Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:3
It was yesterday that I felt it. I went to a women’s Bible study and watched this hour long video. I was captivated by every word spoken. And then, at the very end, my heart began to beat. I felt it. It thudded in my chest and throughout my limbs. I could hear it in my ears. A loud, steady pounding. It lasted about two or three minutes. Thud. Thud. Thud. Just like a drum. And I had to sit there choking back tears. I was thankful for that heartbeat. Because it’s one I haven’t felt in quite some time. And this type of beating is not one that merely proves I’m alive… that I exist. No, this sort of pounding reminds me of what I sometimes doubt. It tells me that I’m really His. And it tells me that He hasn’t forgotten me. That He still has purpose for my life. No, I’m not as dead as I thought I was… for there’s life inside me. It’s my heart beating just like a drum.
You know, I just celebrated my 41st birthday last month. I’ve now roamed this earth over 14,965 days. But this month, I celebrate another type of birthday. For it was seventeen years ago (sometime in February) that I officially became a Christian. You know, I said a prayer and hoped for the best. I was moved then, too, for I remember the tears. But you know… I don’t I recall a heartbeat then. So much time has elapsed and I didn’t journal so I can’t say for sure. But I wonder today… did my heart beat like it did yesterday when I said some words I thought I was supposed say? Did I feel a thud, thud, thud in my chest and ears all that time ago? Like a drum beating?
After becoming a Christian, I did all those things I thought I was supposed to do. When asked, I said yes to working with teen girls although they knew far more than I did. Most specifically, they knew God. When I moved away from North Carolina, I tried to be good but failed miserably and lived under a cloud of guilt. It was not till 2004 that I attended church once more. But you know, despite knowing all the right words and all the right actions, there was something so fundamental I had missed along the way. Although I appeared to have it all together, and seemed to be a spiritual person, I was far from it. And so, bypassing a relationship with God, I began to serve again because I thought it’s what I should do. And because I thought I should work, I did what was comfortable to me. I worked with kids. And over time, I became bitter and resentful about what I was doing. Because although working with kids is a good thing, it wasn’t my thing.
And then one day, out of the blue, something extraordinary took place. It had to have been January of 2009 when I felt something inside me. There was movement. I was at church and a friend of mine spoke of a women’s service to take place in February. She wanted someone to share their story. And then the first beat. Quietly at first, but it grew louder and stronger with each thud. The steady rhythm echoed throughout my whole body reaching through the ends of my fingers and filling my ears. This had never happened before. And so, after the service, I knew I had to do something. Perhaps inspired by God for the very first time, I dared to approach my friend. I told her… I think it’s me. This foreign beating of my heart coinciding with my friend’s request was of God. He wanted me to speak in front of a crowd… completely out of my comfort zone.
And I did speak, as I should. But afterward, nothing changed. When the next opportunity arose, I volunteered to work with kids once more. Because they were comfortable. And so, resentment piled upon resentment and bitterness grew in astronomical proportions. Until the late Summer of 2010. Something came up. And I couldn’t sit still as the passion ignited in me. There was to be a Bible study for women. And my friend and I were to lead it. And so we did. But alas, I moved and joined another church. And when asked… I said yes to working with the children.
And so today, I realize something incredible about that heartbeat. Because it occurs to me that perhaps the heartbeat has always been there. Is it possible that I’ve been so busy doing what I shouldn’t be doing, that I just couldn’t feel it? Is it possible that during the winter of 2009, God awakened within me my true heart? Just maybe that beating in my chest was God stirring me. He knew I was trying my best to serve Him. But He also knew it was out of a sense of obligation. Perhaps He was telling me what to do then. Was He gracing me with a glimpse of His plans, but I just didn’t grasp it? Was it five years ago that God called me to work with women? Was it in January of 2009 when the passion I have for His daughters was birthed within me? For I know there are many women who quietly die in church pews every Sunday. I know that they cannot feel their heartbeat… just like there are times I cannot feel mine. And I so long for them… just as I long for me.
And yet, here I am today. I am still working with children. But yesterday, in a women’s Bible study, I felt it. It was like a drum. My heart thudded in my chest and through my limbs. I heard it in my ears. Bump, bump, bump…. loudly, steadily. And I knew. God awakened my spirit once more. He reminded me that I’m His. And He reminded me of my passion… of a calling. Through that thudding, I know He has work for me. But this work isn’t duty bound. No, this work has something to do with the resurrected heart that pounds within me. It has everything to do with a spiritual beat. For that thump, thump, thump I feel only occasionally… that beating I feel throughout my whole being… that’s really His heart. For what pounds like a drum is God’s heart as it beats in mine.
This year I can see. I realize that January and February are times of celebration. For these are my birthdays. I was physically born in January and spiritually born in February. But now I see there’s another birth to celebrate. For it was five years ago that God awakened my true heart. He gave me a passion for His dying daughters. It was five years ago that God called me to serve… but not children as I’ve been doing for so long. No, my heart… and His… is for His girls.
Oh yes… there’s a heartbeat. Steady and thumping like a drum. May it never stop.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 26:36