When I was a kid I was painfully shy. Painfully aware of judging eyes, ears. I was painfully aware of the unforgiving “stage” that life can be and I was never quite ready for the curtain to open – never ready to step out on stage and risk the pain of being judged by others. I hid behind the curtain, waiting in the wings for that moment I felt safe. Those safe moments hardly happened and whenever I did step out I found myself often feeling vulnerable and judged, then feeling ashamed of my own feelings. That little girl, then teenager, then adult was trapped. I was a prisoner. I wasn’t free. I wasn’t living and until I learned the truth I would never be free.
My adults years gave me so many experiences that helped free me. God has a way of moving us through and out of ourselves in order to guide us closer to Him. As I leaned closer into God, I became more and more free. It is a journey, being free. Even the most seemingly confident, secure people are in fact insecure in some way. We all are. We are actually designed that way. That’s the only way true humility can be gained. Today my confidence and security only comes from God. My freedom comes from living and loving in God. But with that God gave me a vision and a calling. Perhaps I have run from it but it followed me… maybe even married me. *insert smile here* that’s another day and another story that I want to tell.
So God wouldn’t let me go without making me grow. Heart on Your Sleeve was how God was going to put his work in me into action. Heart On Your Sleeve is a concept that lived inside of me. It was an idea that burned in my soul for a very, very long time. It was birthed through and because of that prison that I lived in. It came out of the very notion that I needed to be set free. But not just that I need to be set free but that there are many people just me that need to be set free from their own emotional bondage. Emotional bondages that have trapped us and kept us imprisoned for years. God had a greater plan and a much bigger picture that I had ever imagined. In 2 Corinthian 12:8-10 He says He uses our very weaknesses to show that in Him our weakness is made perfect. His grace is can get us through whatever it is we’re going through. Our flaws can be made into something beautiful, divine. We just have to break free from those chains and allow him to use us in the way He sees fit.
So why Heart on Your Sleeve? It is both literal and figurative. How much more vulnerable can one be than to wear their heart on their sleeve. It means to openly express your feelings. For me it’s deeper it’s about openly expressing the truth placed in your soul by the Creator of all things. It’s trusting that His grace is sufficient and having faith that come what may He will use that thing – whatever it may be – for good. Even more, Heart on Your Sleeve is about choosing to wear love daily. It’s about choosing love. It’s about choosing to love in very real tangible ways every day. His love and light will prevail despite us living in a fallen world. Lean into him. Listen. And share the light. Put love on as you would a garment. Go out into this world and wear your Heart on Your Sleeve. Love somebody today.