Two- Timing Heart: The Calling to Choose

“Two-Timing Heart” is a quote that popped into my head one day as I walked along the sidewalks of campus and began a desire for me to start writing again. My heart ached between two realities: Home life, and college life. Everything was new here, I had choices here, and I didn’t have to go home to look at my parents face every night and tell them how my day was, or defensively describe the person I have been posting about. Some days I hadn’t even heard from them. How in the world do I juggle my upbringing and Christian household outlook, with college life and looser morals? This is where that little quote came into play. God was telling me, “I want your all, not just some face you put up in public and your heart when you lay in bed at night.” Why was it so much easier when I was at home? 

I want your all, not just some face you put up in public and your heart when you lay in bed at night.

This was when one of the many things God has decided to teach me clicked. “You have to make a conscious choice.” If I had a penny for every time I have heard that in different formats over the last three years, I wouldn’t be able to buy anything, I would just have a whole lot of pennies (maybe I could get some gum, or a cookie at Walmart). This little quote has stuck with me for a long time, I have used it in many conversations with other girls and even told myself this when I fall into this trap. “You have to make a conscious decision.” 

You have to make a conscious decision.

I sat across from my favorite professor one day with tears in my eyes. They weren’t the welcomed kind at all, they sat there, making my eyes heavy and I bit my tongue to try to keep from downpouring on this poor man. There was a lot going on, I had begun to question everything: the guy who I thought I was going to marry, turned out to be in the “I don’t know” stage for months but still pursued, my major didn’t feel right, I didn’t have any friends who I felt like I could talk to, I didn’t feel like I fit in, and I had begun to feel depressed again. I had been in and out of his office a few times that week, I was looking for permission to leave school. He looked at me and sighed, “I’m not going to tell you to leave, and I’m not going to tell you to stay. But I will say that you have to make a conscious decision.” He said more after that, but I knew exactly what he meant, because it was the exact lesson that I had been telling others time and time again, funny how that works. There is something special about decisions. A lot of the time, we fall into this idea that we don’t have a choice:

I can’t DO anything about it

I can’t say anything to that person

It’s out of my control. 

But every one of those is a lie. Every one of those statements, is a choice, seriously, read them again. You have the ability to choose and if it is out of your hands in some way, you have the ability to choose how you respond. But, here is where it gets confused: you do not have control over the consequence. That’s it, that is where the problem lies. We live in a world that expects to hit buttons and get what we asked for. I mean, what would happen if every vending machine, bank teller, or store clerk just handed us back something we hadn’t asked for, maybe even paid for? The world would be in shambles and people would be mad. Now here is the big piece to this lesson that I had to learn the hard way: 

The second you think you don’t have the ability to choose, is the second that resentment and blame enters your heart.

The second you think you don’t have the ability to choose, is the second that resentment and blame enters your heart.

Read it again, maybe one more time, now soak it in. We love to play the blame game. Before you get up in arms, this game can be played in two primary ways:

One: you don’t decide and just fall into one of the choices, whichever someone makes for you or that happens quicker. Soon you realize this isn’t where you want to be, things don’t feel right, you begin to regret or wonder how things were on the other side of the fence. And then, you begin to look for someone or something to blame. Maybe it was your family that gave you the decision in the first place, or a friend who advised you or maybe you blame God. That blame can lead to resentment which turns into a big stick that gets shoved in between you and whoever it was you may blame.

Two: You begin to blame yourself. This is the one I am at most fault for and so I will tell you a little bit about how this goes for me. A decision must be made, and I have to make it before a certain time or it will be made for me. I fall into the trap of “not making a decision,” and letting everything work out “just like it is supposed to.” A few weeks pass, and I begin to regret the decision that I didn’t make. I wonder if the other option was better, could I be happier there? Guilt and shame begin to build, which turns into blame and those sentences sneak into my head: “you’re worthless”, “you’re never going to be happy or make anyone proud.” And then I begin to resent myself or the decision that I didn’t even make. Are either of these accurate for you? Maybe highlight or copy the section that sounds the most like you and ponder it for a little while. And maybe neither of these are true for you, if that is the case I would encourage you to write down your biggest challenge when it comes to decisions and share it, I would love to hear about it. But either way, the second I realized and learned this lesson, is the second that things began to make a lot more sense. 

As I walked down the courtyard, I realized that God was calling me to decide in my walk with him. My parents couldn’t make it for me anymore, my home church couldn’t affirm me of my heart for servanthood anymore, and my friends couldn’t coddle me anymore. The decision to pick up my cross and make this choice, was now mine. It wasn’t a decision I could “fall into” it was just one that I could put off. The consequences? Those were out of my control. The choice? That was placed in my hand. So, whatever background you are coming from, whether it is similar to mine, or completely different, what are you going to choose? 

Think back to hard decisions in your life, can you see the fork in the road where you had to decide and maybe you didn’t? 

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