I’ve been told to “guard my heart” more times than I can count in my life. I’ve been burned, hurt, taken advantage of, disregarded, and so on….
Each time I was wounded, I added another barrier around my heart.Over the years, the barrier became quite, um, fortified. I justified building the barrier by saying, “Well, the Bible says to guard my heart, so I am!” Yeah. Clearly God’s work here. #nope
As the barrier grew, I became more isolated. More guarded. More fearful. After all, when you let people in, you grant them access to exploit your deepest fears. To put it bluntly, you give them everything they need to destroy you.
When I began my journey to vulnerability, I took down the walls. Well, most walls. Some walls. Fine! A few walls.
Now, four months into my journey, I realize that not nearly as many walls have been removed as I had thought.As I drove home from a women’s event this week, I prayed that God would show me how to be completely vulnerable. I asked Him to smash down walls and remove the rubble so that I would be free of fear. Free of shame. Free of hurt. Free to be raw, open, transparent, and authentic in a way I never was before.
As I drove, I heard that we are told to guard our hearts. Yeah. Duh. I’m on it! I’ve got the basecamp surrounded with barbed wire already, God. As I continued talking to God, He spoke to me as well. The outcome? We are supposed to guard our hearts, not block our hearts.
Think of a coffee filter. The water flows through the filter and over the grounds, but the grounds remain in the filter. The filter stops the bad stuff from getting into the coffee, but allows the water to flow through it to create the coffee. If the water could not pass through the filter, there would be no coffee.
When we guard our hearts, we are not supposed to block them off. We are supposed to let the good stuff (God, people, love) pass through, but filter out the bad things (lies, fear, hate).
We are called to guard our hearts, but we are also called to be vulnerable so that others can see the glory of God through our stories of redemption and healing. We are called to share our testimonies so that we can show others His grace. Forgiveness in action.
You cannot block your heart and still allow these things to happen. You can, however, guard your heart and allow others to be impacted by your story.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 4:23 NIV”
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Revelation 12:11 KJV