Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Heart of the Matter

Three months after losing my Dad unexpectedly to what, we believe, was a sudden heart attack, I found myself sitting in the waiting room of a cardiologist’s office praying to Jesus that the little palpitation I was feeling was nothing. After speaking to the doctor about my family history, and my current state of being, he decided to have me wear a heart monitor for two weeks. This little contraption was strapped on and keeping track of my every move…at least it felt like that’s what it was doing! Thankfully, they have come a long way in the world of heart monitors, so I could secure it under my top with nobody being the wiser. It made me feel like I was walking around with this little secret around my neck. As the days went on, I told some people about it just in case I started buzzing due to an electrode popping off. I also told some people because I was just plain scared. It was weird. I became very, very aware of my heart. Could everyone tell I was hiding something? Should I make sure to side hug people, or not hug people at all, so I wasn’t found out? But the biggest question of all…was my heart working properly?

The day of my doctor’s appointment, I almost punked out and didn’t go. All of a sudden, the thought, “What if something is wrong?” came flooding in. Which was followed by the just as helpful thought of, “I don’t have time to deal with a heart issue right now…there’s too much to do.” That thought made me wonder if it was time to get my head checked too! There’s NEVER a GOOD time to deal with a heart issue…but deal with it I must. Especially if the issue had any chance of killing me.

As timing would have it, this journey of my physical heart issues had come at the heels of a 2-year long journey of some spiritual heart issues. In January 2016, in a moment of great transition, I received a word that my season of working with my hands would turn into a season of God working on my heart. I was also told that God was trying to show me love, but I wasn’t receiving it. At the heart of the matter, I believe my heart had grown weary. Years of unmet expectations, feelings of being overlooked and abandonment had left me believing that no matter how much I worked, or tried, or cared…I wasn’t going to have what other people have.

So, in a sense, God put a heart monitor around my neck at that moment. I had become acutely aware of all my “ish.” I began a journey of letting go. Another season of being put out to pasture. Moved out far from everything and everyone I knew. Or at least, everyone I thought I knew. Obscurity. A season of not making a move unless it was a move that God told me to make. A season that He didn’t tell me to move much, which was way uncomfortable. A journey of learning to hear Him in new ways. A season of becoming acutely aware of my rhythm…a rhythm that was beginning to beat at the same pace as His. Connected to Him in a way that I had never been connected to Him before. Just like that heart monitor I had hanging around my neck…I went nowhere without Him and was aware of Him at all times. If my heart was off beat, I pressed into Him a lot like I pressed that little button any time I had a palpitation.

Well the good news is, nothing major was found at the end of two weeks. I can get back on track of doing what I need to do…drink less coke and eat more green stuff. I can’t say I’ve been 100% successful at that yet…but I believe I’ll arrive there at some point. As far as the work on my heart that God is doing…well, I’ve learned that journey will take a lifetime to complete. I’m grateful that I have the “heart monitor” AKA Holy Spirit “around my neck” at all times. He reminds me with a gentle nudge when my rhythm is off and teaches me how to love wider and deeper.


  1. This is so beautiful Gena. I relate SO MUCH to this and the struggles I’ve faced over the last several years. I love hearing you share how God is speaking to you. It reminds me that what He does on the inside prepares us for what He will do externally through us. I love you and your journey.

  2. Thanks so much, Julia! So grateful for you!