I know you’re scared. You feel open and bare as if a gentle breeze could hurt you. There are so many different emotions running through you. One moment you feel excited and hopeful. Butterflies dance in the stomach of your host and you feel like you’re on the right track – God’s track.
Recent years have been a re-inventing of self as a new Christian woman; bit by bit, stripping yourself of who you once were. ‘The old has passed away; behold, the new has come’ (2. Cor 5:17). It sounds so simple, yet you realise that discovering this ‘new you’ may be a life’s work. It’s a journey.
Once you’ve stripped off the old, it’s time for new layers to be added. It’s time to allow God to colour-in the picture of you as a Christian woman. Study those colours and contemplate the different nuances in each one. You know that you’re God’s beloved daughter and you’re instructed to ‘put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24). But what does that look like in practice? And how does that appear in the way you fill your days and your thoughts? How do you like to express yourself? And what are your hopes for the future?
Things that once mattered seem insignificant now. New dreams and hopes are emerging. Fragments of that new self slowly appear. You think you’ve discovered your God-given gifts and you are under the impression that you know how to use them correctly. However, things that make you feel excited and hopeful the one moment, make you feel discouraged and anxious the next. Questions creep up. Is it silly to hope? Should you even try? Will this just lead to another disappointment?
But then you remember your God. A warmth and a sense of peace streams into you. Your God is good (Psalm 34:8). The God who created everything, my beating heart, is immensely good, loving, and wise. It is the same God that promises ‘that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28).
Jenna lives in the countryside of North Wales with her husband Nathan. She works part-time in a café and enjoys writing for her blog a Hopeful Home in her spare time. Natural and sustainable lifestyle, home design, gardening, and homebody busy keepings. These are some of the things she writes about.
You are a confusing, beautiful, beating contradiction.
You are wild and you are gentle; you struggle with staying in one place, with feeling trapped and succumbing to monotony.
But you seek quiet, you long for peace and you strive to be a place of safety where others can find their solace.
You are soft and you are tough; you feel so deeply, you break a little daily and you are so often discouraged.
But you mend, you rebuild, you learn how to incorporate the wounds and the scars and you keep beating within.
You are a cynical idealist; you see the best possible version of every situation but you also see the pitfalls and the doubts. You see the destination, the prize, the wonderful possibility of what could be.
But you get caught up along the journey, focusing only on the next step and forgetting to lift your eyes to the finish line. You become discouraged if the reality doesn’t match up to the impossible perfection of your dreams.
You need to be reminded that, actually, the reality is pretty freakin’ awesome.
I’m sorry for when I focus on you being more of one thing than another.
For when I don’t allow you to process things the way that you need to.
For when I seek the wild when you need to feel the calm.
For when I try to be tough when you need to be soft.
For when I don’t let you dream for fear of failure.
For when I’ve felt like it hasn’t been enough.
You have done your best. You have done well.
And you are constant. You beat within me. Never stopping, never tiring.
Pressing me on to life from one beat to the next.
From one decision to the next.
I promise to try and listen to you more, to listen to your steady rhythm and to try and keep pace with your beat.
Thank you dear heart.
You are a confusing, beautiful, beating contradiction and I wouldn’t have you any other way.
Michelle is a midwife from Manchester who has a passion for Jesus, Gin and all things purple. When she’s not looking after pregnant women she’s usually covered in dust and paint from an up-cycling project, seeking sunshine, or binge watching Netflix with her bunny, Stanley.
Sorry I’ve forgotten you over these last 3 years.
I haven’t shown you the love you deserve, I haven’t been grateful for you. You’ve been hurting more than I’ll never know. I’m sorry for the time’s you’ve tried to show me love and I’ve ignored you, and you’ve been broken. I’m sorry for the times you’ve tried to show me that’s it’s all gonna be ok and giving me a sense of peace and I’ve pushed you away.
I’m beginning to trust you again and grateful for the love you’re giving me. Slowly together, we are working to be a new, changed , more confident me and most importantly a Loved me.
I can see the Love you have given me is to share with others, some is to keep and restore but most is to share with others. I thank you for the change you are making in me while on this Journey. Together as we build the trust and I learn to listen and feel you we can do immeasurably more than we ever imagined!!!! Please accept my apologies and I’m looking forward to our journey together
Love from me x
I’m Lorraine ( but prefer Lou lolly or Rainy ) from Preston. I’m a TA in a reception class and love my job. I have been registered blind but it won’t stop me living life to the full…. being on this journey I’m learning lots about myself… and it’s all for good.
I feel you expanding.
I feel the discomfort in the stretching.
I feel the excitement bubbling and the passion running through my veins.
I am torn between ‘I’m ready’ and ‘I can’t do this’.
I have often held you so tightly that you couldn’t move, restricting the flow and controlling the beat. I’m sorry for boxing you in and holding you back.
I release you to dream again, bigger than ever before. You are free to dance and sing in your own unique way.
Oh heart, I am proud that you are mine.
I love you so very much, I know I haven’t always accepted the way you do things, but its time for that to change.
I embrace you and all that you are, all that you carry and all that you choose to give. No longer will I halt you in your tracks because of the ‘shoulds’.
Mind carries wisdom and you carry soul and together we can work in unity, in wholeness to walk a path of joy.
Oh to feel joy again.
You have given me glimpses of it in recent weeks and I felt the delight run through my body. Like a child, not a care in the world, running free, laughing and at peace.
Accepting myself as I am has been a journey, but you never gave up on me, you never stopped loving me. Your constant love, acceptance and hope have carried me through the years even though I haven’t always loved you back.
I cannot do this without you, I don’t want to. Let’s do this together, let’s step in time and love those around us well.
Oh heart I love you.
I promise to give you a voice, to share you and to honour your treasures.
Beki is the founder of Believe in ME. She loves seeing women walk in wholeness with their creator.
You’re pretty impressive: I must pay you some credit for your insatiable ability to keep going, especially in recent years, through gestation and lactation not to mention the little one’s ever-increasing mechanisation.
There was a time not far back where getting you out for some oxygen-rich saturation was impossible and I thought: your beat; your thud; your boom was a wafty memory, too weak to raise a pant or a half beat.
What a shock, a sudden spark of pure white heat when I wrapped the laces to my feet and calmed the twisted sound wires into two straight lines, then suctioned in to noisy peace, and rhythm, rocking my soul on the tarmac, gently, but determined in will, to change our narrative from stillness to action.
Sloth like advances challenged my lava drive: inside, bubbling to defy the sound barrier with supersonic might though we kept at the programme and grew strangely fond of the voice inside the wires, the courage and the fog horn to keep going, YOU CAN DO THIS!
So I’m breathing and pacing, getting lost in the time, self caring and heaving, better slow down. But.
Now we connect regularly each week. It’s like old us but new us with our tri-weekly chat. You shuffle into rhythm after not much sleep, likely over driven from the ever present cortisol doing slalom in my veins: your veins? Our veins.
Heck, you run this show don’t you? My un-serviced engine, no one would treat a car like this, self care too often amiss from our alternating check in each week. Nearly 2 years now since our sleep was stolen. But the thing is, you’ve never been so golden and emboldened and o, stop with the rhyme!
Together, we’re driving a bigger engine now, we upgraded from the Fiesta to Lamborghini and beyond. Some days are harder to get us twinning in pace but we do it anyway and we can forget about the race, it’s already won with each other and with him, giving life to you, Max, is the ultimate win.
Yours sincerely heart,
Keep up the good work,
Freyja blogs and writes articles around the theme of motherhood for online parenting communities and publications whose ethos she can really get on board with. You can often find her at a playgroup or local library just trying to keep her shit together with her 16 month old toddler tyrant, Max.
Spreading only words of truth for all mums.
Wow our journey to get you healed up from co-dependency is taking a lot longer than we thought huh? All those years I spent blocking you out and letting the hearts of others lead me really took their toll. I’m sure you thought that when my body got involved too and I kept falling down with seizures I might have started listening to you. I’m so sorry I didn’t. I felt ashamed and took it as more reason to shut you up. I didn’t realise the path to healing would require listening to you and how you felt. And I was even more surprised to notice that the more I invested in you, the more my body would heal too.
And so our process continues – of me learning to live from the inside-out, with you at the centre. I’m not going to lie, it was easier before when I was in denial. It wasn’t better, but it was easier! I used to squeeze a seat at tables by leaving you behind. It’s been difficult to discover that if I bring you along, I don’t get to sit at certain tables anymore. But I choose you now. I won’t abandon you any longer just to try and avoid any rejection and anger from others.
We’re in a wilderness kind of season at the moment, aren’t we? With no targets to reach and no easy option to go back to living outside-in, getting validation by making other people happy. It’s uncomfortable. But good. It’s better that I get to learn to have compassion for you. It’s healthier that I have to learn to validate you. I choose to give you increasing space to be you. To feel what you need to feel and to be where you’re at. I will keep practising taking the pressure off you. I heard you leap heart when I read this verse yesterday:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
I spent so long heart trying to force you to be good, pleasing and perfect. I spent so long trying to conform you to what I thought others wanted. But I realise now that’s not your job. So I’ll keep practising renewing my mind so that you have the freedom that Jesus paid for: to be uniquely you.
I’m committed to you and to our healing. And I’m proud of us. Bob Jones said the one question God will ask us when we stand before Him is “Did you learn to love?”. I remember this often and know that despite everything that’s had to break in the process of learning to hear you, this is something has been built at the same time: love. For you and myself.
Emma lives in Dorset with her husband Rupert. She homes schools her 2 boys and enjoys walking through the local countryside and looking after her chickens. She has written ‘There are Two Words in Breakthrough’ and recently released a free short book on Google Books: ‘Arise and Shine – Live free from conformity.’
You can find more from Emma on her website Turning Hearts.
Hello down there. It’s been a while since we last talked. I’m sorry about that, I hope you’ll forgive me and that tonight, we can finally process together.
I’ve missed you lately. I’ve missed the tiny flutters when you feel excited, the rush of blood that flows around and makes you feel hot and bothered when you feel nervous. All I’ve had to remind me that you’re still beating is a crushing, tight feeling when you feel overwhelmed, then I remember you’re still with me. That I’m not all alone in this body.
I’m sorry that you’ve been overlooked a lot this year. I’m sorry that 2019 didn’t bring you all that you truly desired. And I’m sorry for shutting you down instead of listening and grieving with you when you felt disappointed. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling such distance between us now.
I’m sorry that I haven’t allowed you to feel everything you needed to, and that in turn, you don’t respond to things as vividly as you used to. I’m sorry that you don’t always feel like you fit in here and that I silence you when I should be listening instead. You were created before me and I often forget that you’re my most sensitive part and it’s not okay that I’ve believed the lie of thinking that you’re my weakness instead of my most valuable strength.
You are the holder of dreams and vision and I want us to work together. You have so many facets and valves and places I’ve not even dared to discover, but I promise that from now, I will choose to look fear in the face and hear you beat even louder, trusting that you are held by someone who’s more careful, more precise and more protective than I am, knowing that I’m not my own protector, because my heart is in the hands of the one who created it. My heart contains a small glimpse of it’s creator and it deserves to be celebrated.
Dear heart, I commend you. For being so brave, so soft, even after all these tough years, you are still so open and brave. You are so kind, you are so free and I promise that this year, I’ll allow you to be.
Thank you for guiding me. For leading me into safe shores where I can thrive and rest, thank you precious heart, for always knowing best.
Love, your multi-faceted, still healing, mind.
Bekah is an encourager and lover of people. She has a heart to worship and chase down her destiny.
You can follow her journey on Instagram
I love the way you carry others
I love the way you carry on
I love the tender, soft and squishy-
Your refusal to be hardened, cause
You were made to love, dear heart
You were simply made to love.
You are my eternal piece,
You’re what makes me proud of me.
You are pure and you’re unique.
I trust you to take the lead.
You have permission to feel it all, dear heart, and to simply LOVE.
“So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Bethany Hardy is a creative encourager from Toronto, Canadian. She works for Nottinghamshire women’s aid. As a leader in church, she is passionate about seeing people come into a deeply personal relationship with Jesus. She adores her two daughters, Adelaide & Scarlett, and husband Mark. She values the big picture, the childlike, and her fave colour is red.