Do you ever follow your heart, doing what you feel you should be doing and discover yourself in this tension where your head disagrees with what’s going on? I think I’ve found myself in that place five times, just today. Maybe it’s a girl thing, following our intuition or instincts. Whatever you want to call it, I tend to go with it. My mom says I “fly by the seat of my pants.” Some people have strong views on “following your heart.” I have some strong beliefs about what’s actually going on in those situations as well. It has to do with natures and spirits and most importantly, the Holy Spirit, but I don’t want to get into theology of all that, a post for another time.
Whatever you believe about it, that’s where I’ve found myself in that almost constant state of tension the past couple months, a comfortably uncomfortable. I went into the office at my steady job with the intentions of quitting. I say the intentions, not because I changed my mind but, because my boss kind of wouldn’t let me quit. We agreed that I’d stick around but lower my hours drastically. There was a lot that factored into all of the decision making that took place in the days before that. There were a handful of reasons why I wanted to quit. Most of them are irrelevant at this point. What’s important is that, even though my head didn’t know what the vision was for my future at that time, my heart knew that putting all of my time and energy into that job was not what I was supposed to be doing. So I followed my heart.
The first week after “quitting”, I spent all of my free time catching up with friends who had gotten neglected by all the time I spent working. I had coffee dates, walks outside in the sun, laid on a blanket in the park and the best part was that I FELT ALIVE. I was reminded that I was made for relationship. Something in me was awakened and it was beautiful. In this week the Lord spoke to me, through the beautiful people around me and the relationships that He has divinely provided to me, saying, “It’s all about relationship.” Any vision that I have, any business that I pursue, any money that I want to make, it’s all about relationship… which essentially is about love, cue 1 Corinthians 13. So, I continued in this way, spending time with the ones God loves, whom I love, investing in relationships full-time.
Let’s take a second to review what I’m saying here. In a nutshell, I spent a few weeks spending money without any means or plan for making money. Talk about the head disagreeing with where the heart is leading me! This is taking what Confucius said “Choose a job that you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” to a whole other level. But you know what? The most beautiful thing happened. Out of those relationships, those divinely appointed relationships, business opportunities flowed. The money came to pay the bills, to put food in my mouth and I was in love. I was in love with a Savior who provided for me, a Savior who knows what makes my heart beat and let me do it.
In case you’re wondering how that worked out practically, it did not look like money falling from the sky, or being picked up off the street, or being handed to me by strangers. Though I believe that’s possible, in this season it looked like networking. A friend of a friend needing a design thing done, or a friend recommending me as a babysitter, or free design work paying off and leading to a paid gig. It looked like me trusting my heart, trusting that God knew my heart, and him turning what I love, relationships, into resources for income.
All of this sounds fine and dandy, right? Some of you think I’m crazy. Some of you think I’m an idealist or maybe a little naive. You might be jealous. Possibly, you could care less. So, what’s the moral of the story?
I want you to know that going to college, getting a job and marrying someone is not the formula for a happily ever after. Sure, it is for some people, but it’s not universal. It’s a lie of a box that you don’t have to put yourself into. You don’t have to put yourself in any boxes. I want you to know that there’s a God out there who knows your heart, who made you and gave you that heart, and He wants you to do the things that you love to do. I want to plant a seed inside you that grows into a confident little plant that says I don’t care what the world tells me, what culture tells me, what my parents tell me. I care about what God has told me, what I know in my heart to be true. I care about my dreams and my passions because I know and believe that they were given to me by God. Isn’t that what living out the gospel looks like?
If you met me in person and asked me what I do and my response was “I am”, wouldn’t that blow your mind? Maybe God was onto something in that story with Moses… And if you were like oh cute that’s great but how do you make money? And I said, I invest in relationships. You would probably begin to think I was missing a few nuts and bolts or you would grow very interested. We would get into conversation and you would find out that I don’t have a steady job but I depend on the Lord to provide me with opportunities to do various things I love like design, take care of kids, and watch sports, and that HE ALWAYS COMES THROUGH. And if you know and believe in this God, you might just be encouraged but if you don’t know or believe in this God, your world could be turned upside down and you might want to have what I have. You might want to know of this love affair with the God who provides.
I, for one, refuse to know and believe in that God, to be in love with Him, and not let it change my life. If I believe in the son, that’s bigger than personal salvation. I believe in a better way and if I believe in it, then I live like it’s true.
What if worship didn’t just look like a room full of people singing songs to a far off God, but a bunch of people living a life of worship that points people to Jesus? What if evangelism didn’t just look like knocking on doors or inviting people to church services, but intentional conversations that lead to testimony of the goodness of God?
Will you share with me a time that you followed your heart and your head disagreed? Will you tell me a story of how you’ve lived differently? Can you remember a time that you put relationships before work?
I’m not the only one with these crazy ideas. One of my favorite writers, Shauna Niequist, shares great words here about the contradiction of voices we hear (head and heart). Check out what my friend, Tyler Ward, says about work and relationships here.