Social Media=Mucinex…for my heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

My heart, how can I put into words what’s on my heart? There’s so much. And so little. It is full. And it is empty. I didn’t know that could be possible. All day long my heart skips around from hard, to soft, to numb. I’ve never been a “stuffer” of emotion, but I have found myself in that place as of late. 

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Nathan asked me the other night “is this what you expected?” I wasn’t sure how to answer. I think I really tried to not expect anything at all. I told him that I expected it to be really hard at first and get easier as time went on…but I’ve found the opposite to be true. Let me rewind a few weeks back for you since I’ve been mum on that score. 

On the night of April 6th, we bid our parents goodnight and goodbye. Watching them say goodbye to A&H was possibly the hardest thing I’ve had to watch. I felt guilty for robbing them of opportunities to be together often. I felt mad that A&H won’t really understand the distance and yet I would have to endure their questions and still maintain composure.  It just sucked, plain and simple. But…life continues. That Monday felt like the longest day ever. It was quiet. If I didn’t keep moving, I would start thinking, and then the tears would well up. I told myself “No. Not now. Get over it. Take it one day at a time. It will get better.” And it seemed to. I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle a new day. For awhile it felt like I was on vacation. New places to explore. A new house to set up. New faces to meet. And the best part for an introvert like me…a completely free schedule. For the first time in my life, no one knew me and no one but my family was asking for a piece of my time. It was great…for the most part. 

I meet with the Lord every morning from about 5:30-6:30. This has been my time with Him for a number of years now. Before our move, I heard from the Lord frequently from Scripture, other faith-based reading material, songs, and just having things well up in my spirit that I knew were from Him. But for the first time in years, silence. I felt I was reading and trying to find something to soothe my heart. Dry. I would write out pages of prayers. Silence. One morning I asked Him “I came here because You told me to…and now I get the silent treatment?! What’s the deal?!” I didn’t give up meeting with Him because I knew I needed it…but it felt different. My friend Hannah described it well…like when you’re talking to a good friend or mentor and you are pouring out your heart to them and they just listen and nod. You know they are there and that they are listening…but they won’t for the life of them tell you what they think. I wanted the silence to end.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Then there were those pesky places called facebook and Instagram. Reminding me “look at all your friends in Washington, carrying on life. Without. You.” I would feel my chest tighten and the lump in my throat and tell myself “NO! Not now! Get over it!” And I did what any mature adult would do…avoid it. Too much pain. Too much reminder of what I was missing. And reading comments on my mom and mother-in-laws facebook pictures from well-meaning friends…”I can’t imagine living so far from my grandkids!” “I feel so sorry for you. That would be terrible.” More guilt. More pain. Avoid it. Numb the emotions. Nathan told me he was emailing people back in Washington and that I should do the same because it was good for him and it would be good for me. I filed that away under “Not a chance.” I knew it wasn’t the right way to deal long term…but it’s how I was dealing. Then my heart & mind starting ganging up on me.

 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

The dreams started right before Easter. For about 5 nights in a row I was back at Bethel having conversations with anyone and everyone. I would wake up feeling drained by the conversations that didn’t actually occur. My heart & mind were beginning to scream to me: “You need community. You miss it. And you’re not willing to admit it.” Message received. I told the Lord was willing to un-numb my heart,…but I knew it was going to be painful, messy, and hard. I needed His help. I started by finishing the book “Freefall to Fly” by Rebekah Lyons. It was good for my heart, but I knew I needed more. I turned to the Psalms and decided to camp there since David was good at expressing his heart and probing through his emotions with the Lord. I figured I could take a tip or two from him. I still avoided fb and IG for the most part.

I woke up last Sunday (the 28th) with a raging sore throat. I knew my body was finally responding to all the stress it had been through in the past two months. I’d been waiting for someone in the house to catch something. Little did I know, the Lord would speak to me through this. That morning at church a missionary and his wife were visiting. She spoke first…on Proverbs 4:23. It hit me like a slap in the face…you are not guarding your heart. Well you are…but you’re not letting it do what it needs to. You’re guarding it yourself…not like the Lord wants you to. Let it grieve. Let it feel. I didn’t know where to begin, nor did I want to. It would be painful, messy, and would take time.

Funny how the Lord uses illness. Turns out there were a couple afternoons that I was just plain exhausted, so I was lying in bed with nothing to do. My thoughts turned to home, my parents, my in-laws…and for once, I let my mind wander. I cried. Release. One night I was up (let’s just say my dinner didn’t sit so well) and the Lord spoke to my heart “are you done feeling numb yet, and ready to deal with your heart?” I responded with a tearful “yes Lord. I’m ready. But You can’t be quiet anymore. You have to walk with me.” I felt His peace and knew He would help me. I resolved to peruse fb and IG again, no matter what emotions cropped up…I would give it to Him. 

The next day, Friday, I was making dinner and thinking of my dad. How I miss that man. I decided to stuff those tears because I wanted to make sure dinner turned out and didn’t want to be distracted. We sat down to dinner at our 6 ft folding table. Our son pipes up pointing to the two empty chairs “but who will sat there?” I told him those chairs are for when we have company. Then out it came…pretty sure the Lord was using my son…”maybe the boppas will come and they can sit there!” He smiles and starts eating his dinner. Lump in the throat. Chest tightening. Tears welling. A tear falls. I try to stop it…but I can’t. It was as if the Lord said “let it out. Release it.” I put my face in my hands and sobbed. I look at Nathan across from me…he’s sobbing too. My daughter leans over and pats me “what’s wrong mommy?” I told her mommy & daddy just miss the grammas and boppas. She told me “me too mommy” and holds my hand. Then what our son said next still comforts me…I know it was from the Lord: “I know you’re sad mommy. Remember Jesus died on the cross for your sin. Doesn’t that make you happy?” Oh yes it does buddy. More then you know. Gospel truth from my 3.5 year old son.

Sunday the kids woke with runny noses, so Nathan let me go to church solo. I was excited to go alone and meet people without trying to keep kids happy while I had conversations. On my way to church I was thinking how I was still feeling like I had some kind of crud because my face hurt like a sinus infection. I thought to myself “I should probably take some mucinex when I get home. Gosh I hate that stuff.” Then the Lord told me “you know, this dealing with your heart, is kind of like getting the crud out of your heart. You’ve been holding stuff in, and if you don’t deal with it…gross. Social media, talking to people back in Washington…those things are like mucinex, for your heart.” I nodded. So so true. I’m ready to cough up the junk. I’m ready to deal with my heart. It may be messy. It may bring up stuff I didn’t know was there. But it needs to come out because, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

This morning I was reading in my Bible in Psalms and decided to look on Pinterest for a verse that I had highlighted…I like to see the verses all prettified on Pinterest.While scrolling through pretty verses, one caught my eye…Phil 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” There it was again…guard your heart. I had never thought about connecting the two verses. But the Lord spoke through these two verses to me. I was not allowing His peace to guard my heart. If His peace is not what is guarding my heart, I turn to other things: shopping, staying busy, comfort food, diet coke, coffee…to name a few. I’ve also noticed that when I guard my heart not with His peace…but with my numbing it…anger. The opposite of peace. I tucked that away as I began my day.

We had a brief FaceTime session with my parents this morning. Only the second since we’ve been here. Shortly after as I was helping the kids get dressed, I felt like crying. I decided I’d let it come. As I sat in my sons room crying, I prayed a small silent prayer “Lord, comfort me!” I had no idea how He would answer or even if He would. Suddenly, my daughter comes up to me and hugs me like shes never hugged me before. I held her and sobbed. She just let me hold her and cry. He answered my prayer through my daughter. He is my comforter. My rock. My shield. My defense. My Heavenly Father Who delights in me. I feel like today was my first step in letting His peace guard my heart as opposed to my efforts.

I do want to make one thing perfectly clear: we have felt overwhelmingly welcomed by our church here. They are wonderful, friendly people who love Jesus. We are so grateful for them and are excited to be in community with them. We like it here…it just doesn’t feel like home yet. But we know that will take time.

I feel like life has been a roller coaster of emotion since mid-February and it isn’t stopping yet…I kind of assumed it would slow down after the move, so far I’ve been proven wrong. As Phil Wickhamsings in his song “Grace”:
I need eyes to be my guide

I need a voice that’s louder than mine
I need hope I need You
Cause I can’t do this alone

The Lord is working on us…and who knows what we will be doing this time next year? He knows. And He will continue to hold my heart and my hand. Today, let His peace, which we cannot grasp, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Because our hearts are a wellspring for life. And everything we do flows out from it…let His peace be what flows out.

Press on,
Jaimi S.

1 Comment

  1. Tricia says: Reply

    Jaimi, I have been reading all your blog posts since you announced the big move and I have to say you have had me crying more than once, but this post had me sobbing! I was reading this on my phone while nursing the baby. I thought he fell asleep but when I looked down at him he was staring at me seemingly confused and intrigued by my crying! LOL! This post totally put me right there with you guys…we are praying for you and your parents as you let all those tears fall. I love reading your blog and being able to keep up with what the Lord is doing in your sweet fam!

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