5 Ways to Discover Your Hidden Heart
May 24, 2020

Sometimes we dream of changing the world. 

Images of being a doctor or an international spy fill our thoughts like a runaway train. These dreams dance in the distance, just out of reach, beckoning us to chase after the promises they keep. But as time goes on, they fade; dissolving into unrecognizable elements of survival and responsibility. To keep up with the demands of life, we believe we must work harder or achieve greater accolades. By living in this fast-paced life, we subdue the quiet whispers of our hidden heart and it slowly fades away.  

Then one day we ask: “Who am I? Where am I going? Why am I running?”  We start a new journey searching for our heart; convinced we must have misplaced it somewhere. 

We unearth thoughts, fears and secrets that were all but hidden from the world and from ourselves. We feel its steady beat but the song is gone. We fall. We fear. We grieve. We begin to see God’s amazing love shine in the dark places of our soul.   

Too many times, we avoid discovering our heart. This journey requires courage. We must be intentional to look for hope-filled tomorrows. In these moments, we are the sojourner. We are temporarily residing in this new place. Afraid, but filled with the promise of a greater plan. This journey is necessary because through it, we discover a deeper love and newfound peace as we walk with God. 

But how do you find it? Your hidden heart?

First, you have to discover His story for your life. 

You must discover your inner being. 

Self-Insights: Who you are?

Psalms 139:13-15 (English Standard Version) shows us that each person is unique and divinely created. 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” 

You are authentic. Your soul knows this. If we could hear our soul, we’d experience the fullness and richness of God. His adaptation must resonate through you – heart, mind, soul and spirit. You are uniquely designed. Your inner being contains your identity, feelings, thoughts and your brokenness. But you cannot discover your true self without His guiding hand. 

1. You must be self-aware. Self-awareness involves seeing one’s true self. Self-awareness is the act of being aware of the internal aspects of your own nature, such as your personality traits, emotions, values, attitudes and perceptions. We, as individuals, must know and appreciate how our patterns affect others. We all have blind spots. We are all plagued by things we don’t recognize as problems. These blind spots hinder our effectiveness and limit our success. 

We are also riddled with shame, fear and self-doubt. These elements change the way we see ourselves and what we believe about our potential. 

Ephesians 1:4 New International Version (NIV) says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight”. 

In the beginning of time, God designed us to be holy and blameless in His sight. For some, this is difficult to believe. For those of us who have been hurt by life’s relentless storms, we cannot believe that God sees us as holy or blameless. We’ve hurt ourselves. We’ve hurt others. Betrayed trust. We’ve compiled a multitude of regrets. 

The first step on our self-discovery journey is to reach into God’s Word to find His truth about who we are. You can begin by asking God “Who do you say that I am?” 

If we’ve experienced emotional, physical or sexual trauma, then our filters are clogged. The self-discovery journey to unwrap these thoughts, feelings and behaviors can be daunting. Sometimes we need a friend or confidant. Other times, we may need professional counseling to help us unwrap what we believe about ourselves.  If this is part of your story, as it has been mine, take the time to find help. Take the extra step to seek out professional counselors who can help you unwrap your past in a healthy way.

2. Acknowledge your feelings. Our feelings can consume us. We should allow ourselves to feel and acknowledge them. But we have a responsibility to control our emotions and how we express them. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to respond. Today, many refer to this emotional awareness as “Emotional Intelligence (EQ)”. Elements of EQ can be learned and developed. Researchers have identified four categories or stages of EQ: Self-awareness, Self-management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management. These categories create a spectrum for us to evaluate our EQ and to set goals to lead ourselves well. 

In Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV), Paul writes “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” 

Each provides a guide to strive for increased emotional control. In my life, I’ve struggled with extending gentleness in many situations. When I spend time in God’s word and open my heart, I can lay my actions at His feet and ask for forgiveness.  When I hurt someone I love or respect with my words or actions, I apologize. By taking the time to listen to our emotions and understand them, we listen to the whispers of our heart and unwrap the fears and anxiety that may be holding us back from hearing God’s voice. 

3. You must be open-minded. In today’s world, we hear and read about mindfulness and consider it to be a secular topic without the guidance of God’s spirit. But mindfulness is simply making a conscious effort to pay attention to new information. By its definition, mindfulness is a “readiness to create new mental categories in the face of evolving information and shifting circumstances”. Innovation and creativity also come from this place of independent thinking. It requires both curiosity and courage. If I’m not careful, my mind will tell me things that are not true. While my spirit and soul long to hear God’s voice, my thoughts run wild with fear and self-doubt. I must be willing to acknowledge those thoughts for what they are and to not take hold of them. 

In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

Take your thoughts captive. Grab them, examine them and compare them to God’s story.  Align them to God’s Word and ask “Does this thought align with your plan, Lord?” If it is rooted in shame or fear, then it’s worth letting go. 

4. Remember, healing takes time. Healing is a process. It takes time, like all good things. Fine wine, home grown vegetables, a beautiful butterfly garden. They take time. You don’t get to experience the beauty of the sunrise until you’ve endured the darkness of the night. We look at God’s landscape and ask for wisdom to discover our unique design. 

5. Trust the Process. 

No process is perfect. Attempting to discover who you are takes intentional effort. By writing your thoughts down in a journal or other safe place, you can explore them freely.  I’ve found the greatest relief when I write it down. Then I’ve acknowledged the thought or feeling, in its rawness, and I’ve given it a name. I am no longer pressured to hold onto it. Later when I’m ready, I can process it with more objectivity and grace. 

The world is forever changing. It grows more and more complex with each passing day. Sometimes we stumble and fall. In those moments, we must ask for forgiveness, ask for help and try again. We must be intentional about looking at ourselves and unearthing opportunities to heal. 

You are the sojourner – a temporary traveler. But you will persevere. God chose you BEFORE the creation of the world. He chose you BEFORE the creation of sin or man or hurt or pain or sorrow arrived on this Earth. God chose you so that you could be holy and blameless in His sight. Not man’s sight. Not the enemies’ sight. Not even your own sight.   When those moments of shame and fear arrive at my door without invitation, I am learning to replace the lies with the gentle voice of God saying –  

“My beloved, 

I created you before the world was made, 

to be holy and blames in My sight.

Fix your eyes upon me.

Lean into me.

Reach for me.

I will be your voice 

when it fills with the sobbs of your past.

I will be your heart 

when it longs to feel an unbreakable love.

I will be your spirit 

when it no longer soars.

I will be your strength 

when there is no more to give to the world.

I am yours, beloved, 

but you are mine – forevermore.”

All my love,