Heart Cards

This week concludes a coaching/mentoring relationship I’ve been enjoying for the past six months. While I’m sad to see something so beautiful end, I rejoice in what God has done and am expectant about what He has in store next. I’ve learned so much from my sweet leader, and I’d love to pass on one of the most helpful and practical tools she’s introduced me to.

All you need is a few business-size cards and some creativity.

I’ve always been a fan of great questions—they allow us to thoughtfully engage in the present. If you’re anything like me, though, you prefer asking other people to share what’s going on in their hearts rather than asking yourself the hard questions. The more reluctant we are to examine ourselves, the more we need to do so. My coach urged me to regularly pause, creating hard stops to let my heart realign with the truth that speaks to my circumstances.

This tool comes in handy for jogging my memory back to the gospel. These “heart cards” are ideal for difficult situations I find myself in (like heated arguments with my husband) or for being more intentional in regular rhythms (like processing the events of the day). Since we’re all uniquely wired and positioned, our card collections will look different: they’ll target specific seasons, people, places, and circumstances, and each set of questions will key in on unique aspects of the gospel. Our cards reflect who we are and what we sense God wanting to do in our lives. They are most effective when either placed in trigger areas (above the bathroom scale, perhaps?) or just carried around with us in a pocket for easy access.

Think through some difficult situations you’re facing that might call for heart cards. How about regular rhythms you’d like to start or build up? Which questions might give you space to gain a new perspective and bring you back to a place of truth and beauty? As you create your cards and get into the habit of pausing in the moment, be it one of order or chaos, become a gatherer of great questions. They really do give us a chance to experience God in a deeper way.

Example card questions for chaotic moments:

  • What am I feeling right now? Why?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • Where am I trying to control?
  • How am I operating in pride/unbelief?
  • How can I repent? Believe? Love?

Example card questions for Sabbath rest:

  • What do I need/desire from this time?
  • What questions or concerns are occupying my thoughts?
  • How is my physical health? Emotional health? Spiritual health?
  • What else does God want to talk with me about?
  • How can I gently and prayerfully move back into my life with others?

Example card questions for fighting idolatry:

  • What is my functional savior right now?
  • Why am I drawn to it? What does it promise me?
  • How does the gospel do in full what my idol can only do in part?
  • How is Jesus better than this god?
  • Am I willing to trade this death for life?

Example card questions for when my identity is shaken:

  • How did I fail?
  • What am I tempted to believe about myself?
  • How am I covered by Jesus’ life/death/resurrection?
  • What’s true of me in Christ?
  • What is God inviting me to be or do?

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