Ep. 16 - Guard Your Heart

In this episode, I go over a recent incident of a major heartbreak, to show how essential it is for us to guard our hearts.

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Intro (0:08)

Welcome to this episode of “The Message” with Angel! I hope that the last month has been good to you, and I hope that May may be another month full of blessings. Even if it hasn’t, remember that God is always good. God is for us and like Romans 8:31 says,

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

I know sometimes believing this is easier said than done. Trust me, I would know. Because believe it or not, this last month has been very hard on me, and I want to use my struggles and twist it to something positive that I can share with you guys today. You know what’s funny? The whole month of April, and most of May so far, I had absolutely no idea what topic I was going to touch on for this podcast episode. I want to give you guys substance. Something to take away from, that could help in your daily life. Otherwise there’s no point of me doing this. My goal with this podcast will always be, to help you. So anyways last Thursday April 3rd, I was driving to work miserable. I’ll explain why in a second. But anyways I was listening to worship music just looking for the presence of God. I then tuned in to Steven Furtick’s podcast called “Elevation with Steven Furtick.” If you don’t know who Steven Furtick is, he is the lead pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina. I personally love his way of preachings. He’s relatively young, and preaches in such an unconventional way that if you’re young, you will definitely enjoy it. Anyways so I was listening to his latest podcast when in the sermon, he said, “Guard your heart.” For some reason which I know was God actually, this phrase stuck out to me. And instantly it clicked. This will be the topic of May 2018’s episode of The Message.

This may arguably be the most personal podcast yet. But if I need to spill everything, for you to be able to benefit off it, then so be it. But I will say to you in complete transparency, writing this episode was incredibly difficult. Mainly because I’m still not completely over the situation yet. I’m still grieving. I’m still heartbroken. The good news? I am feeling a little better by the day, and I know that God is still good. I know he still has amazing plans for my life, as well as yours.

This format is going to be different. This episode will mostly be my testimony in regards to the topic and I will give you reasons why, it is so important to guard your heart. The very thing God cherishes, and the very thing the devil seeks to destroy on a daily basis. 

Meeting Her (2:57)

So Angel, what’s been going on? Well here it goes. So on my iPhone I had downloaded several Christian dating apps, which as of now have all been deleted off my phone. I used to have Tinder years ago, but that app was really mainly for hooking up with random women and as a Christian, I’d rather stay out of things that would tempt me to sin. So anyways, I didn’t have luck with any of the Christian dating apps. One app in particular was called CrossPaths. It operated very similar to Tinder in the sense that you swipe left and right. You can super-like people and chat with them if you guys match. I found no one in New York I was interested in while on that app. I decided to just see what else was out there and so I increased the distance from 25 miles, to 3000. Figured I’ll at least chat with some cool people but I doubted I would find someone that was going to make me feel more than that. Boy was I wrong.

So back on the 23rd of March, I had matched up with this beautiful Christian girl from Florida, that was currently living in Texas. Out of respect her name will not be brought up. We connected pretty much instantly. She was different than the other girls I spoke to on the app. She was down to earth and humble. She was overall a really nice person to talk to. That same night I got her number and we began to text until 3 o’clock in the morning. Very quickly we fell into infatuation with one another. Her Instagram had showed me that she was passionate about God which was amazing, and she was down to earth. Which as a guy who’s always moving and I’m high energy, I needed someone to bring me back down. Feelings developed really fast. Within the next couple of days, she had said that she had been praying for me to enter her life, and she didn’t even know it. It felt great to hear that. We grew close very quickly. We could speak on the phone for hours without boredom. We even FaceTimed for 5 hours. We started to develop strong feelings for one another. 

But we also began to discuss important issues. She lives in Texas, and will be there for a couple of years since she’s in the Air Force. So getting to know her was essential, and these important questions were necessary for the both of us before it goes any further. So would she ever consider moving to NY one day? I had asked this and she said she didn’t like the idea. Texas is different from NY and she didn’t like the idea of living where neighbors are close by. She would prefer staying down south. I tried to tell her then maybe we are not meant for one another. She fought back by telling me that God would not have had us meet each other for just to talk for a bit and then go our separate ways. She said that God may even move her to go up to NY which I suppose could happen. I don’t know what the future holds she told me, and I shouldn’t try and play God. So I said fine, let’s continue talking. Things escalated quick. 

Texts started friendly and getting to know another to now, the conversations were no different than two people in a relationship. Not a day had gone by we didn’t speak. My day would instantly brighten getting a text from her. She said she adored me. She said I was perfect. Heart emojis starting flying left and right in the conversation. I would get pictures from her. Nothing inappropriate, but it was nice to know what she was up to through her photos. She said she thinks we should be married one day. Hearing this made me feel amazing, but it also concerned me. I am not perfect by any means. Marriage was also way to early to discuss, when we’ve only talked for two weeks. Our hearts were pouring too fast.

My heart was telling me to cautious about this, and that it would be best to seek godly counsel. Luckily for me, I knew exactly who to go to.

Seeking Advice (6:42)

If you look at The Bible, in Proverbs 11:14 it says,

“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.”

As you can see from the scripture here, it’s foolish to not seek godly counsel, especially when it comes to one’s romantic life. Sometimes our emotions get the best of us and our judgement can get clouded. So on April 12th, after college church service, I spoke with my youth pastor. Mind you, we started talking everyday from March 23rd on. I really should have went to him sooner. So anyways, I told him what was going on. I told him I was talking to this girl that I had met on this Christian dating app, and I was developing strong feelings for her. His advice was that this could very turn into something beautiful, but to be cautious. This was a girl who lived across the country and if I decided to commit, this would mean saying no to any girl I meet for the next couple of years. And so I had to be sure before committing. He told me I still have so much to know about her, so it was important to guard my heart. 

In Proverbs 4:23 it even says,

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

He suggests taking the romantic aspect out of the conversation, since it would relieve the pressure of having to text back immediately and giving too much of our hearts too early. If she proved that she could be my best friend, then maybe this is something worth committing to. Because if she proved that she could be my best friend, then I had no trouble whatsoever saying no to every girl I met. I really mean that too. She was incredibly attractive too, so that helped haha. 

So that night outside my house I got on the phone and spoke with her. I told her this wasn’t friend zoning because we’re aware we both like one another, and this would be good for the both of us. I thought it was more than reasonable. I was at peace with this too, which I knew meant that God would have wanted it too. She on the phone seemed okay with it. But later on through text, it was clear she wasn’t. Not a good sign.

For the next two weeks, it came became her, back and forth not knowing what she wanted in regards to this. The next day it was her telling me she’s willing to work on a godly friendship first, because if a relationship is what I eventually want, then God will do his work. It made sense. It made me so happy that I thought maybe this could work. But then the next day she’d change her mind. She’d begin to text me in short messages and go, “Isn’t this what you wanted?” It bothered me greatly. I remembered being told by my pastor that, "love doesn’t need convincing." But because I liked her so much, that was exactly what I was trying to do.

And don’t get me wrong, there were times in those two weeks that I said I had enough. I told her that I need a woman who is going to work with me and not fight with me on something that God would want. But she kept texting me, telling me she missed me so it would reel me back in to where I would continue talking to her, even though I was still persistent on a friendship first. She didn’t want a friendship, but didn’t want to stop talking to me either.

The Big Argument (9:57)

So then on the 17th of April came a big argument, over yep…politics. If you know me personally, you know how critical I can be of the government. Of any country for that matter. I use to be really into conspiracy theories and stuff and I realized that the reason why so much evil is happening in nations around the world is because, Satan is running the world. Anyways so she send me a screenshot of something I had posted on Facebook and asked me if I believed it was true. I made my political opinion clear before in a FaceTime call with her, which is why it confused me so much that I was being questioned on it. It got very heated. I was trying to be patient and respectful while she seemed to be very sensitive on it, probably because she’s in the military. But even so, it didn’t merit her speaking to me so aggressively. I told her she was acting immature and there should be no reason why two Christians can’t agree to disagree. Her response?, “Please stop talking to me now.” I couldn’t believe it. Over politics?

For two days I left her alone, thinking she’d come to her senses and realize politics is a stupid reason to get so angry at me for. I texted her and asked if she was still mad at me. She said she wasn’t, but had unfollowed me on Instagram so she could move on. I was incredibly confused, but I respected her decision and let her be. I told her I got a lot of love for her, which I still do. I told her I’m here waiting when she’s ready to talk to me.

A week goes by until I hear from her. Conversation was short but I was at least happy to hear from her. I was thinking about her the whole week. I’m not going to lie, I missed her tremendously.  The next day I text her to see how her day was going, and I don’t hear from her for 2 days. I text her yet again, asking if I did anything wrong. Turns out she was just over the whole thing. She didn’t see it as a priority to text me back. I knew that the same day I texted her. It sucked to hear this from her. I tried convincing her to think otherwise, but she wouldn’t budge. I don’t get how a week of not talking to me results in moving on completely. I didn’t do her wrong. I was kind, loving, and most of all, patient. She didn’t even want to remain as friends, and wasn’t even sure when I asked her if I’d ever hear from her again. That was on the 30th of April.

I told you I’m vulnerable with you guys right? Ok so here it goes. I was absolutely devastated. It felt like my heart shattered. The hope that it would work out and she’d come to her senses, was gone. I was hurting so bad. To know how good I was, and how hard I tried to make this work, and yet it wasn’t enough was horrible. For the first time in my life, I knew what heartbreak felt like. My chest was heavy. I cried for days. I couldn’t sleep right, I’d constantly wake up in the middle of the night. My supervisor at my job knew something was up. She knew something wearing on me. I wasn’t smiling around the office anymore and my mother hated that I was letting this change how I felt on a daily basis. But it’s not easy. I was talking to her on a daily basis for a month. How could I just go from planning to visit her in Texas, to the thought of never speaking to her again? At that point, I really needed godly counsel again.

Second Meeting with my Pastor (13:55)

So last Thursday, May 3rd I once again met with my youth pastor. I told him everything that happened since the night we last spoke. He told me that besides trying to convince her for two weeks, that working a godly friendship first was a good idea, that I handled it correctly. He told me that I should be thankful it ended early on and not later where the heartbreak would be even worse. He told me this had turned toxic for me. It was making me lose sleep, it was affecting my appetite and I needed to move on. Relationships in the beginning are supposed to Cloud 9. Everything is supposed to be butterflies and bubbles, not arguing. How would this be in marriage? I should be with someone who is willing to compromise and work with being my partner. And this girl unfortunately, wasn’t willing to do that. She wasn’t willing to be my friend first. If anything, I should have ended it when I realized that her decision was changing daily. I deserve someone to say, “You know what Angel? We both like each other, and if working on a godly friendship first is something you want, then let’s do it. It’s more than reasonable, and guarding our hearts is important since we live so far from one another. I told you I adore you as a person and I think you’re perfect, so I’m willing to do what’s needed to make this work.” Too bad I didn’t get that. It hurt bad.

He said the Lord will be the one to heal the heartache I’ve been feeling, and that I have to do my part. This meant not checking her social media, because it would be like picking at my wound. He told me to be thankful that this happened, and to use this as a way to grow and learn. 

What Did I Learn? (15:34)

So what did I learn? I learned how important it is to guard one’s heart. Imagine if I never spoke to my pastor and I kept giving more of my heart? How much worse would this have turned out for me? I have no choice but to move on with my life, but it hasn’t been easy. Especially with the idea that I should not reach out to her, for my sanity. I liked her so much, and while it’s usually extremely easy to cut someone out of my life, this girl is different. It’s much harder. But I’m doing my part so that God can do his. I just really wish things were different. I would have loved for it to have worked out and have her as my wife. It makes me really sad to be honest. I’ll always have love for her though, that’s for sure. 

I realize it’s a long story, but if you’ve made it this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been more therapeutic for me than I imagined. To talk with you about this, because it helps put things into perspective. I will probably touch on this story again in the future, because God did speak to me several times during this. I may name the next episode, “Hearing God’s Voice.” Let me know what you guys think.

My Advice (16:56)

As you can see, it’s very important to guard your heart. I’m known for wearing my heart on my sleeve and just letting it all out. I’m naturally outspoken and say what I feel. But I need to be more careful, and so should you. Being vulnerable can be good, because it can lead to intimacy and trust. Being vulnerable can also be bad, since it can result in betrayal or heartbreak. Unfortunately I had to experience both. I urge you, when it comes to relationships, pace yourself. There’s no need to rush the process of letting someone into your heart. The Lord treasures your heart dearly and it is there where the holy spirit dwells. It’s also the area that the enemy attacks daily. With our self esteem, shame, I mean you name it. So please, be careful. Not everyone deserves your heart in full. Luckily I took my pastor’s advice and saved more pain that I would have experienced had I just continue to give everything of me.

Now I’m picking up the pieces and trying to get past this hurt. I pray to never again experience this pain. I also certainly don’t want this for you either. So when it comes to relationships, take the romance out of it early on. Work on trying to develop a godly friendship first. It’s okay if you’re both aware you’re attracted to one another. This doesn’t mean you friend zone someone, it just mean you’re taking precaution for the benefit of both parties. After all, in marriage, aren’t you supposed to be best friends anyway? Unfortunately things didn’t turn out the way I would have liked, and it hurts really bad. If you believe in the power of prayer, I hope that you pray for me. And if you’re going through something similar, then I’d like to pray with you right now. That God may heal our hearts and carrying our burden. 

After all in his word, in Psalms 55:22 it says,

“Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

Prayer (18:58)

Dear Father in heaven, Lord we thank you for today. We thank you for another day of life. We thank you for the grace and mercy that you show upon us daily. We thank you because it means you still have a plan to carry out in our lives. You give us another opportunity to grow, and be better than what we were yesterday. Lord we come to you in desperate need. Lord we live in a broken world, and this world can sometimes bring us down through disappointments, and heartbreaks. Lord we ask you to help our faith grow in our struggles and trials. May we remember Lord that you are with us, and if you’re with us, then who could be against us? May we find comfort in your presence Lord, and help us trade our loads with you, for your weight is light. Lord help heal and restore our hearts, and remind us that we’re are our children. You care for us and you do not want to see suffer. You count every tear shed and may we remain faithful to your promises. We pray to remember that there is great glory, past this storm. Even though we hurt now, there are blessings to follow from this. Lord you know how hard disappointments and heartbreak may be on us, so we ask you to have your hand on this situation. Lord we thank you because no matter what, you’re still good, and you still love us. In Jesus’ we give you thanks, amen.

Outro (20:23)

Once again, I want to thank you so much for tuning in to this episode, it was hard for me to write because it meant revisiting the past in order to convey this story well. I’m hurting, but I’ll live. I will get passed this. And if you’re going through something similar, then I’m here to tell you that I’m right there with you and if I can still get up and keep going, then so can you. God loves you and there’s glory to come from this. If you have any thoughts, then feel free to reach out through my social media. Instagram is probably the best way to reach out. My username is OfficialAngelTV, with no spaces. If you enjoyed this episode, then please do not forgot to subscribe and leave me a review on iTunes. I’d love to hear your thoughts. God bless you and remember good things are coming. Until next time folks, this has been The Message.