(August 18, 2016)
We think matters of the heart as a heartache resulting from a bad break up. Obviously, for most people, at least for people with a beating warm heart, that does hurt, and sometimes even takes a while to recover from. Or we think of matters of the heart as the one dealing with getting over and moving on from unrequited love. That too has its own kind of pain that for some is hard to explain and for many hard to understand. But what of the mom that has a hard time realizing that her babies have grown up? What of the parent that has a hard time letting go? What of the friends that must separate because one is married or moving away to start their new life? These can also be defined as matters of the heart.
I have seen this in my life. I see it manifested in different ways such as sadness and frustration. I see it causing disunity because one wants to hold on and the other wants to explore. We want to hold on because we are afraid if we let go then we are letting go forever. When we are unable to let go, we find ourselves doing unkind things we may ordinarily not do. Our love suddenly becomes life sucking and not life giving. At that point it is no longer love. It may be fear, jealousy, or pure animosity.
I see all of this in the story of the two women who brought the baby boy to King Solomon to determine whose baby he was (1 Kings 3:16-28). First of all, the mother of the dead son couldn’t let go. She still held on to the way she thought things ought to be. It was an unfortunate reality, and a reality she refused to accept. Secondly, she may have been afraid of what people would say to her or about her for sleeping on her baby and killing him. Third, she allowed those things to embitter her. When King Solomon got his sword to divide the baby, the woman who was not the mother said, “He will be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” She was hurt and wanted someone else to feel the same hurt she felt because of her fear, her inability to let go, and her jealousy!
Fear can be that powerful if we let it. It has a way of making you think of all the negative what ifs. It causes you not to move forward but rove around in a cycle, never making progress. And when that happens, you become jealous of the success of others and want them to not progress just like you. We should not allow fear to inhibit us, and we certainly should not allow that to cause us to be a hindrance in the lives of others.
Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood has been on my mind a lot lately. So has Don’t Forget to Remember Me, also by Carrie Underwood. She beautifully tells a story of this valid concern. But she also gives her mother a beautiful reassurance. There needs to be a sense of confidence in the relationship and a commitment to pursue the relationship no matter where life or God may lead a person. This is what provides that reassurance.
A meme I saw on IG said, “God has bigger plans for me than I have for myself.” Similarly, God has bigger plans for our loved ones than we could ever have for them. There is a certain joy in sharing our joy with others. As parents, leaders, or even friends, we should not hold on so tightly because of fear of what we might lose. Rather, we should change our perspective. Do not think of it as a loss for you; consider it a gain for someone else. Someone else gets the opportunity to experience the joy of your child or friend. God desires to share (not give) the beauty and the benefit and the positive difference they have brought to you with others who also need a slice of their awesomeness. 🙂 If we never let go, we may never know just what it is our loved one can accomplish in life.