What do you do when your heart is in retreat?
When you've been sidetracked, misinterpreted, hurt (either intentionally or unintentionally), lied to or believed lies from the enemy of your soul...
What can you do when you know you're retreating to avoid furher pain, disappointment or fear?
This isn't you. You never were one to cave in and run, but somehow you now find yourself employing protectionary measures, erectinng walls, to ensure self-preservation.
You know somewhere deep inside that you were made to live from a full, unhindered heart. You weren't made to cower or back down in fear.. you were born to take that hIil, brave the darkness and accomplish the dream! What do you do when you know you're not where you should be, and you have a direction for where you want to be?
First, you stop. Just stop. Stop running, stop retreating. Stop living in the shadows, stop making excuses. Let the pain of the moment / circumstances / situation wash over you. Own all that's happened (ing). Be clear about where you're at.. right now. Don't worry, you're not alone.
Jesus said to those He loves and calls friends, "It's me. Don't be afraid." and ".. I am with you always, to the very end of the age." His nearness really does dispel darkness, His presence frees from fear. What else would you expect from the Light that shines in the darkness and the Prince of Peace? Have you invited Him to come near?
Second, get honest. Real honest.. about where, and more importantly 'who', you've been lately. You get honest with yourself. You get honest with God the Father and you get honest with those closest to you. Say what needs to be said (with humility and generosity), BUT don't forget to listen and listen well. You're about to enter new territory and you'll need all the help you can get.
Third, choose your traveling companions wisely. Find people you like to be around who call the best out of you. Find those who have qualities you admire and watch them closely.. watch how they live out of their strengths and how they relate to their weaknesses. Regularly ask them to speak openly and honestly with you about the stuff that matters, then offer the same for them. If they take you up on both invitations they truly are a friend for all seasons.
Fourth, chart your course. You're going somewhere, right? You don't need a plan if you're headed nowhere. So if you have a dream / desire / calling.. get to it. Consider the cost both in material resources, relational treasures and what it will exact from you personally to live into this dream. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you and lead you, one day at a time. Once you've determined the cost, figure in a lot more. It's going to hurt some to follow the call on your life. But it's OK. What you lose you didn't need anyway. What you gain is priceless.
Be ready. When Daddy-God descides to move, He can move quickly and mightily!
Now you're living from a heart in high gear and the best is yet to come!
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
- Ephesians 3:20-21, the Bible, NIV