Hi, my name is Guard Your Heart. Wanna date?

I’ve been the other girl before.

Yea, I know, it ain’t the kind of news you bring with you to Thanksgiving dinner:

“Hey Aunt K… everything is going great… oh, that noise? That’s just the phone beeping. I’ve got a text message… It’s from a guy… No, he isn’t my boyfriend… No, he actually has a girlfriend already… Yea…So…Righttt….Pass the butter? “

I’ve been the other girl before and I learned (quickly, might I add) how very un-endearing the whole mess of it is. To your friends. To your family. To your own self when you finally shut off the phone at night and curl up beside the fact that he isn’t yours… Really… He. Isn’t. Yours. And out there, somewhere, is a girl you’ve never met before but you’ve managed to wreck her heart without her even knowing it yet.

Cue the point in this post where I squirm and say that I am not a bit proud of this story but I feel it needs to be told.

No matter how you stared at the thing, it was a blaring train wreck. He lied. He cheated. I welcomed the lies. I welcomed the cheating. I thought, with almost every brain cell that was in attendance during those long rationalization sessions, that he would leave her. He would choose me. He would see that it was me who he actually wanted all along, come to his senses and find a way to break up with her. And this would simply be a rocky Chapter One of a book that would hold dozens & dozens of sentences where his name met mine.

It didn’t unravel that way. Quite the opposite.

He never chose me. He never looked back. He never offered explanation. To this day, I don’t know if the girl even knows my name.

The boy once said that he wanted to know me from start to finish.

He wanted to know all the crooks & curves of my childhood. He wondered how I was as a teenager. What kept me up at night. I, being the faithful, drooling tour guide that I was at the time, led him showroom by showroom into the depths of a heart that should have never been his for the examination.

I unlocked doors for him that I swore could never be opened.

I cleared out cluttered rooms.

I laid insecurities down like playing cards.

I let him know the parts of me that were made to be saved & savored by someone who didn’t view me as the Other Girl, rather as the Only Girl. My heart broke in the simple of the simple truths: he never guarded the secrets. He never buried the stories like pumpkins seeds in the soil of his own heart. He is still walking around, holding the hand of another, with all my deepest fears & greatest hopes rattling around inside of him. And they, the most treasured spots of me, have become pocket change.

That’s what hurt the most. Not the Rejection. Not the Goodbye. The fact that I treated my own heart like it was worthless, slung it like a slingshot over to his side of the fence.


my name is Guard Your Heart, the Most Overly Fluffed Life Lesson of the 21st Century.

Cue frumpy Christian women wearing pastel skirt suits & donning slower southern drawl.

That is what I heard, over & over & over again, anytime I tried to come to grips with the broken shards of me that clumped like puddles of table sugar at my feet wherever I was standing.  Guard your heart. You have to learn to guard your heart. And there, in the middle of my own conviction, I would move from foot to foot until the Cliche Police came to haul the whole “Guard Your Heart” rhetoric off in cliche-y handcuffs.

Guarding your heart (whatever the heck that means) might really mean nothing until you realize how it feels to leave your heart unguarded. & suddenly it hurts like hell. & you feel pretty cheap. & branded on the forehead with some blaring label that reads: LESS WORTHY OF LOVE.

Guarding your heart feels like nothing until you slip into the hands of Another that Never Deserved You. Until you are barren & broken before someone who cannot handle your junk, doesn’t want your issues, and is more than comfortable texting four different numbers and calling each one, “Baby.” Baby. Baby. Baby. Baby.

Guarding your heart is just a verse from the Proverbs your mama used to tell you until you get left. & he doesn’t come back. & you decide that this is what you deserve–the mess, the strangeness, the absence–you had it coming for you. Really, girl, you had it coming straight for you.

And guarding your heart is a fairy tale concept all smothered in pixie snot until you see for yourself that God even finds the messes you make to be beautiful. Grace makes sure of that. You’ll be stand in layers & layers of junk and He’ll reveal the gold & copper sitting all around you, waiting for love and just a smidge of polish.

Guarding your heart, it sounds like languages gone extinct from unuse until God speaks. Until Hesays something to blow your little face off:

I want you to know, need  you to know, that your heart is big & beautiful thing–far more precious than you will ever understand. Don’t even try to fathom the weight of it. Just know this– I cannot stand to see it thrown, tousled, trapped in the hands of a Someone who was never made to hold it.

Heed the whisper that I am planting in your spirit: Every. Bit. Of. You. Is. Precious. Cargo. Your heart, your dreams, your hurts, your pains– they never belonged buried in the hands of a Someone who doesn’t fully understand you. They never belonged buried in the hands of a Someone who doesn’t fully understand what it took to make you.

36 thoughts on “Hi, my name is Guard Your Heart. Wanna date?

  1. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    For your honesty and raw beauty. For saying what others shy away from. For addressing the heart of a matter.

    Also, though I’m not in a “other woman” situation, I’m currently working on guarding my heart. It’s easy for them to run away. For them to convince themselves that their emotions are God’s will. The timing of this was perfect. Thank you.

  2. This was an absolutely beautiful piece of writing; you put your heart and your soul into this story, and regardless of not feeling particularly proud of it, it was still a time in your life that helped turn you into the YOU of right now. But seriously, I just love this & I love the self-affirming thought at the end, and I love that you are in a better place that allows you to think back to that time and see that you are SO worth more than how he treated you. You are seriously one awesome girl, Hannah!

  3. Whoa. The implications for the other side of the gender coin just hit me like a ton of bricks. For I have been the other guy, in this age of Enlightened Feminism and Free-But_Not-Really_Sexuality. And this is the untold story, the dark side of acting like you’ve got your shit together because your a guy. Thanks for bringing this to light, but don’t forget that we hurt too…

  4. This is one of the most beautiful thing that I have ever read. What you have written truly shines a light on what so many of us are too afraid to admit has happened to us whether we were the other girl or not. I have spent so long guarding my heart that I am now facing the challenge of un-guarding my heart which might just be an equal struggle.

  5. “And guarding your heart is a fairy tale concept all smothered in pixie snot until you see for yourself that God even finds the messes you make to be beautiful. Grace makes sure of that. You’ll be stand in layers & layers of junk and He’ll reveal the gold & copper sitting all around you, waiting for love and just a smidge of polish.” this post literally summarizes what i have been thro. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing yourself to be so vulnerable really. The weight of forgiveness just hit me, thank you <33333333333333

  6. There were tears in my eyes as I read this because it hits so close to my own heart. Thanks for your honesty and for having the guts to say something that a lot of people need to hear.

  7. Guarding your heart is such a hard concept when you’ve been trained all your life to want to give it away. I, for one, do not trust myself with my own heart, so I gave it away… to that Someone who does fully understand what it took to make me because He fashioned this form with His very hands. He’s the Keeper of my heart and I remember to hand Him the key every time I want to get a little wrapped up in a Someone who is not worth it. Thank you for reminding every girl out there of how valuable she is.

  8. Oh how I love this post. Thank you so much for your blog. Thank you for the blog posts filled with your honest, beautifully written words. I have always guarded my heart, kept up walls since my best friend from middle school tossed my heart out the window. Because it hurt so bad, I didn’t want to ever be that close to another person. Never did I want to invest so much time and build so many memories to see it washed away like words in the sand. I am thankful that the Lord has taught this about myself. Slowly I have learned to take down walls even though I am still working on it. Last year, there was an awesome guy who I was crushing on. In an attempt to get things on the move on with our friendship (that was only a few months old mind you), I shared part of my heart, meaning I shared verses with him, talked to the Lord about him. I made the relationship spiritual which in the end when he started dating a girl, hurt me so much because I had taken the friendship to the spiritual level. I felt like we had shared so much. The heart ache I felt was a result of my impatience and mistrust. Impatience in the Lord’s perfect timing and mistrust in His will. Fast forward to now when I have a dear male friend in my life whom I like very much. The Lord has taught me so much and is teaching me how beautiful it is when you are patient and let a friendship grow stronger and deeper over time. When there is no rushing and it’s natural. It’s like the Lord has bundled up a ton of blessings and placed it in this one man. Never before have I had a guy who has been so interested in my life, even just the day to day life. Interested in my stories and my dreams. He makes me feel cherished and valued. I feel unworthy of his attention. But, now the lesson to be learned is how to slowly unveil and trust my heart to another. The beauty of this friendship is trust the Lord has taught me and the burden lifted as I lay it completely into the hands of the Author of Love. He is good.

  9. Thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability and for sharing your faith in a way that makes it beautiful and encouraging instead of judgmental and shallow. This feels real and meaningful and not cliche. I wish more Christian bloggers would write like this. Thank you for putting your heart into the words and using it to show us how God can make us better than we ever dreamed.

  10. I was the other girl with a cheating boyfriend. I trusted him with my life and loved him with all my heart. I agree about the wisdom of guarding your heart. And I now see the breakup as a blessing. I’ve since built a better version of myself and my life. But I was destroyed at first, and the memory still hurts. I’m glad you’ve grown and you seem like a really good person, and I think it’s brave to share your experience. Though after my whole mess, what I still don’t understand is what drives a woman to help a man cheat (or vice versa), knowing she is destroying another girl in the process?

    1. I want to ask for forgiveness on behalf of the girl who your ex cheated with, honestly I dont have an answer for that. its a mix of emotions and games. We learn from our mistakes and sadly through our pains as well.

  11. Been there, done that. I gave my heart to a boy that never deserved it. And although that was over a year ago, I feel guilty daily. Every. Day. Thank you for this post. I will keep these words in my heart forever.

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