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My heart: hurting and healing

I haven’t written a post for a while talking about me and where I’m at. It’s now close to 6 months on from my very difficult news and the journey is continuing. But in the last week, a couple of things have really pushed me to look at my heart and see how it’s hurting and how it’s healing.

In the last two months I’ve been doing better, able to look forward, to enjoy friendships, experiences and work. I’ve had a sense of joy and peace in God, and most days have been a lot lighter than they had been for a while.

Two words have been given to me in the last week. Two friends have felt God has wanted them to share a message or a picture with me, and they have. I’m so glad they did. Together they’ve marked an important step in my journey, one which is good (because it’s God at work) but hard for me too.

A broken heart healed

The first was a week ago today. A friend was praying for me and God gave her a picture of a heart that was smashed into lots of little pieces, and it being made completely whole again. Her message was that God was saying that’s what He will do for me.

heart shatteredIt meant so so much to me.

My instant reaction to that word through my friend was that I can already see God doing that. He is giving me healing. He is giving me strength. He is giving me hope. My heart is being put back together. There are things I’m thinking and doing that in December I could never imagine thinking or doing again. There are parts of me that are flourishing and finding life again, even new life and vibrancy which has never been there.

When I say I’m experiencing healing in my heart, I can point to very real and tangible things that means. I am so so grateful to God for that. He has been faithful, as He always is, and He hasn’t let me go for a second.

A hidden heart exposed

That first word was a word of deep encouragement. On Tuesday, in the final minutes of a conference I was at with some colleagues, a different kind of word was given me. It was an encouragement, but also a challenge.

This time, my colleague (and friend!) shared that she sensed God was saying this: In the last months, my heart has been knocked very much, and my ability to see myself as loved and as loveable has been rocked in  a big way. She carried on. God was asking me to expose these parts of my heart, the parts most hurt, which up till now I’ve been keeping protected because exposing them would hurt. He was asking me to trust Him with them, and to accept and know His love far more deeply than I was allowing myself to.

So I prayed and said I wanted that. And then the tears came, and I sat sobbing uncontrollably, tears of gladness and joy at God’s love, experienced tangibly, overpoweringly, palpably. I immediately knew this word was right, that I had been keeping parts of my heart hidden, shut away, even from myself a lot of the time. There are places I haven’t allowed myself to go.

heart hiddenOn reflection, I think I’d got to the point of being strong enough to get through the day, but I had stopped there. God was asking me to trust Him for a fuller measure of healing and restoration, not just the beginning of it.

Committing to the process

So why share all this? Why write about it here? Partly because for me it helps mark a line in the sand. And partly because I want to share what I am learning in case it’s helpful for others.

I am committing now to this process of my heart being healed, instead of allowing it to get stunted. I am resting firm in the promise that God has my heart protected, that He will piece it back together again. But I am also aware that will be painful. I know it will hurt. That old wounds will be reopened. I need to learn (or relearn) a lot of things. I need to let God teach me those things, as He pleases.

I have no idea how long that will take. I think I’ve been trying too hard to figure that out, to have a plan. And I’ve been a bit too quick to think I’ve ‘got there’. Back in December and January, I had no strength of my own, no peace of my own. I needed to rely on God for all of that, and I did. And He came through. Now I do have more strength, more peace, so it is a choice. I am still choosing to rely on Him. And He will still come through.

I don’t want to stop with just some of what God wants to do in me. I want the full measure, for all the pieces of my heart to be broken and put back together, not just the ones I am comfortable with.

I’m pretty sure it’ll be painful. But I’m totally sure it’ll be better this way.


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