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Vigilante of Heart

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

In his commentary* on this verse, D.A. Carson writes, "In contemporary Western symbolism, the heart is the seat of the emotions. But in the symbol-world of Scripture, the heart is the seat of the whole person. It is closer to what we mean by 'mind,' though in English 'mind' is perhaps a little too cerebral. So 'guard your heart' means more than 'be careful what, or whom, you love' - though it cannot easily mean less than that. It means something like, 'Be careful what you treasure; be careful what you set your affections and thoughts on.'"

What do I treasure? What do I most often set my affections and thoughts on? These days, I think a lot about two things: having children and buying a home. Now, neither of those is bad or wrong. They are generally good desires. But when Aaron and I consider whether this is a wise time to buy a house, I have to carefully evaluate whether or not I have placed an undue importance on owning a home. And as I wait for the results of this IUI, I need to diligently examine my heart for any inordinate reliance on a pregnancy to give me joy.

Why should I be so vigilant? Because the heart, as Carson goes on to say, "directs the rest of life. What you set your mind and emotions on determines where you go and what you do. ... If your heart is ardently pursuing peripheral things (not necessarily prurient things), then from a Christian perspective you soon come to be occupied with the merely peripheral. If what you dream of is possessing a certain thing, ...that shapes your life."

I don't want to spend my life occupied with the merely peripheral. Houses and, yes, even children are peripheral. Though having a child and owning a home would both be great blessings, neither is essential to my satisfaction. And neither makes an ultimately worthy goal for my life. I still hope to have children by some means, and I still wish to buy a home when the time is right, but those intentions must be submitted to the aim of knowing and glorifying my Savior. So I guard my heart against treasuring motherhood and home-ownership too much. He loves me without those things, and by his grace I can love him without those things.

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith." Philippians 3:8-9

*in the reading for March 17 from For the Love of God, Vol. 2


Alex & Jill said...

Well said! Thanks for sharing your heart...I needed to hear this as well.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Well said.

You know, I think you're brave for documenting this walk with infertility. I couldn't talk about it. I didn't want to document all the failures along the way. I was happy to write and talk about success, but the last thing I wanted to do every month was talk or write about NOT being pregnant. You are a stronger woman than I.

Just thought maybe you should know that.

The Durbin Family said...

This is wonderful. I might use this post in a Bible Study this summer, if you don't mind, because we're reading a book that focuses on the heart...this is really well said, and love the Carson quotes, too.

Sorry to miss seeing you at the concert Saturday! Saw Aaron in the lobby but must have unknowingly crossed paths with you in the bathroom line! :) We must get together soon--we miss you all!!

GLouise said...

Good insights here.

I also want to echo one of your commenters...I was (and still am not) strong enough to chronicle fertility woes with people in real life! You are so brave to be so real, my dear, and I am sure your friends love you for it :-)

Elaine said...

Just checking in on you. I admire your attitude during this IF journey. I admit, I struggle with remaining positive and even hopeful at times. You are a true inspiration to me... I pray that your IUI is a success!!!!!!