Head and Heart
You know that moment...the one where you discover that something you’ve believed (for maybe your whole life), isn’t founded in truth, that it’s based entirely on lies and perceptions…and then you make the intention to right your thinking but your heart takes a while to catch up? It’s one of those crazy things we’ve all experienced; the deconstruction of one paradigm and the construction of a new one. Right THERE, in an awkward disconnect between head and heart, is precisely where I found myself tangled up this week.
Revelation struck me near the end of a Beth Moore simulcast. Yes, I admit it…I’m a bit of a Beth Moore fan. She’s insightful and loud and fun and passionate. With all of her energy and volume (both hair and noise) rolled into a compact little body, I can’t help but think that if she were an animal she might be a fluffy and extremely courageous chihuahua.
Something she said…as she shared her husband’s story gripped me. The story went like this: two brothers, ages 2 (Beth’s husband) and 4, played make-believe gardener, as little boys enjoy doing. One boy, or maybe both, had an idea. Since imaginary play is more fun when it’s nearer to reality, the boys decided to fill their toy mower with their daddy’s gasoline. As they carefully poured, the fumes ignited, causing a huge explosion. The family was instantly reshaped (on many levels) by the loss of their 4 year old and the near death of their 2 year old. The day of the older brother’s funeral, one of their neighbors lovingly cared for the younger son (Beth’s husband). This neighbor was so amazed that this boy had survived such an enormous explosion that for more than 60 years she shared with others the story of the “miracle boy” who had been spared. Now in his 60’s, another funeral reunited Beth’s husband with his old neighbor. In her 90’s, quite old and frail, the neighbor looked into this grown man’s face and declared, “YOU are a miracle boy!” The encounter was massively impactful for this grown man because his entire life he’d only thought of himself as “tragedy boy”.
It’s such a heartbreaking story with a strikingly beautiful twist of an ending. As I listened to the story, tears streamed down my face. Those who truly know me know how much I hate to cry, but what I detest even more, is me crying publicly. I feel so vulnerable and naked and I don’t have pretty little soap-star tears. Mine turn my eyes bloodshot, my face blotchy and red, it wrinkles up my forehead and forces the corners of my mouth down. Here’s an embarrassing admission: I’ve tried over the years to cry while retaining a least a tiny sweet smile. Yes, it’s sooo stupid that it's a little funny, but sadly all I have to report is that I created a pinched, awkward looking straight lipped expression because I’m 100% physically incapable of crying pretty.
Saturday the tears flowed from that place in me that mourns with every mom who’s endured the loss of her child. Then as the words, “miracle boy” and “tragedy boy” rolled around in my mind I felt a connection, specifically to the “tragedy” part…more tears. I haven’t had a tragic life, I imagine many pieces have looked idyllic from an outsider's perspective, so I wouldn’t say “tragedy girl”, but maybe “bad luck” or “unlucky girl” , “NOT one of the favorite ones” or maybe even “tolerated one”. All of these labels paint a rejection-filled picture of how I believed God thought of me and felt toward me.
It was a dark time in my life, many years ago, that allowed me to see that what I’d come to believe about God was based on lies and misunderstandings; my perceptions and not the truth. I spent heaps of time working on changing my broken thinking, and it had changed, but this weekend I realized…my heart hadn’t fully let go of the lies even though my head had. There was still a part of me that felt a bit rejected, undesired and not valued by God. For a moment I felt that old familiar pain of the lies but then a supernatural exchange took place. It was as if I'd been renamed…“miracle girl”. No more “unloved”, “rejected” or “tolerated girl”. God aligned my heart with my head, something I hadn’t been able to do, even with all my knowledge and understanding of the facts.
So, does this “miracle-girl” always feels like a miracle?...No, not even after that extraordinary and nearly tangible encounter with God. My moment with God was renewing and healing but then life started back up again. I had to jump back into the craziness of my loud and busy role as mom. I stepped back into making mistakes and having to say sorry, feeling frustrated by bad attitudes (mine included). I still have to choose every day, as my feet hit the floor, (sometimes even in my first moments of consciousness) to reject the lies and hold tightly to the truth. We all hear that voice inside urging us to be defined by our worst and lowest moments; the voice that says we are worthy of rejection, unworthy of love, undesirable, unworthy of true friendship and maybe...unworthy of God, but the truth is this, WE ARE EACH A MIRACLE. Even more, each of us are desperately wanted, never worthy of rejection (regardless of the rejection we've endured), completely accepted just as we are and loved!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.