Studying human physiology is both fascinating and mind boggling; everything in our body is interdependent on each other. You can have the healthiest heart imaginable, but that means nothing if your lungs don't work. Strong and capable legs won't let you walk if your spinal cord is severed. You can be the picture of perfect health and wellness, but if your brain doesn't have any electric activity, your body will cease to function. The beauty of the system doesn't shine through in these absolute absences of somethings working; it's best seen in the times of preservation and survival.
When the heart is weak, the brain picks up some of the slack and tries to reroute things in order to give the heart the rest it needs. The body may not function the way it should and other systems are being over worked, but it's doing what it must in order to keep surviving. Think of it like your laptop: you can work off the battery for one hour with the screen at full brightness or you can work off of it for three hours with the screen at it's dimmest. The heart and the brain are symbiotic- they need each other to survive; the heart can't pump blood if the brain doesn't tell it to do so and the brain can't tell the heart what to do if it's not receiving the blood pumped from the heart.
There are two types of people in this world- the brain people and the heart. I'm a brain person. I'm sure it has something to do with my dad being a neurologist, but to me, the power of the brain is both equally fascinating and terrifying. Is there anything as, or more, devastating than seeing a perfectly healthy young person die from a fatal brain injury when the rest of their body is in perfect working condition? Actually, there is. It's watching someone who's trapped inside of their body from a disease like ALS- they know everything that's going on, can feel an itch, but can't scratch it and can't even speak to let anyone know. It's a painful, terrifying awareness of their own helpless condition. As much as I'm a brain person, I know it means nothing without a heart. The heart and the brain make up the very essence of belief and knowledge.
Living a life based on faith comes very naturally to some people- it's easy for them to see divine purpose in everything, to believe in Something and Someone they can't actually see with their own two eyes, and they've never even seriously thought, or wanted, to question any of it. I am not that person.
My faith, having faith, has always been a constant struggle- it's an uphill battle that I fight on a daily basis. It's not easy for me believe something I can't see with my own two eyes, it's even more difficult to try and believe something that I sometimes disagree with, and it's next to impossible for me to just accept it and not to question it. When bad things are happening in my life, my first tendency is to be angry with God instead of praying to Him. And when I am praying, my brain is often asking my why I'm talking to myself. That's when my heart starts to doubt and I begin to question everything and it's a vicious cycle.
I don't really like this about myself and it's something I work at on daily. But the fact is, there are many things that I know, which I don't always believe, and there are even more things which I believe that I don't in fact know. And here's what I've come to realize- in matters of faith, it doesn't matter what you know if you don't believe it. My brain can tell me til I'm blue in the face that when I'm praying I'm actually just talking to myself; but my heart doesn't really believe that. And how do I know this, you ask? Because if my heart really believed that then I would stop praying. But I don't- because deep down, despite what my brain can sometimes tell me, I don't believe that when I'm praying I'm just having a conversation with myself. In another, more tricky, area, my heart can often believe there's no way God could, or would, ever still love a person like me- someone who doubts and questions everything, gets lost in the minutiae instead of looking at the bigger picture, and makes more mistakes than 10 people combined. But my brain doesn't believe that- it knows what the Bible says and therefore it knows my heart is wrong.
While my heart and my brain are often times at war with each, they recognize the others' inherent weaknesses- because ultimately, they need each other to survive. When I rely too much on my brain, putting too much emphasis on what I know to be true, my heart tries to step in and equal things out. When my heart starts believing things that my brain knows aren't true, it tries to step in and equal things out. You need knowledge to have belief and belief to have knowledge. The only reason I know that oxygen has eight electrons is because I believe what I've been told is true. I don't try and poke holes in or prove that it's incorrect- I just believe it. The only reason I believe there is such a thing as wind is because I see it's effect on things and even though I can't actually see it, I know it's there.
Before I had Spencer, I never believed I was capable of loving someone so much. It's not that I didn't think I wouldn't love my future child with everything I had in me- I did. But at that time in my life, I didn't have the knowledge of what it meant to be a mother. I didn't believe I was capable of such love because I didn't know a person could love anyone that much. When Spencer was born, I thought I knew I loved her as much as humanly possible, but when I think about how my love for her has grown every day since then, I know I was wrong. By themselves, neither belief or knowledge are infallible- you have have to bridge the gap between the two. You have to listen to both or you're going to miss out on the full picture.
I don't think it will ever be easy for me to listen to my heart over my brain; I don't think it will ever be easy for me to have faith that doesn't question or doubt. But I don't stop trying and I keep on working at it. And I hope, I really hope, it will get easier and that one day having faith in Him the size of a mustard seed won't seem like it might as well be Mount Everest.
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