How Guarding My Heart Got Me a Ring

BY: - 13 Aug '14 | Relationships

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Trip to the Altar Column

I can’t believe I’ll be someone’s wife in 3 weeks. At times, I find myself still in shock about what’s happening in my life. I stare at my ring in amazement. Sometimes, I seriously and jokingly ask my fiancé “Where did you come from?” LAST YEAR I WAS SINGLE. Let that sink in. Those close to me know my story and witnessed how fast God moved when it was time. Key words: WHEN IT WAS TIME. They also know this was a LONG time in the making. A few days ago a good friend of mine asked me how did I guard my heart, without putting up walls? Whew. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy AT ALL. Once I love you, I love you. And to make matters worse, I love hard. This wasn’t a good combination for a single woman who felt rejected, and desperate for a husband. I can’t tell you the pain I felt when relationships failed to work out. I wore the label of rejection like I owned it. I knew something had to be wrong with me and God had forgotten about me. But then, the Lord with his sweet spirit, gently informed me that I wasn’t guarding my heart.

“Guard your heart above all else, for out of it flows the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Guard my heart?!?! What the heck does that even mean? And how was I supposed to guard my heart, when it was my nature to love? It took awhile, but after sincerely asking God to help me guard my heart, I finally surrendered ALL of it to him. Here are a few things that helped me along the way.

  1. I ended all of my online dating subscriptions. I completely understand that online dating will be the source as to how some people will find their mate. However, God told me to cancel my memberships. In retrospect, now I know why: I CLEARLY wasn’t going to meet my future husband on any of those sites, and me logging on every few days to only discover the weirdos had taken an serious interest in me was adding to my rejection. Nope. It wasn’t for me.
  2. I ruled out any “potentials”. What about him? Or him? Chile, shoulda, coulda, wouldas, will drive you crazy. What messes us up in the head is how we think, or WHO we think it should be. If he wasn’t actively pursuing me or had approached me, I made the FAIRYTALE come to an end, immediately. I was waiting for my REAL love. “Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.” -Lauryn Hill.
  3. I learned how to enjoy Nikki. I started going to the movies alone and I actually enjoyed it. I would take a walk every Sunday in my neighborhood, and began my own tradition of praying every Sunday night, as a way to give God the entire week ahead. During this time, I also began to develop my skills and career as a writer. I put all of my extra time into my personal blog Nikki and The City, and began to see results. I was intentional about spending time with loved ones, and made sure my relationship with God was intact.

I got to a point where I was genuinely enjoying life. I hated my job, lol, but I was going to church, working out, and my blog was taking off. I was so deep into my routine, that when I noticed Stevie (my fiancé), my first reaction was to make it go away. However, I’ll never forget a prayer my aunt prayed for me in my early 20’s: “I pray you give your heart to God, and allow Him to give it to the man for you.” That has always stuck with me. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed for my feelings for Stevie to go away. The best thing about guarding your heart, is it keeps you from doing extra. I wasn’t on Stevie’s Facebook page liking all of his pictures, or texting him all the time. Nope, I actually shied away from him. I gave the entire matter to God, and trusted that if Stevie was for me, he would come to me. And that’s exactly what happened.

NikkiT_vintage engagement photo_4

My beautiful man came to me. I must admit, the early stages of us dating were scary. I’d been so used to guarding my heart, that I was scared to let my walls down. And to make matters worse, I was falling in love with Stevie fast. So, I took an entire day to seek the Lord about Stevie.

I didn’t take any phone calls and refrained from social media. I needed to know from the Lord that it was okay to let my guards down. Taking that day to myself was the best thing ever, but the worse for Stevie, lol.

He went crazy without me. That day apart pretty much confirmed we were meant to be together. We started dating, and got engaged six months later.

So to answer the question: How do you guard your heart, without putting up walls? You give your heart COMPLETELY to God and let him do the guarding. You walk softly before the Lord and listen to His voice. If he tells you to end a relationship, end it. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Seek his face about your love life.

Often times we find ourselves confused, but God is ALWAYS speaking. We just have to seek His face. Get it? Guarding your heart protects you from so much unnecessary drama and heartache. It’s also a way to preserve your heart for the spouse God has for you. Live, love, laugh, and guard that heart.

BMWK – in what ways have you been able to guard your heart without putting up walls?

The need to feel loved isn’t confined to marriage or even romance—everyone has a desire to be fulfilled by meaningful relationships and unconditional love. Click here to find out what your “Love Language” is as a single.

About the author

Nikki Carpenter wrote 46 articles on this blog.

Nikki Carpenter, also known as Nikki and The City, is an urban media expert from Chicago who loves to travel and report on issues that impact different cultures and communities. Nikki's work has been featured on Huff Post LIVE, Jet Magazine, and ESSENCE just to name a few.

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6 WordPress comments on “How Guarding My Heart Got Me a Ring

  1. Pingback: How Guarding My Heart Got Me a Ring

  2. TeShandell Lowe

    I absolutely love this! I feel like I, too, am on this similar path– guarding my heard and letting the Lord guide me. It is NOT easy and I become inpatient but I know that He is working on me and my Adam will manifest in due time. Thank you for this!

  3. nana

    I just read the first 2 lines and I’d rather say im encouraged b4 I even continue to read. how things look in my life it is a miracle now what a relationship will be. thank u for sharing

  4. nana

    oh my goodness…I feel like I am reading about me. I know the Holy Spirit led me to this article. abt a month ago. my pastor told me so. I love too hard and too fast. so when I tried not to, I ended up putting up walls and being suspicious like oh this one is here to play and reject me again. I felt like smthn is wrong…that if I went to church received the msg and lived as he told me and all that and some ple were getting their results then maybe I was doing smthn wrong or maybe I didn’t hv enaf faith. today u have given me courage to continue to believe…5 years single after my one and only nightmare of a relationship..i wonder what to do anymore.oh niki God bless u! can I have ur email

  5. anita

    Great article, one of the best I’ve read on here. I too am working on giving my heart to the Lord and not building up walls that will potentially block the man that the Lord has for me, but it’s hard. I feel like I’ve gotten to be so hard-hearted when it comes to men and relationships and it’s been so long since I’ve been in a good relationship too, smh.

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