I was embarrassed. My friends and I had been featured on a podcast and, toward the end of the recording, I got teary-eyed. You could hear the emotion in my voice as I struggled to regain my composure.
Afterward, I apologized to the host. She waved it off, saying, “Honestly, I think it makes you authentic. God’s given you a sensitive spirit. What a gift.”
Alone on the closet floor where I’d sat to record the podcast on my phone, I placed my face in my hands and wept again. This, a gift? Most days, my sensitive heart feels like a shameful burden, the emotions rising up like a relentless tide when I least expect or want them to. I can’t exercise, meditate, or pray my way past my too-tender heart. It’s simply part of who I am.
Objectively, I know it’s ok to be sensitive. But as a woman who longs to give others an impression of unwavering calm, it feels like a weakness—a fatal flaw. Yet I know, deep in my soul, that God has created me to be the way I am—the same way He’s given my oldest child a fierce heart, my second-born the gift for noticing those around her, and my youngest a cheerfully good-natured countenance. When I look at my children, I don’t see these parts of themselves as character flaws. I see beauty, even when it’s imperfect. So why can’t I accept that in myself?
I love how 2 Corinthians reflects on the refining nature of the things that cause us distress: “And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart” (2 Cor. 7:11, MSG).
A sensitive heart can mirror a sensitivity to the Spirit of God and His work in our lives. With God’s help, I’m working on seeing this part of myself as a gift, rather than a hindrance. What part of yourself or your nature do you struggle with the most? How can you begin to view that trait as the beautiful way God has uniquely gifted you?