Free at Heart

What do you want?

The future can be terrifying. What’s even more terrifying sometimes is being asked what you want in the future. What do you mean, what do I want?? I can’t answer this question. I don’t even know what I want for dinner today, let alone what I want in ten years.

I have known heartbreak from hope deferred. Dreams that I’ve had that seemed to be crushed, deemed unreachable. I have felt the fairy tale of a dream come true at my fingertips, to only have it dissipate in front of me into a nightmare realized. Through these disappointments, my heart had been bound by fear, bitterness, and sorrow.

When I was sixteen years old, on the brink of turning seventeen, I was drawn to Nashville, TN for a summer camp. A family friend was interning with the ministry, and kept insisting that it would be good for me. I took the lunge and went, and it was an incredible experience. I knew then that I would want to come back after graduation and go through their three month ministry school. Fast forward to my senior year, the moment of truth, the time to apply, and I was scared. I didn’t turn in an application. My feet were cold and I wasn’t going anywhere.

Fear motivated me to stay in the place where I was. Because I listened to this fear, I had to go through many hard things. When God is moving forward, He moves forward. It’s our choice to follow Him or not. I chose to hide, to numb pain, to run away instead of into His loving arms.

I ended up back in Nashville a year later, all kinds of different plans on my mind. Once I was there, something inside just came alive. I knew I wasn’t going to Redding, California. I knew I wasn’t going somewhere else. There was a sense of homecoming that I just couldn’t shake.

It took courage to come back. I think in my heart I knew that I would be on the path to something wonderful, something exciting, something risky. My heart at eighteen was afraid, timid. My heart at nineteen was desperate for anything better than the life I was living.

Since the fall of 2015, I’ve been living and serving in Nashville, experiencing things I never could’ve dreamed up on my own. Yes, it took courage to come and to stay, but now as I look ahead to my life, I am faced with more intimidating decisions.

Do I have the courage to know what I want? Now that I am no longer bound by the chains once holding me? Will I allow fear to continue to stunt my vision, to keep me from moving forward?

There are so many things I want in life, some things I’ve only allowed to be whispered in the depths of my heart. God has been challenging me to share these dreams with Him, to allow Him to see them, to allow them to be pursued. For so long, I had my hopes and dreams locked away, waiting and wishing maybe someone would know about them without me telling them and help me achieve them. Unfortunately, people are people and they will not know my heart if I don’t share it. The only one who knows my whole heart, is Him.

As scary as it is, I’ve started to pull out my dreams, letting them breathe. I’ve laid them at His feet, stepped back and said, “Here it is. These are my dreams. Take them, and do what You will”. It takes a whole lot of faith. It takes a whole lot of hope.

Seeing as how we live in a fallen world, I’m gonna take a guess that anyone reading this has been disappointed. You’ve felt shut down, discouraged, and incapable of achieving what has been stirred in your heart. But Jesus came and won us, He saved us, and we are no longer bound by this world. Our goals, our hopes, our dreams, we can entrust all of this to Him who has made us free at heart.

Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it. -Braveheart

When we allow ourselves to live from this place of freedom, we act like people who are free. We know that there is more for us, and we don’t have to wait for the scraps off the table. Some people are afraid of the uncertainty that comes with freedom and dreaming. Those people cannot achieve the greatness that is within, because greatness will not be submitted to fear.

You want to see your dreams fulfilled. You want to pursue things passionately, and feel yourself come alive. Here’s a bit of advice: lose yourself in Him. Throw all of your heart into Him, cast your cares upon Him, for He is the Almighty. He has done much, at much cost, to give us this freedom.

Today we can choose to continue on hiding our hearts, saying, “Oh that’s okay, my dreams aren’t important/realistic/pertinent. I’ll just tuck this away from everyone”, and we can probably get somewhere that’s alright. Or, we can submit ourselves to Jesus, invite Him into these places of our heart, and obtain the freedom that’s already been given to live a life of abundance.

Will you have the courage to follow what has been put in your heart? Will you have the courage to partner with God in life, in every aspect of your life?

 

 

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