Create in Me….

pure heart

A pure heart is a surrendered heart. A heart that is willing to be honest about its own shortcomings and give praise for its victories. A pure heart relates with the pain of others and shares in their joys. It views others as a fellow child of God. It respects other cultures, races, sexes, humans just as they are. Humans who were born with an inherent need for love and nurturing.

If I could have and keep one thing in this world, it would be a pure heart. A pure heart for God and for others. This is a rich heart. This is a priceless heart. This is a heart that leaves a positive impression and a lasting legacy. Pure heart.

A pure heart is like a child’s heart. A heart that sees the best in people. A heart that is naïve to the competition, jealousy, deception, and hatred of others. A pure heart trusts. A pure heart feels conviction when it’s wrong and sadness when someone is hurting. A pure heart thinks of the other’s heart even in the midst of a disagreement. A pure heart relates. A pure heart cares. A pure heart mourns. A pure heart comforts.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

A pure heart is beautifully open and transparent. A pure heart is priceless. A brain full of knowledge is not nearly as attractive to me as a heart full of care. A bank account full of money is not nearly as attractive as a heart full of patience and kindness.

Jesus had the purest heart. Pure for His Father. Pure for others. Did He have pain because of it? Yes. His tender heart broke from the separation from His Father and the ridicule and betrayal of those He dearly loved. Although, He suffered tremendous physical pain, the drops of blood he sweat in the garden were from emotional pain. He relates.

The enemy starts early trying to steal and harden our hearts. He wants them dark, dingy, heavy, hard, and cold. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Through circumstances out of our control and by people already hardened, he hopes to change our hearts towards God and others. This is why a pure heart in an adult is such a rare find these days. Because, our circumstances change us. They scare us. They hurt us. They shock us. A pure heart is not a perfect heart, only fully surrendered to and reliant on the Perfect One.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

When we see Him face to face we will be changed. Our minds, bodies, and hearts will be made perfect. Then and only then. But, here on earth, our hearts and minds can be renewed. Our emotions and mentalities can be rewired. Our lives can be reshaped and made fresh and clean. Jesus purifies our hearts.

He still loves us with a pure heart. I want a heart like His….

 

 

Advertisements

Deep Grief

deep grief

While I can’t personally speak of the grief associated with physically losing a child, parent, sibling or best friend yet, I can speak to the grief of divorce. As both a child of it and one of my own, I can relate to that pain. Both divorces I didn’t want. Both divorces left me at the mercy of other people’s choices.

Some wonder why I grieved like I did through my own because of the way he treated me, but I still did. I grieved the loss of a dream, the loss of my will, the loss of the life I thought we would live, the loss of a man I loved whether I should have or not. I still did. I grieved the loss of his family whom I had grown to love. I grieved for my girls, I already knew the life long struggles they would encounter because of it. The loss of my marriage hit me deeper because I was determined to stay married through anything. I was willing to fight for it, and he left….without a struggle or a tear. It was devastating to my self worth, tender heart, and desire to honor my commitment of marriage.

It’s been four years since my divorce and I thought I would share how I felt and some of the things that I did during my deep grief. There seems to be a lot of grief around me right now. Three deaths and a funeral this past week and my heart is heavy with loss. No one escapes grief. It comes in many forms. The emotional or physical loss of someone you love, a dream you had, or a change that alters what you had originally hoped for will need to be grieved. If this helps one person to know they aren’t alone or strange in how they feel or deal with grief, it will be worth it.

My physical grief was such that I lost 20 pounds that first year. I had no appetite and excessive thirst. I couldn’t get enough water and didn’t want any food. Nothing sounded good. I ate to live for the first time in my life. Normally, I love to eat and look forward to my next meal. The food I did eat wouldn’t stay long. I was physically ill from my emotional pain. I could feel it. I had physical pain in my chest and queasiness in my stomach. I still get the same way when sad, nervous, or going through a rough time.

I never missed a day of work. Work gave me purpose and routine was helpful during that time. My boss made it clear that if I needed to stay home for emotional reasons, they would understand. If I had skipped and stayed home, I felt like my sadness would have been worse. Alone, in the house we shared, alone or with the kids, didn’t help. I went to work every day and poured through the Bible between patients. I clung to Bible verses and sought God like I never had. I read and read and read. I would shut my office door sometimes and cry. When time to reset passwords would come, I would use words like “surrender”, “godisfirst”, “remember”, “remain”, and “godislove”. If I had to type a phrase over and over again, it might as well be some of these. I needed the constant reminders. I still do this.

I started to walk every day on my lunch break. I already had anxious thoughts constantly racing through my mind, at least my feet could try to keep up with them rather than sitting still with my heart pounding. I felt like my heart raced whether I was moving or sitting still. Walking and fresh air helped. I still look forward to my lunch time walks. Sometimes I pray silently or out loud while I walk, sometimes I fill my headphones with music. Depends on my mood. It helped and still does.

I prayed on my face first thing every morning on my bathroom rug. I cried more tears than I knew possible. I dry-heaved. I questioned. I surrendered. And, I ultimately, accepted. None of that makes what I deal with today easy. But, what I learned to do while grieving does still help me today. It also gives me HUGE compassion for others who have felt similar pain.

I plugged into a women’s Bible study small group, leaned on them, and gained prayer warriors. I started to write and summoned the courage to share. I decided to write about the love I craved in hopes it would touch others like it touched me. Writing about His love helps me. The love that never walks out, demeans, betrays, or rejects. The love that never fails. I knew I needed it desperately, and still do.

Grief doesn’t end, it changes. I still deal with issues because of the divorce. I’m aware that I always will. I’m also certain I will encounter more grief as this life continues. My prayer is that what I’ve learned will help me through those times. And, that I can support others through theirs.

May His Love surround us.

My Prayer…

prayer

I found the following prayer in my documents folder at work today. I wrote it nine months after my divorce was final. That year was hellish. That year was a whirlwind of confusion and pain. Pain that would wake me up at night. Pain that would roll down my face at the most unexpected moments. Pain of betrayal, replacement, and loss. That year I surrendered. Rereading it, I thank God for the surrender and am warmed by my words in the midst of the painful events and changes taking place. May I continue to surrender every day of my life. Oh, how He loves…..and hears.

6/18/13

My God, My Father, My All……

I believe in YOU. I want to trust you with my future. You know my weaknesses and my struggles. Thank you for my strengths, they come from you. My weaknesses are where the enemy gets me. He knows my weaknesses but you know them better. Help me to know better. In my weakness, I turn to YOU. Sometimes I feel your presence and sometimes I don’t, but I pray that you strengthen my belief so that I am dependent on you even when I don’t “feel” your presence.

Use me for your purpose Lord. Refine me and mold me to desire your perfect will. Don’t let me get in the way of you one more day.

Please remove anyone from my life that would alter the purpose you put me on this earth to accomplish. Please add the people and opportunities in your timing that will further that purpose and ignite my love and openness to you.

Show me how to serve you. Show me how to share you. Show me how to please you. Speak clearly and I will try to obey. Give me the strength and desire above all other things to obey and to listen. Your direction is for my good, I believe that too.

I yearn to be transparent before you and others Lord. I know that may come with rejection and pain, but the suffering will be worth it in eternity knowing I was used, in any way, by you. As I grow and stumble every day, help me to look to You. You are why I grow and you are who I reach out to when I stumble in my humanness.

I love you. Thank you for loving me. I need you. Every day I need you.

Worrier vrs. Warrior

warrior

I shared this title idea with one of my coworkers this past week and she agreed that it would be a great one for most of us. I have been a tried and true worrier my whole life. If worry were a disease, I’d be riddled with it. “What could I have done or said differently?” “This must be MY fault.” “I should have fixed it or stopped it or done whatever I tried to do differently.” Any time a problem comes my way I tend to immediately blame myself. It’s gotta be me. What’s wrong with ME?….

When God says “Be Still” this calms my nerves. This phrase reminds me that rejection may have been the most loving option, not the least. This phrase reminds me that sometimes it’s not what we COULD have done but what God DID do that sent that particular situation in that particular direction. This phrase reminds me that no matter how much we fear we may mess things up, He is STILL in control.

Sure, we make choices and may suffer consequences, but like the perfect parent He is, He still loves us. Sometimes the choices are made for us and we tend to take that VERY personally. Once again….WHY ME?? We need to fall towards His love and not away. Give the situation back to Him and remind ourselves that it’s just too heavy for us to carry.

What makes a worrier?  Insecurity, lies, paranoia, stress, questions, rejection, FEAR!

What makes a warrior? Prayer, peace, truth, confidence, strength, power, SURRENDER!

Waving the white flag of surrender makes us the warriors we need to be to live in this world. It’s HIS way or the highway, not mine. We shouldn’t be afraid to make choices, we shouldn’t be afraid to try, we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. The desire to live our lives to honor Him is the best we have to offer. It doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. He doesn’t expect perfection.

Living loved is the best defense against worry. He wants us to live loved. Living consciously aware of His love throughout the day will take the sting out of disappointments, rejection, and worry. Living loved can remove the fear of trying, failing, and trying again. Knowing that we were loved in the past (when it happened), are loved today (while it’s happening), and will be loved in the future (even if it happens) is a warrior’s perspective.

I don’t write as an overcomer to worry, it’s still a daily struggle for me. I write to remind myself of these truths because I desire to live as a warrior too. Let’s fight (surrender) together. Oorah!