Saturday, October 31, 2020

A Lesson in Faith From the Headless Horseman

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

Now that fall is fully upon us, everywhere we look evidence of the season jumps out at us. The trees have donned their colorful best and pumpkins are sprouting grins on every front porch. Halloween candy is littering the aisles at grocery store and kiddos are planning costumes. Along with this, some classics have also come back to haunt us—from It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

It’s that classic book by Washington Irving which has caught my mind’s eye this year—or more specifically a character within the book. As I was watching a rerun of Disney’s version, I was struck by how I resemble the Headless Horseman when it comes to faith. 

The truth is, sustaining faith is based on facts NOT feelings. And when I follow what feels right, I lose touch with the head of my faith.

As I write out that thought I have to stop and—even though I know it’s true—I stare at it and consider it yet again. I’m so connected with my feelings—with my heart—it seems wrong not to weight the entire formula with emotion. It’s something I struggle with. I guess I truly am a product of my generation.
  • Do what feels good.
  • Follow your heart.
  • Get in touch with your feelings.
Each of those statements have a certain validity—for specific situations. But they are NOT things on which to base your life. Because, ultimately, they are in direct conflict with Scripture.

God is a God of concrete facts. He is the head of my faith. And THAT’S the strong foundation I'm choosing to build my life on.

God is ALWAYS true to His word.

I don’t always feel the assurance that it’s true. Some days I stumble, I make wrong choices. I’m overwhelmed with guilt. I don’t feel like I’m part of the family.

God’s promise of salvation doesn’t rest in me. It’s predicated by HIS goodness and mercy.

God loves me . . . no matter what.

I’m often unlovable. Don’t believe me? Just ask my family. I’m not perfect and I seem intent in proving that on a daily—sometimes hourly—basis.

God’s love isn’t dependent on my actions. He loves me for reasons I can’t quite comprehend. Because He created me, because He knows my potential, because He has named me, because He loves me.

God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose.

Just look around. The world is in a mess. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people.

Narrow your focus. Taken case by case we can see hints of this truth. But the ultimate truth is that the end isn’t here yet. We can’t know how God ties up all the threads and finishes off the tapestry.

So again I say, Faith is based on fact not feelings. This time the words come with confidence and with gratitude. I am a woman swayed by emotion—often lured down the wrong path by following my deceitful heart.

When I’m swayed by those emotions, I can end up like the headless horseman, cutting down people on all sides as I flounder through life blinded by following my heart without the knowledge of Christ.

God is solid beyond the momentary whims of feelings. His truth is certain, enduring for eternity. 


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her 
website, through FacebookTwitter and on Instagram.


  1. This is one of my favorite posts ever, Edie. It's a much needed reminder to me and so many. Thank you, my dear friend.

  2. Great post, Edie. So true and touching. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to read it.

  3. Praise God for His faithfulness in the midst of our fickleness!

  4. Yes, very good reminder. Donevy

  5. Thank you for being such a good and encouraging myth buster!