. Why is it that we try so hard to cling to our hurts? Let me explain
something that I’ve learned recently: we DO NOT need a current problem to survive or get
attention from God. We DO NOT need a case to present to talk to Him. He is not a detective that
needs to solve all of our problems, He is our Father, our Friend, who wants to know us, and us is
not the latest drama that’s going on in our lives. Anyways, listening to your heart requires
patience in order to get through the muck. Once you get through the muck, there is a small, faint
voice daring you to hear it. Now, I am not saying that there is literally a voice inside your
physical heart. Just like we don’t hear God with an audible voice at times, we don’t hear our
heart with an audible voice. This “voice” sounds different for everyone depending on where you
are in life. For some, it’s broken, for some it’s joyful to finally be heard, for some it’s in pain, for
some it’s on the mend. Whatever it says may sometimes go along with the muck, but something
will be different. As your heart speaks, even about hurts, there will be a peace wash over you just
as quickly as your heart can speak. You see, God has not put us here on this earth to hurt, and if
we truly get to the bottom of our pain, find the source if you will, He can minister to us and in
essence, take away the pain.
       As we (we being ourselves and God) go through our hearts and start sorting, storing, and
throwing away, we realize there’s an infinite hole. It seems as though there may be a road down
in the hole, but it’s almost too dark to see. It seems scary and untraveled. Only the adventurous
and truly daring even take steps onto that road. We know a few of their stories. For example,
Esther, David, Paul, Jacob, Peter, Ruth, Elijah, Jeremiah, Job, and Zacchaeus. All of these people
traveled down the dark and mysterious road to see what may lie beyond the surface relationship
that so many believers stop at. This adventure leads you through deserts, valleys, the highest of
mountains, and beside still waters. You may encounter giants, pompous priests, crosses, graves,
sickly persons, prideful kings, prisons, back stabbing, and fiery furnaces, but the end goal is what
will fill the void: Eden. Perfect relationship with God. Being one with Him just as Jesus and the
Father are one. This kind of adventure will leave us saying something like this at the end of our
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NLT)
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is
near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And
now the prize awaits me- the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will
give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look
forward to his appearing.
        So, I have explained to you how to go on this journey. The quest is now in your hands.
You may choose to ignore it or you may choose to grab life by the horns, trust in the God who
created you and loves you with an everlasting love, and hold on for dear life. If this means you
must separate yourself from the busyness that we all seem to get caught up in, for a while, then
so be it. Again, the choice to listen to your heart, and follow the unquenchable desire that churns
within you, is up to you. Adventure is out there just waiting to be embarked upon.
- Haley

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