Our world is so cluttered right now, it is easiest to just not pay attention to most of it, or even, just not waste our time. We have our lives and our goals. Most of the time, we, or at least I, feel like I cannot possibly add something new to think about. What about things we should care about though?
Currently, my husband, Will, and I are on a year-long trip around the world doing research on human trafficking and working on launching a long-term ministry upon return to the United States. This was not my plan in college. I had a major and minor I loved, an internship, roommates, a long-term boyfriend (now my husband), a close family and my social activities. My plate was full. Will was on the World Race at the time, and specifically in Thailand. He began ministry that month doing work with an anti-trafficking organization. He began to tell me about his experiences, and since I had previously worked with women in various Christian capacities, I was interested. One 90-minute documentary later, I was extremely interested.
I may not have realized it then, but I had a choice to make.
Do I let my heart break for this?
So many of the things I see, and I am assuming that you see as well, are sad, and then I need them to not take up any more space in my thoughts. Allowing my heart to break means I would have to take more time than the five minutes it took to watch the video or read the article. It means I would have to change something or take action somewhere. It usually means I have to meet new people (my personal least favorite) or share my experiences (coming in a close second). I care, but do I have to care that much?
You don’t have to quit your job or move overseas or only post about whatever breaks your heart. You don’t have to choose human trafficking, like I did. But you do have to do something. Volunteer, pray, give financially, engage others, get training for how you can make change for your heartbreak in your own workplace. Each of these things will hurt because you care. You care about those going hungry in your community or villages without water overseas or girls being pimped out. Sometimes, your heartbreak feels more like hopelessness. Your heartbreak has to turn to trust.
Many of the days on this trip I cry and fight over what I am doing. I whine because “no one understands.” I miss Target. I shut up my heartbreak because I would rather be heartbroken over myself. But because I feel, I am even more alive. I am more in tune with how God feels towards us and this world. I would love to say I am relentlessly pursuing my heartbreak every day, but it is more like I am crawling towards it.
Letting your heart break isn’t just about helping others. It’s about helping yourself as well, or should I say, letting God help you. I know my calloused and often-cynical heart was a tough shell to break, and every day on this trip I continue to try to take off a hard piece and let my soft and vulnerable heart reach out to those around me. It has to be soft enough to say that He overcomes, no matter what I see around me.