You’re Only Human, Sweetheart


For a while there, I thought I found a way around pain,
had stumbled onto a means of sustaining inner peace
and harmony by letting go of trying so hard, and
catching thoughts that might derail me from staying
centered in love.

I was mistaken, it seems, since yesterday an ego dart hit
its mark, a flank undefended by love. It wounded me,
made a fool of me, laughed at my grandiose plan
to no longer care how my writing compares or whether
the winners include me.

This morning the ache is softer now, a gentle reminder
that it’s harder to show your face to the world than it is to stay
home and tend the spiritual fires where you can almost
imagine you’re improving, becoming less flawed or short-sighted.

Now that I’ve told you all this, Shame knocks at my door and
wants to come in. Shame for what? Shame for why? I ask.
Because you are here all over again, he answers. (For some reason
the voice of my shame is always male).

You’ll be glad to hear I sent Shame packing so I could talk
to you today. I know he didn’t go far, though, and he can hear
through doors like a hunting dog. Which is why my Beloved
has set himself guard, just because I asked him to.

Which seems too simple and easy to be true, but then love always is.

Yes, I know it will come to this again for me, and probably soon. I also
know how the story goes and how it always ends here,
where I can finally hear God say, You’re only human, sweetheart.
 And I wouldn’t have you any other way.




  1. Michelle B. says:

    This is beautiful and made a real difference to this woman today. Thank you, God, for the gift you gave Heather that helps so many of us!

  2. I really love this post. It made me cry, but they were happy tears. I guess there is no way around pain, but love is the way through it. Thanks for this.

  3. says:

    Hi Heather, I am so glad you decided to write your blog again. I missed you. I am wondering if Noah is still going forward with his relationship. If not….we still would like to introduce him to Bonnie & Greg Knopf’s daughter. Just asking. I prayed for him today after seeing his photo on your blog site. Trust you are both doing well. Tom and I are coming to help Matt and Hannah next week. We are going to help them paint walls etc so that they can get ready for the new baby which is due July 1. We are excited to see them and just love on them & see Liam Themba!!! Have a great day. You are special and we truly love and appreciate you Heather. Thanks for loving the Lord & others so well. Bonnie

    • Bonnie, thanks so much for this note! Noah is no longer in a relationship. It lasted about nine months and ended very mutually and amicably, so I’m proud of him for that. I will definitely ask if he’s interested in meeting your friend’s daughter. He might not be ready yet, but maybe in time. I am SO jealous of you guys getting another new grandbaby! But I will try not to covet. Depending on how long your visit, we’d love to see you two! But I know how it goes… Sure miss you and love you. Give Tom a hug from us.

  4. BraveGirl Stacey says:

    Heather- Thank you, that old dog has been nipping at my heals these last few days. Self care is sometimes so difficult when shame intimidates. Thanks for the reminder sister friend!

  5. in the Lord’s prayer “… deliver us from ego” makes much more sense and is much more relevant to me than “… deliver us from evil.” Keep up your wonderful work, Heather. You’re a treasure ♥

  6. Thank you … this rings so much truer (more true?) than the blog post I read yesterday that included a click-to-Tweet about comparison revealing a heart of pride. The little girl part of my heart keeps tugging on my sleeve ’til I let her whisper in my ear that comparison really reveals my heart’s deepest longings. I know that pride needs to be dealt with, but I’m done letting Shame shut down the little girl part of my heart. When Jesus said “suffer the little children to come unto me,” he included her, too.

    • Oh, that’s so beautiful! Yes, the irony of the ego/pride thing is that not only does it push us to compare ourselves to others, it then makes us feel terrible for falling prey to its tricks. And yes, there’s a little girl in there who really needs to hear God say it’s okay, she’s fine as she is. I am so grateful for your comment.

  7. Beautiful.

  8. That is what I need to remember: “You are human, sweetheart.”

  9. We are all powerless over our TENDENCY to do the wrong thing. Tendency is the key word. We are not powerless when we are made in the image and likeness of God and have free choice and the ability make decisions both good and bad.

  10. Important post, Heather! I think this is one of the reasons I’m nervous about getting my writing “out there.” On the enneagram personality test, I am a perfectionist. Yet I want perfection to come with little effort (and lots of praise!). Oh, and if I’m afraid I’ll fail, I will often not try at all. I know none of this surprise you about me! xoxo

    • Anna Pie! This doesn’t surprise me about you because it doesn’t surprise me about any of us who write and lay our hearts on the line, because there’s really no other way to say anything real. Your book is going to amaze people, of course–but which won’t, I’m afraid, make it any easier to keep your ridiculous ego at bay (All of our egos are ridiculous). Ironically, success can make it even harder to not feel like a failure because it only ups the ante and makes you feel like people expect more. What’s Next? But you know ALL of this so well! Thank God we are NOT our egos. If I thought that voice was me–I don’t know if I could take it. You are precious at core and nothing can mar the chunk of God that makes you who you are. Love you so, H

  11. Jamie Jones says:

    So glad you are blogging again. Your words touch my spirit.

  12. Nothing witty, wise or funny today, but boy did I need to hear that!

  13. As glad as I was that you listened to that prompting that told you to take a break from blogging–for the sake of balance and peace and sanity–I admit I’m also glad you’re back in the saddle again. I don’t know any writer who speaks from the heart to the heart like you do. You know heart language, and there’s not a post you write that doesn’t touch me in some way. I know this costs you something, sometimes dearly. May I just thank you for that sacrifice? You help me understand my own self, sometimes, and make my life more beautiful.

  14. Heather, thank you for sharing this. I think I needed it this morning. I lay awake at 3am awash in my own shame and failure. Not that I’d wish it on anyone, particularly you, but I’m sort of glad I’m not the only one. Thanks for sharing the simple words, “You’re only human.”

    • YAY!! I can’t tell you how surprised and happy I was to see your beautiful face here today, Rachelle. I am so glad that this spoke to you. It’s so hard to do life some days in the face of both real and/or imagined rejection or failure. I’m so with you, honey. Let’s keep letting it go together. Hugs and love.

  15. Ah yes SHAME- Should Have Already Mastered Everything. I know it well. I am doing some “work” around finances using Kate Northrup’s book, Money: A Love Story. She suggests we write our story around money, all those things I learned as a child, like “self sacrifice and hard work creates virtue.” Can you say victim/martyr really fast? Yep, that would be me!
    THEN she suggests we re-write the story with ourselves as the heroine!!! It is sooooo cool. All of the places where shame told me I was a loser (unworthy, unlovable, too much trouble) are becoming the gifts that brought me to this time- this place- this moment.

  16. Love this beautiful poem. Thank you.

  17. Heather,
    This is beautiful. A stunning example of why you need not feel insecure about your writing. You are a “winner.”
    I’m reading Thomas Moore’s, “Care of the Soul.” The book sheds positive light on our common experiences of jealousy and envy. He, in fact, refers to those emotions as “healing poisons.” Moore writes that in the face of envy’s misery it is tempting to become a cheer leader. But he says, “If we avoid the compensatory move into support and positive thinking, we can learn instead to honor the symptom and let it guide us in close care of the soul.”
    I read to find myself in the words of others. Thank you for helping me see myself.

  18. Hugs, ((((Heather))). Do you know how beautiful your heart is, and how beautifully it conveys in your writings? Whatever you are going through, I am sending up prayers that the God of the universe restores you 1,000 times over. Thank you for sharing your heart today.

  19. This reminds me of my tendency to not want to start something until I can do it perfectly. It also makes me think of a cheesy line from Top Gun, “Your ego is writing checks your spirit can’t cash.” (It was body, not spirit in the movie but this is better) I’m glad you’re writing on your blog again, Heather. I’ve missed your unique voice. :)

  20. Thank God for new days.

  21. “… it’s harder to show the world your face than it is to stay
    home and tend the spiritual fires…”
    How brave you are, Heather! What amazing courage!
    Personally, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would most-likely still be drowning in a sea of booze and self-disgust if God hadn’t pointed me to your book/blog, where my journey into freedom began.
    Thank you, Heather, for your incredible strength and kindness.
    Many hugs!

  22. I’m well acquainted with these thoughts Heather. Love you for writing them out. May they be a place of healing for many today. Empathy does such good work in all of us. Sending hugs and know how much you are loved today by me and so many.

    • It’s so true that almost every blogger is acquainted with these ego wounds, the voice that tells us we don’t compare and we’ll never win that prize– a prize that doesn’t exist, of course. It’s all rubbish, and we all know it. But every day I wake up and hear some thought in my head and sigh and say again, “Really? You’re going to let your ego tell you that again?” Thank God the truth is stronger and brings peace, even if it takes a while.

  23. I love that you wrote on this topic, “catching thoughts that might derail me from staying
    centered in love,” as I am too am on a brief vacation from work, and doing a bible study that hopefully will teach me how to stay focused on His will for my life – and not dwell/think about all the negative stuff. I’m pumped now – but next week back at work, facing all the usual challenges, I know there will be days when I give in, and mentally begin to doubt and waver. We are humans, and constantly under attack. We will lose some battles, but it’s comforting to know He has forgiven us and is ready to pick us up when we fall and set us straight on His path again.

  24. Sharon R. Huffman says:

    Precious Heather. This is very much where I am too. Thank you again – from my heart – for being a sister.

  25. Valerie Vicari says:

    I love how you always write from your heart, which also allows it to be so hurt. I’m praying for healing… Please keep writing as you do, you seriously have no idea how much it means to so many of us. My husband and I were just talking about this at dinner tonight. So grateful for you, and the gift God has given you. Hoping you’ll be very kind to yourself today, love you in Christ, Valerie :)


  1. […] Then Shame shows up with one-line zingers like, “How self-obsessed is that?!?” […]

  2. […] Then Shame shows up with one-line zingers like, “How self-obsessed is that?!?” […]

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