An Open Letter to the World

Gina Butz identity, loved 0 Comments

Open Letter to the World

photo by Álvaro Serrano

Somewhere early on, I concluded that my heart was not important.

The world doesn’t often ask for our hearts. It asks for our cooperation, our performance, our silence, our strength, our appearance, our obedience, but not our hearts. So I set mine aside and gave what the world asked of me instead. We all do, in our own ways.

But we can’t live without our hearts, and God knows it.

So He started chipping away at the carefully constructed strategies I’d built around my heart to protect it; the ways I strive to impress, to perform, to be admirable. He talked to me about His love, His freedom, His grace. He told me that yes, He does want my heart. All of it. And not just the parts I find acceptable or pleasing or enjoyable. Not just the positive emotions, but the anger and doubts and fears and shame and grief and depravity. He has spent years stripping away the layers on the outside, while He fills me up from the inside, trying to show me that life is meant to be lived wholeheartedly, open heartedly, big heartedly. He’s been waking me up, bringing me to back to life.

I would love to say that trying to live with my whole heart is easy, but it’s isn’t. Often, it means living with an ache – of griefs recognized, hurts owned, desires unmet. It is living in the in between, a belly-exposed kind of vulnerability.

But it’s in this place that I am learning how important my heart is. When I own my whole heart, there is freedom, authenticity, a greater capacity to love and be loved. And it’s not only for me, but for others as well. When I own what is in my heart and share it, it draws people. It gives permission to others to bring their hearts too. As my heart grows, I cannot help but want to help others find the depths of theirs. My heart breaks when I see others numb, ignore, kill, and shame their own hearts. It is not how we were meant to live.

So my hope, my mission in life, is to be an authentic voice that calls others to wholeheartedly live our their true selves in Christ. We cannot be all that we are called to be in Christ if we leave our hearts behind. By God’s grace, I hope to continue on this journey of living with my whole heart, and helping others to do the same.

 

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