I can’t believe I’ll be someone’s wife in 3 weeks. At times I find myself still in shock about what’s happening in my life. I stare at my ring in amazement. Sometimes I seriously and jokingly ask my fiancé “Where did you come from?” LAST YEAR I WAS SINGLE. Let that sink in. Those close to me know my story and witnessed how fast God moved when it was time. Key words: WHEN IT WAS TIME. They also know this was a LONG time in the making. A few days ago a good friend of mine asked me how did I guard my heart, without putting up walls? Whew. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy AT ALL.
Once I love you, I love you. And to make matters worse, I love hard. This wasn’t a good combination for a single woman who felt rejected, and desperate for a husband. I can’t tell you the pain I felt when relationships failed to work out. I wore the label of rejection like I owned it. I knew something had to be wrong with me and God had forgotten about me. But then, the Lord with his sweet spirit, gently informed me that I wasn’t guarding my heart.
“Guard your heart above all else, for out of it flows the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Guard my heart?!?! What the heck does that even mean? And how was I supposed to guard my heart, when it was my nature to love? It took awhile, but after sincerely asking God to help me guard my heart, I finally surrendered ALL of it to him. Here are a few things that helped me along the way.
- I ended all of my online dating subscriptions. I completely understand that online dating will be the source as to how some people will find their mate. However, God told me to cancel my memberships. In retrospect, now I know why: I CLEARLY wasn’t going to meet my future husband on any of those sites, and me logging on every few days to only discover the weirdos had taken an serious interest in me was adding to my rejection. Nope. It wasn’t for me.
- I ruled out any “potentials”. What about him? Or him? Chile, shoulda, coulda, wouldas, will drive you crazy. What messes us up in the head is how we think, or WHO we think it should be. If he wasn’t actively pursuing me or had approached me, I made the FAIRYTALE come to an end, immediately. I was waiting for my REAL love. “Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.” -Lauryn Hill-
- I learned how to enjoy Nikki. I started going to the movies alone and I actually enjoyed it. I would take a walk every Sunday in my neighborhood, and began my own tradition of praying every Sunday night, as a way to give God the entire week ahead. During this time I also began to develop my skills and career as a writer. I put all of my extra time into my personal blog Nikki and The City, and began to see results. I was intentional about spending time with loved ones, and made sure my relationship with God was intact.
I got to a point where I was genuinely enjoying life. I hated my job, lol, but I was going to church, working out, and my blog was taking off. I was so deep into my routine, that when I noticed Stevie (my fiancé), my first reaction was to make it go away. However, I’ll never forget a prayer my aunt prayed for me in my early 20′s: “I pray you give your heart to God, and allow Him to give it to the man for you.” That has always stuck with me. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed for my feelings for Stevie to go away. The best thing about guarding your heart, is it keeps you from doing extra. I wasn’t on Stevie’s Facebook page liking all of his pictures, or texting him all the time. Nope, I actually shied away from him. I gave the entire matter to God, and trusted that if Stevie was for me, he would come to me. And that’s exactly what happened. My beautiful man came to me.
I must admit, the early stages of us dating were scary. I’d been so used to guarding my heart, that I was scared to let my walls down. And to make matters worse, I was falling in love with Stevie fast. So, I took an entire day to seek the Lord about Stevie. I didn’t take any phone calls and refrained from social media. I needed to know from the Lord that it was okay to let my guards down. Taking that day to myself was the best thing ever, but the worse for Stevie, lol. He went crazy without me. That day apart pretty much confirmed we were meant to be together. We started dating, and got engaged six months later.
So to answer the question: How do you guard your heart, without putting up walls?
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