“The true story of every person in this world is not the story you see, the external story. The true story of each person is the journey of his or her heart”

Please do read the entire series, as each post standing alone would be incredibly controversial (most especially this first one). Desire is an adventure and exploration I have chosen to take, and the thoughts on each post are the thoughts I had during that certain part of the journey. Of course with every journey comes progress and so you will see the progression with each passing post. I hope you encounter God through the ride. 🙂

Last year, I uttered words partly an expression of desire and partly a declaration I was willing to see through…

“God, if it’s not {him}, I’d rather be celibate.”

Such a bold statement coming from someone who was telling her parents since she was in grade school that she plans on getting married as soon as she gets out of college. But I was extremely serious. I wasn’t threatening God with anything, it was the overflow of my heart and I was prepared to stand by my words – no matter how foreign the thought was to me.

But before you see me as a girl who probably relies on romantic relationships to find her identity, I want to make it clear: I’m not boy-crazy. I have only liked two guys, one in high school and one in college, both more than a year each and with a 4-year gap in between them. It’s been a year since the last one ended, I haven’t entertained anyone since and don’t have one I actually want to.

Now that that’s out of the way, I want to convey here how deeply I desire a family. Anyone close to me could tell you how much I love taking care of people and I simply find so much joy in acting like a mom, so much so that in fact a lot of my close friends call me “mommy Jade”, nevermind that I’m the youngest of our group. Since last year, I’ve been helping out at a local church plant in taking care of kids (from 9 mos-13yo) and while they drive me nuts a lot of times with such different age brackets and personalities, I know and adore each of them to the tiniest bits and I can’t wait to have my own!

…and yet there I was, heart set on living by that statement. Have you ever desired something so much that you feel like your heart’s going to burst just by thinking about it? Yet since you don’t have it and you don’t know if you’re supposed to have it, you feel like your heart’s bound to shatter into a million tiny piece at the same time? If you have, then you would have an idea, a sliver of how much I felt for this person. At the time it was just blind desperate desire, and it got so intense I just had to shut it down. But the thing is, you can’t simply “bury” desire. Burying something doesn’t mean it stops existing.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has ever buried her heart and desires in fear of getting hurt or disappointed, in fear that it may not just be from God, in fear that it’s temporal emotions and hormones taking over. But beyond that, the fear that kept me most from desiring was my fear that God might not be pleased with me if I desired (which I found out later was a truly unnecessary worry).

I don’t know about you, but I honestly used to think that wanting was bad. I thought that if I gave this desire to God, He would take it and use it against me, completely flipping it on me to make me “humble and selfless.” You know, “the heart is deceitful above all things” and all that. And so I was never particularly open with my desires, I would just put the desires of others before mine even though I was slowly losing my heart. In a messed up way, the enemy took what was good (desires, selflessness, etc) and turned it against me.

See, we have taught people in church that as long as you live a quiet life of no major issues, as long as you and your family attend church and do ministry, then you’re all good. And I’m not saying these are all bad, it’s just that there is so much more to life than this. These could be in no way our deepest desires. In the Bible, Jesus never accused anyone of wanting too much. Rather, He poked and provoked, going after the innermost desires of the people He encountered.

Women, what have we dreamed of since we were children? Is it not to be part of something bigger than us and to share that with a prince who loves us? Men, what are the truest longings of your heart? Are they not to do something great and to win over a woman of beautiful form and soul? Why are we ashamed of such desires when they speak so much about how God created us to be? Oh, how we have depreciated the Christian life to a formula. How we have robbed the life out of the very people Jesus came to give life to the full to.

I like to think of God as a passionate being. Having been created in His likeness, there is a source to the flames in our heart that cannot be contained. Take sunsets for example, today a fiery red blaze scorching through the sky and taking over the scene, tomorrow a soft pink cotton candy with swirls of purple and orange. What about the lightning, the thunder during a violent rain shower? Who hand painted each and every one of these? How can we box our complex, mighty, indescribable God into someone who’s just there to hear our prayers, as someone who sits behind the judge’s seat? How can we believe that the God who sent His son to die for us on the cross as a passionate declaration of love wants His beloved to live as efficiently and functional as possible?

That’s why I’m so grateful He always proves to be the hero of the story, I’m glad He isn’t at all who I feared Him to be. He came to me wanting to excavate the very heart I tried to “protect” with mud and stone. At the start of this year, I cried out to Him – I was tired of burying my desires and so to be done with it, I was letting go. I wasn’t just handing it over to Him, I was ready to absolutely drop it. Yet in a marvelous twist, He whispered words to my heart that resonated deep within my soul, words that shattered every notion I had and launched me into just about the greatest adventure I have ever been on:

“Ask of me what you desire.”

Continued here.

So let’s come back to the simple question Jesus asks of us all: what do you want? Don’t minimize it; don’t try to make sure it sounds spiritual; don’t worry about whether or not you can obtain it. Just stay with the question until you begin to get an answer. This is the way we keep current with our hearts”
-John Eldredge

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