Trust Your Heart

Throughout my career as a pastor, I've generally been good about trusting my instincts when making decisions as a leader.  

I've learned valuable lessons by making mistakes, to be sure, but for the most part, I've been able to navigate challenges and crises by listening to friends, church members, trusted advisors, and my heart. 

But during the Covid years, pretty much all of the frameworks I'd constructed, the way I had learned to be a pastor, and the entire way of "doing church" were thrown out the window.  

When you're largely disconnected from all of the ways that you usually find your way through difficult times, it's disorienting.  

And so I found myself doing a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, second-guessing my decisions, and feeling that I couldn't trust my instincts and probably shouldn't listen to my heart in the same way I once had. 

You may have had some experience like this in your own life. You may have made enough mistakes to feel like you can't afford one more, so you withdraw from challenges and shrink back from difficulty. 

You might be sitting there reading this right now with a weight in your heart because you've become afraid to move for fear of moving in the wrong direction.  

Here's some good news.  When all is said and done, you know what to do to make things right in your world.  The answer is within you; at some level, you know it.  

The God who spoke all things into creation has also spoken God's image into you, me, and everyone.  It is just as Jesus said when he told his followers:  "The kingdom (the reality) of God is within you."  

So you can be trusted.  Your heart can be trusted.  Because you know the right way if you are willing to live into the hope that comes from understanding that God is within you, which means there is a significant part of you that knows the way.  

Melody Beattie puts it like this: 
Your heart can be trusted. Don't doubt it.
It will inevitably connect you to what's true.
Love yourself enough to trust what you
know. Then stay connected to truth. 
If you are standing at a crossroads in your life, don't shrink back, no matter how many times you may have chosen (what you thought) was the wrong way.  Don't retreat from the challenge of decision because you know what is true. 

Let the God within you lead you.  Let your heart lead you.  And if the way you have chosen is a way that ultimately leads you to new life to pursue truth, beauty, and goodness, then go that way with all your heart. 

But if it leads you to more challenges, difficulties, and hardship, know that it is also a way that will ultimately lead you out of them with more strength, resolve and a more profound sense of yourself.  

May this be so for you, me, and all of us.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen.  


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