Chronic Pain Series ~ Hearts Can Be Harder to Crack

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This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

As I continue to share the things I feel the Lord is doing in me in the midst of this yucky health stuff, I find myself coming back to the heart today. I find myself asking God why He keeps nudging me to share about this part of all of it when I don’t even fully understand it yet.

But then I remembered….

He may not mean for me to fully understand it yet. He may just want me to share as it is happening – piece by piece.

So, I  am sharing about my heart today, friends. I am sharing about one wretched aspect of my heart today. I am sharing about the part that involves fear when it comes to praying for “His will to be done.” I am sharing about the fact that this fibromyalgia is trying to cover up the heart work that still needs to be happening, but that God is victorious, and He is not letting go.

He is not letting go of my heart.

The big revolving thought that keeps on returning to me: The cup did not pass from Jesus when it came time for the cross.

Is it possible this cup of chronic pain shall not pass from me? Is it possible the greater issue lies in the fact that I feel badly because my cup is beautiful and lovely as compared to the one Jesus had to partake of? Is it possible that the fact that I am bummed out sometimes an indicator of he fact that I haven’t fully surrendered this to Him?

Yes. It is very possible. Oh, the line between surrender and resignation is so fine, is it not?

Hearts. We think they are so soft, so pliable. We tend to think they are the really tender part of the body, and maybe the actual and physical heart is. But the heart of me….who I am inside ~ what it is filled with ~ It never ceases to surprise me. I really cannot believe sometimes just how quickly it can get polluted. (It only takes one drop to spoil the well water).

And that’s it right there: Who I am inside. There’s still too much Annie in there.

We are very good at protecting our little hearts, aren’t we? So good, we sometimes don’t know we are even doing it. And what we think is protection, could actually be pollution. And God knows it.

Break my heart for what breaks yours. If we pray that, we better be ready for some pain. And some joy and some peace and some really awesome and cool stuff too!

About three years ago (maybe a little longer) I realized my heart had become quite hardened to people. It seemed ironic in a way. Here I was ~ feeling that something new had truly awakened in me regarding my relationship with Jesus, and I had been growing closer to Him for quite some time already.

But…..after the first sprouts of new seeds that He planted in me began to bloom, eventually, it was time for some more pruning.

And I felt it.

I resisted at first. (Of course I did – ug) and I wrote a lot about those pruining sessions as they were happening.

Why? Why do we think that once we start to bloom again and the pruning subsides, that we are done with that for longer than we really are? Yes, I was grateful when the season of what seemed like respite from the breaking down of stuff occurred. I thanked God for it every day. Yet, something inside of me thought it would last longer than it did.

Something just a leeeeeeetle bit prideful.

Sometimes I feel like I am utterly insane…always falling into that pattern or line of thinking. Maybe I am. I smile as I write that not because it’s not possible that I am nuts, but because I have somewhat accepted that it really may be true. Ha Ha! (Really, though…I kinda wonder sometimes).

Well, I am going to tell you today that it is clear that I am being pruned again. Yes, again. I don’t know what about, or what for, but it’s happening.

Wanna know how I know this?

Because as the body has broken down, and the flesh has softened up and the bones and joints and range of motion has become TOTALLY MESSED UP, all I thought I had left that was somewhat in tact was the heart.

No, I didn’t think I had it all together. But yes….I thought my heart was in a better place than it really is.

Yep – this chick’s heart is still kind of messed up, friends. I just see it more clearly now that there’s less stuff on the surface to mask it all. This is how God is making my pain enemy become a friend to the heart. Jesus saves us every single day.

Revelaton. Illumination. Sanctification.

This is what this pain stuff can do if we keep coming to the feet of Jesus. And He gives us the pieces that He wants for us to see just at the right time.

Chip, Chip, Chip.

My heart still feels like it needs an icepick taken to it at times. It saddens me in a way to have to say that. But our loving Father doesn’t use an icepick. He uses His beautiful and divine hands if we just hand our hearts over to Him (ALL THE WAY) and let Him mold us.

So, I can celebrate. I can celebrate and yet I cry out all at the same time.

  • I can celebrate the fact that God is still working in me.
  • I cry out for relief from the pain.
  • I can celebrate the fact He will never give up on this heart of mine.
  • I cry out when I realize there’s still ugly in there.
  • I can celebrate that He is faithful and true and knows that even though I can be rebellious or deceive myself at times, that this heart of mine is really meant to be owned by HIM.
  • I can cry out and share how much it hurts to realize I am still withholding.

There can be no darkness in Him. If He is going to live there, He must expel it.

Did I say this part already? “ALL OF IT”.

It’s going to keep going, this heart stuff. It’s going to keep going until we go home for eternity. But it is part of the healing. The breaking is part of the healing.

For those who may feel I am being hard on myself, I must say…”it is okay.” Really, it is. I need these heart checks, friends. I want to be able to hand my whole heart to God, not just most of it. I am one seriously resistant little lady. If I am really honest, I have to admit it that I am. I don’t like broken stuff. I resist it. I don’t like pain. I lash out. But I know God has this under control. I know it.

No…this girl’s heart is not pure. It may be in the “right place” at first glance, but if I really dig in there with the icepick, I can find stuff that needs to be melted. Then I have to hand the sharp object over to God and let Him do things the right way. (Sharp objects + insane woman = NOT GOOD)

Revel in it, friends. Revel in the truth that He is continuing to mold us and take these hearts of ours that we offer and empty them of self and fill them with HIM.

They are His. They are all HIS. They may be tough to “crack” but He has no intention of shattering them and leaving them that way.

Our God builds things. He creates things. He really and truly does make all things new. We just may not always understand it.

Oh, Lord, please help us not to condemn ourselves as we walk through difficult times. Please help us to resist the temptation to get angry or frustrated with others in the face of chronic pain or other kinds of suffering. But most of all Lord, help us to allow You to continue to work in our hearts ~ not to build ice fortresses around them as our focus is on doctor’s appointments and coping with illness. Help us to remember that when things hurt, we can turn to you. You are the rebuilder of everything, dear Father. You make all things new. And we saw what Jesus chose to do in order to offer us salvation and an opportunity to have a true and eternal relationship with You. Lord, we turn our icepicks over to you along with our heart warmers. We ask you to do Your will within our hearts and in our bodies as well. Help us have the courage to really mean it when we pray for “Your will to be done.” Give us the love and the strength and the desire to share with one another what you are working within us as you mold us ~ especially when we do not fully understand it yet. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

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