“Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
It’s Friday night and like any good grad student, I’m avoiding my homework and procrastinating on the heaping amounts of reading I have to do before Monday.
Instead, I’m listening to Miles Davis.
“It Never Entered My Mind.” My favorite.
As I listen to Miles play into peaceful contentment, I am taken to a place of desire — a place that is terrifying for me.
Knowing desire comes from knowing the heart.
I have spent a big chunk of the last decade avoiding my heart. She has led me astray far too many times for her to be reliable. She’s brought me joy, yes, but there were so many days when all she brought was sorrow. She is either spot-on or dead wrong, but never in the middle. I have trusted her in the past, but it always ended in gut-wrenching, heartbreaking pain.
I cannot trust my heart.
So, how can I trust desire?
How do I know naming the desires of my heart won’t end in the same way — pain?
As I dive head-first into discovering my self worth and value, and how much I actually have to offer, I have also been reaquainted with my heart. We’ve been spending quite a bit of time together. I have heard her grief. I sat with her while she cried out in mourning, sobbing over the “could have’s” and the “not yet’s.” I listened as she screamed in rage and anger over our past.
It has taken months, but I am beginning to understand where my heart is coming from. I am beginning to know her — her emotions that seem random and sporadic, but are simply part of her story; her tendency to flutter around certain boys; her fondness and care for one in particular; her peace when Miles Davis is playing and everything in the world has been set straight.
As I continue knowing my heart, I have realized the weight of the desires she has carried. As I name each one of these desires, the burden becomes lighter and she is free to love in the best possible ways. Yet there lies a significant amount of fear in not knowing whether these desires will truly be fulfilled, despite what the Psalmist wrote.
Knowing desire comes from knowing the heart, yet what happens when desire itself is too dangerous to hold?