Today is my birthday. Well, not MY birthday, but my blog’s birthday, rather. Today, An Idol Heart is one year old!
I started this blog one year ago today. When I decided to start An Idol Heart it was because my world had turned upside down and I wanted to start telling the story, even while it was unresolved.
This time a year ago, I had just walked away from my career of 8 years, I was unemployed, I was two months in to being at a new church and was a little over a month in to diving head first into a community group I had joined. I was struggling with how to let go of the things I had allowed my life to be defined by and I was falling apart.
On why I decided to name this blog An Idol Heart, I had recently come to understand that my heart was indeed “an idol factory that mass produces idols.” That was, at once, a very sobering yet dizzying realization, and one that still reverberates with me today. A couple months earlier I had finished reading Timothy Keller’s “Counterfeit Gods”, a book that, to put it simply, completely undid me.
Going back now to read what I wrote as my first post a year ago was a pretty emotional experience. At that time, I was so afraid. The false bottom I had built in my heart was falling out and I felt like I had nothing to work with… but words. I had no idea what the next day, let alone the next year would look like.
One year later, my story looks very different. I am now working in ministry on staff at Cross Point Church in Nashville, the church I had just come to when all this unraveling began to happen. The ministry I’ve received at Cross Point over the past year has done so much to heal my heart and teach me who I am. Now, I lead ministry teams there and get to help others. The community group I had just come to in hopes of finding new friends when my world was turning upside down has been immeasurably instrumental in how God has reshaped my life this past year. I now co-lead that group of around 150 people and get to regularly share my story of how God rescued me from the pursuit of myself, challenging others to embrace uncertainly, get out of their comfort zones and be intentional about how they invest in this “stretch between” season of their life.
More than anything though, I am learning more each day how my identity does not rest in where my check comes from, but rather where my help comes from and the finished work of Christ on the cross.
I still don’t know what tomorrow will look like and I’m learning to live by faith daily, but looking back over the past year, I know what it was about. God was after my heart. He wanted to rewire it and “make it again into another vessel”.
This past Friday night, Timothy Keller, whose ministry has been such a key part of my story, was in Nashville on a tour for his new book, “King’s Cross”. I went to hear him speak and also had the opportunity to personally thank him for his ministry and how God has used it to wreck and rebuild me.
He made a statement that I haven’t been able to shake since I heard it. Singularly giving perspective to much of the last year of my life, He said,
“Sometimes, the delays of Jesus are because of details and information that we don’t yet have access to. Ultimately, God gives you what you would have prayed for if you knew everything He knew.”
And there it is.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)
One year ago, my prayers were very different. I’m so thankful that God heard my prayers but still gave me what I would have asked for, had I only known. Not getting what I thought I wanted is the best thing that could have happened to me.
What life perspective have you seen while looking back over the things you have been through?