Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Heart Exam

I want to talk a little about my heart.
And, I want to let you in as to where it has been lately.

I have talked about how early in the year I was in a very deep pit. I was depressed, lonely, sad, angry and bitter...plus some.

For many reasons, which at the end of the day matter little in the whole scheme of life, I was in a bad place. Maybe I was tugged into this pit some, but mostly, I think I allowed myself to go into it because I now see that my heart had been broken and abused.

I thought I had put my life in God's hands, but in reality, I had only placed some things in his hands. But other things I wanted or needed the control. I didn't want to give it up. And when stuff didn't go the way I planned, it hurt my heart. And without any thought or my being aware of what was going on, I allowed my heart to become broken, bitter, angry and hard.

I see that now. After months. Months of crying. Months of praying. Months of almost despair. Months of not even knowing what was wrong with me.

I had a heart condition. And only God could fix it. The catch - I had to let him fix it.

In the beginning, when the hurts began, when life got hard, instead of praying for myself or for those being affected, I shut down.

My head said, "forget this. I am going to protect me and my husband and my kid. Nothing else matters. No one else matters."

And I thought, that's not a bad thing. Of course, I am called to shield my child and husband as much as I can according to the wisdom and discernment I have been given by God. But to do this out of fear or anger or bitterness was sin.

The snare was set and I went for it, not knowing what I was getting myself into.

In that trap, I fell hard. Believe me that as soon as the thoughts left my mind, I was berated with loneliness, fear, doubt, resentment.

Who are we kidding? I can't protect my family alone. I couldn't even protect them from me. From the sad person that I became. The angry person that I became. The guilty person that I became.

Sin enveloped my mind.
My heart was polluted with evil.
It needed major repair.

But my God is so Good.
He cleanses and purifies.
My heart went through some fire, but came out so much more refined.

Proverbs says the heart is the well spring of life. Everything comes out of the heart. Life comes out of the heart. But when our hearts are filled with bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, resentment, envy, despair, fear, guilt...the list can go on, but when it is filled with those things, that is what comes through our lives.

We can fight it. We can put up walls. We can deny it.
Those are all easy to do. Those are easy outs. We need no courage. We need no strength.

By doing so, however, our life is no longer a well spring but it becomes a small stream. A trickle. Maybe even a drop.

When our hearts are bitter, our lives are not sweet.
When our hearts are angry, our lives are hard.
When our hearts are unforgiving, our lives are without mercy and grace.
When our hearts are resentful, our lives are lonely.
When our hearts are envious, our lives are lacking.
When our hearts are in despair, we are without hope.
When our hearts are fearful, we do not trust.
When our hearts are filled with guilt, our lives are full of sorrow.

My greatest desire is that I will guard my heart from such things. That theses sins will not enter in and devour my life again. No matter how I am hurt or what life has in store, I pray that I will continuously examine my heart. That God will continue to purge it of these ills.

And if your life is merely a stream or trickle, I pray that you will examine your heart. Ask your father to show you what is polluting your heart and that you will not just pray about it, but act. Fix it. Ask Him to purge it. Refine it. Ask for your well spring of life to be restored to overflowing.

"Father I come before you humbly as one who is constantly needing to be purged. To be refined. Jesus I ask that you continue to refine me until you see your reflection in me. Father show me what is plugging up my well spring. Show me what I must do to have a life that is full of glory, that is abundant and blessed. Open my eyes to the sins that are damaging my heart. And give me the courage to forgive, to love, to encourage, to trust. Thank you for loving me so much that you are continually refining my heart so that I will be a woman who not only looks like you, but has your wisdom, discernment, grace and love."


We are THAT Family said...

Beautiful. We all need to do that exam on a regular basis.

Becoming Me said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your lovely heart with us. We do need to exam our hearts often in order for them to yearn more for our Father.

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