Brave enough to feel.

I want to be a good leader.  A strong, professional, and healthy woman.  BUT… I am a sensitive and emotional person!  I don’t want to be, but I am.

I’ve discovered in my life that even when feelings are inconvenient… they still come!! Denying or repressing them hasn’t helped me move forward as a healthy person who can contribute well to the world around me.  Rather, being brave enough to feel them and deal with them has led to great restoration and strength.

I used to believe that my sensitive heart made me weak.  It hindered my ability to function well in society and relationships.  But God continues to teach me about the beauty and importance of the heart, as a part of the whole of what it means to be human. He made us with a heart because He has a heart.  My heart is tainted, messy, and impure, but His heart is perfect.

Part of why God gave me a heart is so that He can invade it with His own – to come and live in my messy heart with His perfect heart.  This interaction creates a dance of redemption and grace that leads to healing and restoration, freedom and empowerment!

Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. I cannot trust my heart, but I can value my heart.

A lot of people know the phrase, “Follow your heart!”  But I don’t think the heart is the right thing to follow.  I cannot always trust my heart to be leading me in the right direction.  It can feel so right!!! only to lead me straight into a trap of bondage and despair.

But I can value my heart as a very important part of who God created me to be as a human being.

2. The heart reveals so much about who we are and who God is.

Heart definition: the centre and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours – www.blueletterbible.org

I have learned so much about myself by listening to my heart – not trusting my heart but listening to it almost as I would a child.  What are the recurring themes?  What are the triggers, the traps?  If I’m willing to pay attention to what’s its saying, I can always find glorious treasures hidden within the muck and mire!

My heart is not perfect, though it is being perfected in love.  On this side of heaven, it will always be in the process of being healed, refined, sanctified, and restored as I move from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

All the imperfections of who I am and what I do flow out of those deep places in the heart – the inner person.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs [issues] of life.” (Proverbs 4:23, ESV)

3. The heart is designed with an unlimited capacity for love / God.

Somehow our hearts, as broken and fragile as they are, have been designed to carry or encapsulate the full knowledge/experience of God’s love – it’s width, length, height, and depth, and the fullness of who God is (Perfect Love)!

“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19, ESV, emphases added)

His whole presence lives in those of us who believe.

4. God’s perfect heart mingling with my messy heart invokes a painful process of purification.

It is good and natural that the issues and baggage in our hearts get stirred up.  The issue isn’t whether or not we have issues, but whether or not we will deal with them.  Will we endure this painful process of purification and metamorphosis, or will we set up a wall to guard and protect ourselves from the very Love that has come to set us free?

The heart should not rule over me, decide my truths, my limits, my boundaries, and decisions.  It should be ruled over by God’s love, His Living Word spoken in grace and truth, the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17).

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, ESV, emphases added)

5. It takes great courage to love God with the whole heart.

Many times in Scripture God or Jesus is asking for all of the heart – the whole complete thing including all of its parts.  The first and greatest commandment asks for all of the heart… “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37, ESV)

How can I love God with my whole heart if I am suppressing, denying, repressing, or rejecting the things inside of it?  Is that how I love God and others well?

We have to acknowledge our whole heart for the transforming gospel to move through it. God’s love, in scarlet footprints, has to trace every stairway and corner!

In order to love well, we all have to change – be purified.  Only by embracing the fullness of His love, can I even attempt to love fully.

King David in the Scriptures was a man after God’s own heart.  He exemplified the process of uncovering the mess of his own heart and acknowledged the honesty of his feelings in a healthy way (that was not hurtful toward others).  He illustrated the pattern of bringing your own truth into the light, while keeping the Truth as reigning authority over it all.

In grace and truth, God’s love touches those ugly places of the heart, leading to transformation and an expanded capacity for kingdom influence and anointing.

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5, ESV)

 

Father, I want your heart to have full reign in me, over me, and through me.  Teach me how to honor my heart, to recognize its value, but continually turn it over to You in exchange for Yours.  Purify my heart and expand my capacity for more of You.


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