Your heart may feel dead and gone, but it’s there waiting to be released

For many years, I have enjoyed receiving John Eldredge’s daily Wild at Heart meditation. This week, he posted two that were particularly applicable to people over 50.

“What if those deep desires in your heart are telling you the truth, revealing the life we were meant to live?” John asked.

I suspect all of us have experienced this feeling, at one time or another. We think there must be more to life than what we are currently experiencing. I know I have.

God created us for a reason. He equipped us with natural skills and ushered us into experiences that gave us unique skills, wisdom and understanding. It does not seem logical that we should waste all that after turning 50.

“God gave us eyes so that we might see; he gave us ears that we might hear; he gave us wills that we might choose; and he gave us hearts that we might live. The way we handle the heart is everything,” John wrote.

The biggest choice we often face after reaching our 50th birthdays is whether or not to pursue what God is tugging at us to do. The path will be different for everyone. Yet, it’s essential that we don’t give up that pursuit to settle for an unfulfilling life just because we are scared or tired.

“I don’t know when I died,” John recalled a man telling him. “But I feel like I’m just using up oxygen.”

“I understand. Your heart may feel dead and gone, but it’s there,” John explained. “Something wild and strong and valiant, just waiting to be released.”

I felt like I was using up oxygen from June 2017 until July 2021. In fact, I was ready to wave the white flag and surrender to a meaningless and hopeless existence.

Fortunately, a mentor, Vincent Pugliese, took time to talk to me as I opened up about my concerns of having nothing important to do with my life. He gets all the credit for inspiring me to launch Forward From 50 in hopes of helping others realize they have so much left to offer.

As it turns out, God was whispering for me to pursue Forward From 50 for several years. I just wasn’t paying attention to that small, quiet voice. I actually registered the Forward From 50 domain name in March 2018, just about the time I started sulking about not having a sense of purpose.

In a separate devotion, John describes how we intentionally sabotage our own lives by failing to hear God’s gentle whisper.

“In our modern, pragmatic world we often have no such mentor, so we do not understand it is God speaking to us in our heart,” he explained. “Having been out of touch with our deepest longing, we fail to recognize the voice and the One who is calling to us through it.

“Some of us silence the voice by locking our heart away in the attic, feeding it only the bread and water of duty and obligation until it is almost dead,” he added. “But sometimes in the night, when our defenses are down, we still hear it call to us, oh so faintly — a distant whisper.

“Come morning, the new day’s activities scream for our attention, the sound of the cry is gone, and we congratulate ourselves on finally overcoming the flesh,” John wrote.

Isn’t that the truth! Being over 50, we are often told we had our turn. Society ushers us to the sideline and tells us it’s the younger generation’s turn. Yet, the younger generation often lacks wisdom that only comes from experience. We have a duty and obligation to assert ourselves into those conversations.

John noted that many of us agree to give our heart a life on the side if it will only leave us alone and not rock the boat. That was my experience as well.

“We try to lose ourselves in our work, or ‘get a hobby’ (either of which soon begins to feel like an addiction); we have an affair, or develop a colorful fantasy life fed by dime-store romances or pornography,” he explained.

Consequently, the inner life we often desire has been divorced from the outer life we actually live. In 1 Peter 2:11, the apostle likens it to waging war against our soul.

We all have a giant God-sized hole in our heart that can only be filled by being obedient to what we are called — and equipped — to do.

“Having appeased our heart, we are forced to give up our spiritual journey because our heart will no longer come with us,” John wrote. “It is bound up in the little indulgences we feed it to keep it at bay.”

We watch television, surf the internet, walk the dog, play a round of golf, tinker in the garage, gossip with our friends, get embroiled in endless and mindless political debates — all to avoid taking a step toward what will, undoubtedly, be a more meaningful and impactful live.

“If you are going to find a life worth living and not pass on your confusion to your children, you simply must get your heart back,” John exclaimed.

My meeting with Vincent two years ago was so impactful on my life and in recovering my heart, that I want to pay it forward by igniting other souls on fire.

If you’re struggling with a sense of purpose or in taking a vital first step toward the realization of your long-dormant dreams, I’d like to help. Let’s set up a Zoom meeting or phone call to do some brainstorming together.

The first meeting is on me. Hopefully, you’ll walk away with a sense of direction for your life or confirmation regarding the path to take.

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