Following Your Heart Is Not Sound Advice.

The world will often tell you to “Follow Your Heart.” In fact, I am willing to bet you have seen that quoted on a t-shirt or mug. It’s supposed to motivate us to find our drive in life, but many times following our hearts can get us into sticky situations.

As a nurse I know that the heart is a muscular organ that is roughly the size of our fist. I know it pumps blood through our vessels and that it’s divided into four chambers. I know how to keep it healthy and all of the conditions that can make it sick.

In many cultures, our heart symbolizes much more than a vital organ. Our hearts represent the house we keep our emotions in and we humans have a lot of emotions.

Let’s be honest…I can go through six different emotions by lunch time!

Follow your heart…

To follow means to go or come after. In order to follow means that there is someone or something leading us in that moment.

Our emotions are not trustworthy and certainly shouldn’t be something we trust to take the position of leading us in life. Don’t get me wrong, our emotions are real and we should acknowledge them. It’s ok to feel sadness, joy, anger, and grief. It’s ok to work through these feelings and accept them….

But they should NEVER lead us.

The bible warns us of this in Jeremiah when it drops this truth bomb- “The heart is deceitful.”

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9

We should not be led by feelings or emotions but only by Jesus Christ and His Word.

Is it easy to do when our emotions are running high? Absolutely not, but it is possible to find healthier and more biblical coping mechanisms. Here are some things you can do instead of following your heart.

Pray– Studies have shown over and over again incredible health benefits of prayer. It can improve your attitude, help you gain forgiveness, and even give you a stronger mindset. Here is an article that goes deeper into this.

Exercise-30 minutes of exercise in the morning has been shown to help with decision making through the rest of the day. Facing some big challenges? Take a walk or go for a run!  Read more here.

Talk with a friend-a Godly sister will tell you like it is, even if it hurts. She will keep you accountable and on track even when you are emotional. I’m so incredibly grateful for these women in my life. I enjoyed this article.

Write it down– whether is is keeping a journal or jotting down a pro and con list. Writing has been linked to positive effects in our mental health.

Read the Bible-God’s word is the light on our paths 🙏🏻

Pray, meditate, & breathe until you gain some clarity among the thick fog our feelings can create. Once the fog dissipates, you will be happy you didn’t follow your heart and instead followed discernment and wisdom.

 

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A Mother’s Worry

I don’t know about you but from the moment those double pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test held in my shaky hands I began to worry. For years I attributed these fears to the death of my firstborn son and a subsequent miscarriage but the more I talked to other moms I realized that I was not alone and that fear was a very common denominator amongst us. The reality of all the worries attached to motherhood is even something seasoned mothers share with the rest of us. I distinctly remember a day where I was walking down the cereal aisle at the grocery store with my growing belly when a well-meaning elderly woman said to me, “Enjoy your peace now because once your baby is here you will never stop worrying. Even when they are an adult.” I smiled and thought little do you know I’m already consumed with worry.  We have all heard this saying, and may even have shared the adage ourselves as if it’s a sign of solidarity amongst one another. Something we can all relate and agree too.

The list of a Mother’s worries is never ending. We worry about miscarrying or eating the right foods during pregnancy.  When we are finally holding our babe in our arms, we are worried about how much they are drinking, if their poops are normal, and if they are urinating enough. We worry about germs, vaccines and pesticides. Once they leave our arms and go to school we worry if they will be safe, will they make friends, will they do well in school, and will they make good choices. I have yet to enter the season of parenting a teenager but I can only imagine it comes with a whole new list of fears.

The word worry comes from an old English term meaning to “strangle or choke” and that is exactly what it does to us. Fear literally chokes us out from experiencing the peace and joy of the present moment.

While it’s something many of us moms admit to struggling with it still feels like a very secluded place to be in. Mama, you are not alone and there is a freedom to be found from this struggle and that is through Jesus. 

““Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”” Matthew 6:25-27 


Can any one of you add a single hour to your life by worrying? The answer is no. In fact it does the opposite. Recently at church one of our pastors shared a quote with us that hit home. “Worry is our way of trying to control the future with our minds.” In the end no amount of worrying is going to change the future.  If we allow it to it will fill every nook and cranny of your mind until you can no longer focus on the present.

That’s what the enemy wants. He wants us so preoccupied with future what-ifs that we are distracted from what matters right now. Our spouses, our kids, our jobs, our devotion. He wants us so choked out of fear that it makes actual struggles worse because not only do you carry today’s load but you are carrying tomorrow’s with a thousand other nightmares.

Paul tells us in Philippians to not be afraid but to present our worries and fears to God. He is our counselor. He carries our burdens and gives us rest. We can use anxiety and fear to grow in faith, and God wants us to use this time to trust in Him.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”-Corrie Ten Boom

Is it easy handing over our worries and living in complete trust? Of course not, it’s something we need to pray for and ask for daily. Just know He cares and He listens. 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8


We can choose where we park our minds and I want to park it in a place of Love and truth not fear and unknown. What are some worries you need to hand over to God? Take the time to present your needs to Him now.

Father thank you for adopting me as your child even though I am not worthy. So many times I forget you are with me. Help me put your Word first before my fears. Help me to live in the present and not worry about tomorrow. I know when concerns arise you will provide and guide me through the unknown. Help me to trust you more and worry less. Amen.

*Anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that often requires professional help. If you are struggling with excessive worry and physical symptoms please seek help and know that your Father will walk with you along that journey.*