As an infant, my youngest son was a gassy baby, and usually for some reason at the crack of dawn was when his tummy hurt the most. Usually, to help soothe him it was necessary to lay him diagonally across my chest and he would gradually doze off into a peaceful slumber shortly after.
Come to think of it, he has always been the one that needed to be close to my chest ... the rhythm of my heart. For some reason this helped him regulate his own breathing pattern, helped calm him when he was upset or frustrated because I was just not understanding or moving fast enough to cater to his needs (or so he thought), it also helped express his caring/loving nature towards me when he was happy or truly content after a nice 8oz bottle.
And isn’t this true of our relationship with our Heavenly Father? Isn’t this the way it ought to be?
Speaking from the heart
Over the past two months, after taking a couple of hits financially, emotionally, and health wise, I have had to face myself and take a real hard look into what I was really doing with my life. Was I living in my purpose? Was I operating from a place of faith? Was I aligning with the rhythm of God’s Word?
Like my youngest, I was in great dis-ease at the oddest times. Where there should have been joy and peace, there was worry. Where there should have been growth and investment, there was frustration.
During this “hard look into myself” I started studying the book of James. A verse that stuck with me throughout was The Message version of James chapter 4 verses 1-2. I questioned God, “why was I being chastised when clearly I was not even getting what I wanted, but still had to live at the mercy of a broken system?”
I started researching other versions of that verse to see if there was a different appreciation of the text, because obviously all this dis-ease could not be my fault! However, what I found was not the fact that the broken system was right or wrong, but that I was in this case submitting to the wrong thing and the wrong feelings.
Heart over mind
Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5-6 tells us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
It was obvious that I had lost sight of the big picture, the true picture. If I were ever going to change my situation, I would need to first change my heart posture. And though easier said than done, here are the lessons I learned from my introspection as held accountable by the book of James:
● Set your heart on God. Know that God must be in everything unless “it” is nothing. Matthew chapter 6 verse 21 puts it nicely: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And this is true! My constant worry and frustration about my finances, my next steps in life, “will it work or not?”, all lead me further away from where I actually wanted to be. However, when I focused on God and His promises for my life, His provision for me, and His purpose for me, my daily anxiety started to dissipate. The joy of the Lord and His peace started to become my renewed reality. (John chapter 15 verse 5)
● Be the one after God’s own heart. We should always aim to submit to God with the right intentions and the right motives. (Matthew chapter 5 verse 8) By leaving all our concerns with God (a.k.a. submitting) we acknowledge that He has the solution, all while pressing on in faith that it is already done. Also, by pressing on in faith we continue our walk in purpose as our character is being developed. (Psalm chapter 16 verse 8)
● Take heart in God’s Word. Let your heart be the dwelling place for the Word of God. Keep at it. Keep in it. Let His Word regulate your borders (concerns vs. worry, self-care vs. vanity, empathy vs. apathy). The Word is humbling, and a great guide to what God has in store for you. So just like my son - let God’s Word soothe you, draw closer to Him, and get in tune with the rhythm of His heart. (Joshua chapter 1 verse 8)
Learn by heart …
When we do the heart work, God produces in us a great artwork.
Kimberly-Joe Osborne is an authentic, purpose driven, and adventurously expectant wife, mother, entrepreneur, and woman of God.
Better known as KJ, she is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for family, faith, travel, culture, creativity, and food. After becoming a mother, she realized adulting could sometimes be a “hot mess” and so laundry became her zen. On this road to recovery from trying to be the perfect mom and wife, she is currently writing her first book which speaks to aligning and growing in faith in the midst of routine.
Kimberly-Joe is also the co-founder of CoacHer Legacy, where she dedicates herself to coaching mothers with the objective of redesigning generational legacy God's way. Through CoacHer Legacy, she and her business partner Shelly-Ann Munroe, provide a social safe space for mothers seeking to live a richer life by stepping out into their God given purpose.