Stay Tender


“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.”
‭‭Proverbs 28:14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You were created to be tenderhearted, to feel life.

To feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in-between.

It seems easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter.

Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened or what should have happened. Don’t let that shape your future.

Fight for a tender heart.

It means that you have to feel the pain and process it. It means you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

It means that you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance so you can live after it.

Stay tender-hearted, my friend.

Don’t let life (or other people’s choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future will thank you for it.

Jesus died for you to live in it.

God will walk with you all the way through it.

Lord give me a thick skin and a tender heart. 

Gaurd Your Heart

Some seasons are harder than others and the seasons that are the hardest can harden your heart. It may even feel that hardening your heart is easier than feeling the pain but it is not. Your heart is made to feel, it can handle it, it was made to process the pain. When you harden your heart it way is like locking the pain inside with no way out.

Don’t harden your heart.

Don’t give up.

Push through the hard parts but don’t lose your heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Guard it, grow it, fill it.

Don’t just get through your present struggle, process it all the way through. Feel it, embrace the pain and let it work all the through and all the way out.

You can get through it with your heart still poised to love.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The interesting thing here is that you can speak with power, have a great understanding,  be utterly selfless and still be devoid of love.

Guard your heart. Clean it out. Pull the weeds and if needed, ask Jesus for a heart transplant. Ask him to give you a new heart that beats with a deep enduring love –  that is what He died for.

How is your heart?

This Time 

The holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. Moments of joy and thanksgiving mixed with sadness and loss. As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones.

Some of those old memories are moments of disappointment or worse. Some might be sweet with love discovered or heartbreaking because of love lost. Those memories can so fill your heart that you have no room for the new ones.

Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. To mourn. To love. To be thankful. He knew that there was a time for all of them and that they often overlapped.

Jesus knew that there is:

“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As you navigate the emotions in the heart of this holiday season and walk with Jesus, follow His lead. Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Him through them, acknowledge them, embrace them.

Grieve if you need to.

Ungreived losses take up room in your heart and crowd out your ability to receive the new gifts the Lord has for you now. He does not ask you to ignore them or to stuff them but to allow Him to walk with you through them.

When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.

It’s okay for you to happy AND sad at the same time.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions, it means that you walk with Jesus through all the emotions this time in your life brings.

“With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad.

I can see now, GOD, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what’s true and right.

Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight! just the way you promised. Now comfort me so I can live, really live; your revelation is the tune I dance to.

Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds; they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel.

Let those who fear you turn to me for evidence of your wise guidance.

And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭119:73-80‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Being a Christian during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.

I am praying for you to fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus no matter what this season brings.