Desires of My Heart
by Margaret D. Mitchell
"Look here, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.' How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, 'If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.' Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." -James 4:13-17
One day, while driving along a beautiful country road, past white cottages; gray barns; green, rolling hills; and a long, blue mountain ridge, God touched a part of my heart.
I had desired to have a tiny cottage for as many years as I can remember. My late aunt’s to be exact. She passed away when I was young, but not before I was able to spend a couple of years living just up the road from her.
Her cottage was situated at the corner of a crossroad, adjacent to a riverbank, right where my school bus used to pick me up.
When she would come home to her cottage on weekends, I would dart out my front door and run all the way down our road to her house. There she would be, just past her gateway of fragrant boxwoods. I can still see her wearing her big-brimmed, straw hat as she patiently, cheerfully trimmed her flowers.
And I would enter in.
And green grass was cut through by a fresh water stream, red roses laced a bank of craggy rocks, and snow ball bushes grew bigger than I—these are a few of my favorite memories.
The first time I ever saw oriental poppies was in her front yard, purposed along the foundation of her cottage. And like her, they were tall and thin and strong. Their bright orange petals glistened in the sunlight and dazzled me as they reached upward. At five-years-old, my every experience there was like a living storybook.
And after some time with my aunt, many times after lunch or tea, she would cut a bouquet of flowers for me that were almost too high and too heavy for my young arms to carry all the way back up the road to home. But even though my arms ached, I loved every flower because of her. And I treated them as delicately as they were because, like her, they were special to my heart.
And I held these memories for years.
Before she was gone.
And even after.
And time moved on.
And I got busy.
But I never forgot.
And deep in my heart, over the years, remained that dream, that incomplete circle of living at her cottage amid all that loveliness to carry on the memories she gave me of nurtured beauty.
And on the recent day that I drove through the countryside, past cottage after cottage, God impressed upon me that I was to give this fragment of my heart to Him—every memory, every emotion, every desire.
And so I did, knowing that He desires to take every piece of our hearts and re-create beauty and wholeness and dreams realized.
I repented of guarding the pain of the unfilled dream for so many years. And when I did, I felt peace in my heart. I felt the solidity of a God who can heal our foundation to the extent that there isn’t even a crack.
And I knew I could trust God with my dream.
And I knew He would bring it to pass.
And He can do the same for you.
How About You…
Are you withholding any plans in your heart from God?
If so, you may be unwittingly exalting them above God’s plan of wholeness and blessings for you.
Even if your plans are born out of pain and loss, they cannot be justified by pain. Jesus is our only justifier.
He desires your whole heart.
Is He touching your heart?
Will you trust Him to help you realize your dreams by handing any misplaced pieces over to Him so He can bring healing to your soul and give you beauty for ashes?
Will you let Him help you with what’s important to you?
It’s important to Him.
Lord, please forgive me for holding onto my unfulfilled dreams and desires that pain my heart, for not entrusting them with You sooner, for unwittingly putting them above Your plan for me. I choose this day to receive Your forgiveness and to trust You at Your Word, that You will heal my soul and give me the desires of my heart, as I delight in You (Ps 37:4). I believe Your Word, Lord, and I hand these pieces of my heart to You to re-create wholeness and beauty and life in me, for me and through me. Thank You for Your mercy and grace for me, for helping me realize even more that what’s important to me is important to You and that I can trust You with everything dear to me, even my secret desires. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ. This devotional was adapted from Margaret's forthcoming book, Enduring Grace. All rights reserved.