“If you want to know someone’s heart you have to know what breaks it.” Jon Meacham was discussing his book on Bush 41 with Charlie Rose when he made this statement. Charlie Rose finished saying it with him and I immediately wondered how I had missed this profound reality.
The people I trust, those who know my deepest thoughts are those I’ve connected with in heartbreak. The people who I feel like I understand are those who have shown me their hearts in the positive and negative times. Whether it has been my heart or their’s, relationships have been built in the vulnerable seasons.
In the hard times, the wilderness seasons our heart is most exposed. My wilderness was a time that revealed itself to not only break my heart but the hearts of many around me. My doubts and frustrations became contagious for some and were confirmation of personal doubts for others. When I finally opened up and confessed my weakening faith my support system strengthened and my parched spirit was watered again. Growth commenced where withering had occurred.
The paradox for me when it comes to heartache is that when I’m wounded I don’t want to connect with others. I want to hide and wait out the ache. As I hid like a wounded animal my heart did not mend the cracks deepened. God has a purpose for everything and a season in the wilderness is not different.
17 “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none,
And their tongue is parched with thirst;
I, the Lord, will answer them Myself,
As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.
18 “I will open rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
19 “Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
20 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
“If you want to know someone’s heart you have to know what breaks it.” The range of what can lead to feelings of ache within my heart has surprised me over the years. Each process from an ache to healing has taught me something about myself and those in my inner circle. Each heartache has also taught me a little more about God.
As I learned more about God, I learned more about myself and because of this process, Meacham’s words ring loudly in my ears.