Please welcome my guest blogger Denise Hildreth Jones, author of "Reclaiming Your Heart."
Running beneath a rain of birdseed, my husband opened the passenger door for me to climb inside as we started our life together. I grabbed the hem of my hand crocheted wedding dress that was over twenty years old and nestled myself into the seat. Laughter bounced through the air and love was almost touchable. My new groom climbed in beside me and in a moment a question came from the back seat. I looked back into the faces of five kiddos, who in one moment had all landed me in the new role of bonus-mom.
the age of forty, having never had children of my own, I’d quickly come
to discover that I had just entered a world as breathtaking as trying
to drink water from a fire-hydrant. I quickly delved into my new role of
wife and bonus-mom. We didn’t have the kids all the time, so I still
had time for ministry and writing responsibilities, but the new schedule of five kids all with activities, couponing (one trip to the
grocery store gave me that revelation!), car-pooling and top chef, and it wasn’t long before I was weary. Bone weary.
A few years before I had found myself on the other side of a heartbreaking divorce. My heart was painfully shut down. I had shut down my voice. I had shut down my desires. I had shut down my dreams. I had shut down in fear, in anger, in disappointment, in performance. I had handed my heart over to a lie. And in the process, that beautiful, God-designed heart that had been created inside of me was a shut-down shell of the “abundant life” God had offered.
After that divorce I went on a desperate search for my heart. I reclaimed it in its deepest places. And then came my new family. The stress of navigating five hurting hearts. The new schedule. The old pains being pricked with the new intimacy that marriage inevitably brings. And a year and a half into bonus-momdom I had realized that I was on the verge of shutting down again in weariness if I didn’t grab a hold and do something different.
I was believing the lie of the weary heart that says, “God needs me.” God needs me to car pool these children. God needs me to coupon to save money, because to do anything else would be irresponsible. God needs me…and the list goes on.
in that lie, I realized I was about to shut down all over again. But I
heard God remind me, “Take my yoke upon you. For my yoke is easy and my
burden is light.” It was His yoke. He didn’t need me. He desired to use
me, but He did not need me. And in that revelation I began to let go of a
few things in order to give my kids the best of me. Something that
might seem selfish actually ended up being selfless.
We can all shut down our hearts. In fact, some of us haven’t seen our real hearts in so long we wouldn’t even know what they looked like. Remember, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” But there is more to that Scripture, “But, I have come that you might have life and have it to the full!”
Friends, take heart. Yours. And do a heart check. Are you living life to the full? Or has living shut your heart down? Goddoesn’t need you. But oh how He desires to use you…