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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Dear Thames

The Heart of the Matter

I’ll never forget that Monday afternoon.


It was Valentine’s Day (circa 2011), the day of candy hearts and roses and love notes. Mom would give us a Valentine’s happy, Dad would remind us about how much he loved us, and I would wonder why no one wanted to date the historian of the Spanish Club.


But in one moment, my day— my life— completely changed.


“Olivia, DHS called. They have a five year old for us. I’m going to pick him up.”


In that moment, our family of five became a family of six. In that moment, my life became less about me, and my selfish heart hated this.


From the beginning, my parents knew I didn’t want them to adopt, so why would they make this huge decision without my blessing? Anger. Frustration. Confusion. My heart was beating like crazy and my mind was racing like no other.


And then this boy walked into our home.



He was completely at ease and happy to be there. I told him that we had a dog named Lilly, and he said, “I know.” Even though he preferred McDonald’s, we took him to El Ranchito (an initiation of sorts for anyone wanting to even be close with our family). He fit right in.


Within days, he was calling my parents “Mom” and “Dad” and saying “I love you.” Though I tried to fight it at first, I was finding that my heart was transforming day by day. The adoption process that I had at first refused to participate in was changing my life.


And ever since, nothing has been the same.


My heart breaks more, my ears bend to listen more, and my eyes notice those in need. My needs have been reevaluated, my wants have been reexamined, and my desires have shifted.


And I cannot imagine life without Charlie Dear.


Maybe you don’t have a great date lined up for Tuesday night. Maybe you don’t have a special someone to bring you roses. Maybe you’ll be buying yourself a box of chocolates when they’re on sale the next day.


But maybe we’re missing the point of Valentine’s Day. There are paper hearts, candy hearts, heart-shaped balloons….. but we’re forgetting about the One who has the power to completely reshape our own hearts.


The heart of the matter is this: God can even use what you don’t want to change your life and bless you in ways that you could never imagine.


What is God putting on your heart today? What is He trying to open you up to? How is he shaping you? In what way is He pursuing you?


A more important question: are you open to it? Are you letting your Creator do His job?


Trust the one who invented the human heart today… for His way will never lead you astray.



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