Each of us is given a totally unique, one-of-a-kind, unlike any other fingerprint. Our fingerprints are a representation of our identity. The older I’ve become, the more I’ve discovered that I also have totally unique, one-of-a-kind, unlike any other…heart prints! Just like my fingerprints are used to identify me, so are my heart prints. The biggest difference between our heart and hand prints is someone else’s ability to see them. If someone looks carefully at their fingertips and hands, they can see the unique lines and ridges on them, they can even press their hand into ink and then onto paper and see the lines more clearly. Heart prints are much more difficult to see. They must be shared from a place of openness and vulnerability. But, when those heart prints are shared, they tell a beautiful story that can change and possibly will change some else’s life.
While fingerprints are permanent, they can be changed slightly if a burn or cut goes deep enough. Our heart prints are the same way. What happens in our lives will cause permanent prints, but some events change our prints in a more drastic way, causing lasting changes that will forever leave a deep change.
Some of the events in my life that have left the deepest prints on my heart was the day I became a mother for the first time, and then again for the second time. Along with trusting God with my life and marrying my prince charming, those two events had left the deepest prints. These were all events that made me smile when I told others about them. These prints gave me great joy.
Then, one day, the deepest heart print was pressed into my life in a way I wouldn’t have imagined in my worst nightmare. The pain that caused this print was almost more than my heart could bear. I tried my best to do everything in my power to push it away, I tried to guard my heart, not let this pain seep in. But, in in the end, I had no control, this event that God had allowed to enter my life was out of my control.
My deepest heart print came the day my precious 2 ½ year old son entered heaven before me. The day I held him in my arms as he was ushered into the presence of Jesus caused a print through the deepest pain imaginable. This day, January 19, 2017, was stamped on my heart with great force and permanence. My life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, human…it all changed. Yes, I still have the same heart, but the prints on it are so different now. Cancer took one of my life’s greatest joys and left a hole in my heart, forever changing the landscape of my life.
Just like my fingerprints, my heart prints tell the unique story of my life, a story that I can’t keep to myself. I want people to identify my heart prints by all of the things that make it unique…the joy and the pain. God gave me a distinct story to tell and this story is based on the prints that have been left on my heart through the events and people in it. Through the joy and the pain, I can share my story in a way that I also share grace, hope and love. I can share my story as one of pain with purpose, grief with glory, hurt with hope, loss with love…all through God’s goodness and grace.
My heart prints are sometimes shared easily and openly, other times I barely have the strength to articulate the words of my heart. On the good days and bad, I remind myself that all these things work together for good. They are working for good if my story allows me to raise a daughter that loves God and people more than herself, if I have a company and organization that give people hope in their own lives, if it draws my husband and I closer together, if it allows me to help others and if through this I have forever been changed to be better version of the unique Sarah God created me to be.
So, today, I encourage you to think about the things that have shaped those unique prints on your own heart. Some of them came from joy and others from pain. Through them all, you are uniquely you. Share your story. Open your heart to someone else and show them your heart prints. Don’t listen to the lies that tell you your story isn’t enough or isn’t worth sharing, because it is! You never know when you might create a print on some else’s heart through your own life. We all have a heart, we just have to be brave enough share it!