Emily Dickinson first wrote the words ‘the heart wants what it wants – or else it does not care.” Since then, the phrase has been repurposed by people as varied as singer Selena Gomez and actor/producer Woody Allen.
For the most part, it’s been used as an excuse for an aberrant or a harmful attraction, but what does it mean when what the heart wants is good? Or even better – redemptive?
In 2012 we were a family of seven. We had three biological sons and three biological daughters. Among the daughters were a set of three year old twins, Anna and Mercy. Unexpectedly, we discovered our twins’ birth mom was expecting again, and once again, she was carrying wins. I remember blurting out, “Surely not….”.
Within about 30 seconds, something shifted. I asked “What is their mother wanting to do? Would she allow us to adopt them?”
How did I go from “Surely not” to “We’ll take them?” in 30 seconds?
In that moment, I had a mental picture of my older twins, but rather than being 3 years old, in my mind they were 15. Rather than little girls, I saw them as young women. They were beautiful, poised, and lovely….and in my mental picture, they were just discovering that they had sibling. One of the twins asked, “There were more like us and you didn’t want them?”
Of course I did. In that moment, out of the love for the daughters I had, I wanted those unknown twins more than anything. I didn’t know anything about the twins that were coming. I didn’t know their health status. I didn’t know their sex. I didn’t know for sure when they were due….but I knew this – I would tear through a brick wall to have them in our home if the Lord would allow it.
Why? Initially, for the sake of these daughters that I already had. If there were more, I wanted them so that they could be together.
Right now, God in heaven looks at Jesus and says, For the sake of my Son, I want the others.
Because He loves Jesus, His own Son – God also wants you, and He wants you in an family relationship with Him because he knows you were made to be together.
Just the fact that you exist – that you’re out there, and He has a son He loves so he understands fatherhood – is reason enough for Him to say “because I love Jesus, I love you.”
When it’s God’s heart, what the heart wants is more than just what the heart wants. What God’s heart wants is redemption for His children.
These thoughts were adapted from a teaching shared on the heart of an adoptive father. Find the full audio here.