Thursday, September 22, 2016
The heart of life.
Four years ago, I was sitting on a bus with my friend from Sweden. We were about two months into our semester traveling the world and he had just found out that his grandmother had passed away.
Not only was he away from his family but he was on another continent, didn't have a working phone and had to utilize emails and Facebook to stay up to date. To say that he was upset would be an understatement.
We sat together on the bus and talked for what seemed like forever. We really didn't spend much time talking about the death of his grandmother but rather we talked about her life. He couldn't stop smiling as he shared with me his memories of her and how glad he was to have had her in his life. Right before the bus stopped and we arrived in our new city we listened to a song together. Although I wasn't the one facing a loss, I couldn't help but to cry.
The song was 'Heart of life' by John Mayer and if you've never heard it, I think it's definitely worth listening to. I don't even know why I'm writing about this because it's not the blog that I planned but this morning I woke up with this story on my mind and this song on my heart, so I feel like I should share.
The first line of the chorus is what impacted me so deeply, it says 'Pain throws your heart to the ground, love turns the whole thing around." I think that John Mayer, though at times politically incorrect and wild, was maybe on to something.
I think that we could expand on that line and say that so many things can seemingly grab our hearts and be careless with them, right? Yes, pain throws your heart to the ground but that pain could be caused by our friends, a relationship, our parents, ourselves...the cause of that pain always changes. But love...well love, I truly believe, turns the whole thing around.
I have a hard time focusing on the love when I'm in the midst of pain. As optimistic and silver lining type as I am, when it comes to matters of the heart I'm easily derailed. I'm often quite numb to things that are emotionally too painful or sad and it's because I choose to be that way. When I actually feel it all...when I allow it to hit me like a ton bricks I'm usually pretty undone.
So to wake up thinking about that day and my friend smiling and having so much joy in spite of his pain, I'm reminded of the power of love. Love does not say that there will never be pain, that you will never have hard days but rather that it will be with you in the midst of it.
Love is making the tough decision, even though it may be painful because you know it's the right thing to do. Love is choosing to open yourself up to the possibilities of life. Love is choosing to not be numb with someone... even though you were with everyone else. Love is allowing yourself to bask in the memories of the good times even when you're facing the end.
I think that for this next season of my life God is really encouraging me to not have a heart that is numb and easily derailed but rather to allow him to give me one that is steady.
The word steady is defined as being "firmly fixed, supported, or balanced; not shaking or moving." What a powerful definition. Now the song on my lips is 'Steady Heart' by Steffany Gretzinger and particularly the line that says "I can't see what's in front of me. Still I will trust you." The chorus goes on to say "Steady heart that keeps on going, steady love that keeps on holding, lead me on."
The Lord often speaks to me through songs and art and today is no exception. I think that what he's leading me to with these songs is that for too long I've had a heart that was rocky and easily moved. But if I allow myself to trust him, even when I can not see, he'll give me a heart that's firmly fixed and supported.
A heart that is steady.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." | 1 Corinthians 15:58