In Honor of Valentine's Day: Do You Want My Hand or My Heart?





It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search out a matter. –    Proverbs 25:2 NASB



It has not been often that my heart has been searched out by people. Surprisingly not even most of the guys I’ve dated have cared to truly know me.

Oh, I’ve been told I was known.  They didn’t need to ask me questions to know me.  They just did, they said.

“I feel like I’ve known you all my life!”

That’s my favorite line.  I’ve heard it enough times to throw up a gallon of those lines.

…It could be a sweet sentiment, but to me, if it is not paired with actually knowing my heart, it makes me wince.  It would make anyone who's been in my position wince.

My experience, much like some of yours, acquainted me with the understanding that people like me not necessarily for who I am, but more for what I do.

I’ve often been ridiculed because of my strange sense of humor, my consistent analyzing and my prior inabilities to express what I was feeling.  I grew up feeling underestimated by my friends and over estimated by my family.  
I spent most of my life believing I was too much and never enough all at the same time.

I began to learn how to rein myself in to please those in my community and spent most of my home life trying to prove I really could be what my parents needed me to be.  
Are these things necessarily bad? Not by themselves.  But coupled with my overwhelming desire to please everyone, I lost myself in changing for everyone else.


Does this diminish the love my community and my family actually had for me?  Absolutely not.

Does it change the messages sent my direction (however unintended) at such a young age?

No.

I do believe that people exert messages even if they don’t mean to though. 

It’s called being human and not being 100 percent amazing at communication.  It’s called life – and it happens.  Or if I could be so bold as say it in the way my generation would say it, “Shit happens.”

And it happened to me as it does to everyone, in many ways.

A little offended by my strong language?

Good...  I challenge you.  If God isn’t offended by me expressing my heart exactly as I am, what makes anyone else presume to know how God feels about it if they haven’t also searched out His heart in a matter? But I get ahead of myself.



The point of my sharing this is to give you background to how I began to believe that people cared more about what I did for them than who I was.  In both scenarios I felt unloved and not understood.  No, no.  Not misunderstood.  NOT understood.  Misunderstanding comes from there being an effort put towards understanding.  Not understood is just – not being known.

I’m learning all this now, so if I miss a few points as I’m sharing, give me grace.  I don’t claim to know everything about it.  I’m still journeying forward.  In the past year as I’ve shared before, I’ve allowed the “doing to please” part of my life crumble so that God can redefine me. (You can read more about it here.) 
I’ve begun to relearn myself the way God knows me so that I can risk inviting others to experience what God might see in them by seeing what He sees in me.


In this process I’ve realized how angry I’ve been… am.    
When the anger subsides there’s left a sadness that I’ve lived most of my life with the understanding that I was gaining love and respect by what I do – or how I earn it.

I’m angry and sad that when I’ve done displeasing things, love and respect have in several cases been retracted from me, thus confirming what I believed.

I’ve spent many a time accusing and questioning God, “What more do you want from me?”

For that is how I feel when I cannot please the ones I love.

“Do you want what I do?  Or do you love me as I am?”

“Do you want my hand or do you want my heart?”



And today I’m here to say that in the midst of this, I have discovered a matter worth discussing.

It’s the matter of God’s heart.

In the middle my pain and healing, I’m beginning to understand just a little more of what the Lord may feel when it comes to being in relationship with us.

I’ve heard it quoted (though I don’t know who it originated from)

“Praisers love God’s hand.

Worshippers love God’s heart.”



See, just as I’ve said in the beginning of this post, it wouldn’t bother me so much that people tell me they feel like they’ve known me forever if it was coupled with actually knowing ME.

I believe God feels the same way.  He wouldn’t mind so much that we praise Him for His works if it was coupled with caring to know His heart.
 I know this because He’s said it before to His people.  And just because He said it in the Old Testament doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still ring true about how He feels.


The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth

and honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship of me

is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

Therefore once more I will astound these people

with wonder upon wonder;

the wisdom of the wise will perish,

the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”

Woe to those who go to great depths

to hide their plans from the Lord,

who do their work in darkness and think,

“Who sees us? Who will know?”

You turn things upside down,

as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!

Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,

“You did not make me”?

Can the pot say to the potter,

“You know nothing”?   - Isaiah 29:13-16



This scripture is gut wrenching to me because it reveals the deep pain of a broken-hearted Father.


If you connect with my story at all, than you are connected with an emotion and a pain that the Father Himself has also experienced. 

Just like I’ve screamed out on the inside, “I’m a PERSON TOO, PEOPLE,”

So God has felt the same way.  He’s a person too!  He feels.  He hurts.  He laughs.  He jokes.  He’s God.  We’re made in His image. 

And I love Him for all that He is, for all that He shares of Himself with me, for all that I have yet to discover; and also, for all that He does.  It should be in that order, though I admit I’ve been the first to confuse it.



Despite all the ick Jesus is walking me through to heal up, despite the awkward mess of having no excuses or disclaimers for myself and despite the fact that in all of this I have and will continue to offend people who don’t understand, I am so, SO glad I’m right here and nowhere else.

 Why?  Because I’m discovering more of the Father’s heart for me and also for you.

It’s like that sweet song Kari Jobe sings so whole-heartedly,


“The more I seek You, the more I find You.

The more I find You, the more I love You.



I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand.

Lay back against You and breathe, feel Your heart beat.

This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.  I melt in Your peace, its overwhelming.”



This song is about knowing the heart of the Father, loving Him the more we know and actually longing to share with Him in everything, including His suffering (“drink from the cup in Your hand.”) 

So I am glad to be right here, feeling the things I feel.  I’m becoming acquainted with the heart of my Jesus more than I have ever been.  And though it hurts, it’s been worth every tear…even the tears to come.



Whose heart will be the one you search out this week?

Let us not forget Him.   It’s our glory to search Him out.


Happy Valentine’s Day and week, everyone!

4 comments:

  1. Wow.. whoever edits your posts does an amazing job!

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    1. It's doubly edited :) I go over it a few times and then I hand it off to my best friend Erin (@netwindscritic) justmyblogs.blogspot.com who then fixes the typos etc :)

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  2. Sarah... I was the one who left that comment. Lol...

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it good to know how I responded then ;)

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:15