The heart can be so fragile. Like a vase, a heart can hold much, pour out its contents, and be held by others. Vases even come with handles to be specifically carried. But hearts can be cracked, sometimes broken.
"Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"[a]made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." 2 Corinthians 4:1-7
No passage of scripture is speaking to me more so right now with where I am than the above. As I've been praying about where God would have me after December (and I'm closer to making a decision) I've also needed to share this with my family.
"Well of course you need to share with your family" you probably say within yourself.
Except you don't understand just how hard that has been. Let me take you back to the fall of 2008. At the time I was praying about an opportunity I had to travel overseas to undergo a prayer journey through a country that is spiritually a desert. But as I shared with my family, I met resistance. Oh how much resistance I faced.
I never took up the opportunity. And for a year and a half since then, I've been reluctant to share my heart with my family, out of fear of receiving the same welcome. That's led to not telling then about short term opportunities I undertook stateside until just a few weeks before, sometimes days before. Those were choices I regret, the ways I handled telling my family that is.
Within the past few weeks I've been following some advice given me, and been sharing my heart with my family. A weekend or two ago, I shared with them while we were running errands in the car about all the things I'd been up to in college, and the things I'd seen God doing. That was a big step for me. At times I was just sharing, and my parents listened. I couldn't tell if that was good or bad. But then his past Sunday I was briefly home for my church's homecoming and I was once again sharing my heart. Then unexpectedly my dad asked "How have reaching out to the internationals been going?"
Within me, my heart leapt for joy! My parent's had really been listening that car ride!! I know they may never carry the same passions as I, and they may never understand my passions, but they are beginning to recognize them!
I still have more to share with them, but I've been seizing opportunities to share bits of my heart here and there. I'm seeking to finally come out of my shell.