Keeping Your Heart

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Keeping Your Heart

By Victoria Martin

What would be the first word that came to your mind if I asked you to describe “family”? “Loving”? “Distant”? “Home”? “Dysfunctional”? Maybe, “happiness”? Or, would it be a straight up, “It’s…. Complicated”? Yeah, me too. Whatever the word would be, if we got real for a second we would all admit that families can be so rewarding yet at times so testing.  And this is not new news people. Family problems have been alive and kicking on planet earth from the moment sin entered our world when Adam famously blamed, “the woman you gave to be with me” (Genesis 3:12) for what happened in the garden of Eden. And so it began… the bible is stuffed full with family feuds; sibling rivalry, wayward children, adultery, rebellion and even murder! All of which were caused by sin (I’m not blaming you Eve, at all #justsaying). 

Our beloved Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanova, knows exactly how it feels when it comes to problematic families. In the movie, Black Widow, finds herself unexpectedly reconnecting with her immediate family after having no contact with them since she was a little girl due to a traumatic experience that led them all to be separated from each other. Her family; adoptive dad, Alexei, adoptive mother, Melina and adoptive sister, Yelena, all find themselves having to confront their individual past hurts, fears and feuds towards each other because of this unannounced family reunion. But like a dodgy electric cable, the reunited connection was sparky, dangerous and faulty. At first, Natasha struggles, but during a family meal around the table (a classic place for families to argue) she handles the reunion beautifully, with even her long lost adopted mum rawly asking, “how did you keep your heart?” 

I can’t speak on behalf of Black Widow but I do know from my own personal experience that when we start walking with Jesus and inviting Him into every situation and area of our lives, we can “keep our hearts”. Yes, even in the most difficult and painful family stories that many of us find ourselves in.  With and through His grace, love and patience we can forgive, heal and yep, you guessed it, reconnect. 

When Black Widow reconnects with her family, first comes the anger, resentment, rejection and pain. Next comes the communication and confessions, then the apologies and after, the most beautiful and unbelievable thing happens, they reconnect and restoration is found. At the end of the movie’s heart-warming story, the final scene of them all together confirms that reconnection and restoration from broken relationships doesn’t always mean we have to start living forced and fake as if we are all new best friends or unhealthy living in each other’s pockets. No, it confirms that healthy boundaries have been put in place, which are respected by all family members and in turn brings a sense of immense freedom in all their heart postures.

I want to leave you with this thought; reconnection in a broken family is outright terrifying but absolutely triumphing when it comes to getting your breakthrough to a healed heart.  We have to confront our past, in order to move forward. We have to “keep our hearts”.

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

– 1 John 4: 12 (NIV)