As my Studhub, Lucas says….“Authenticity is job security.”
And I couldn't agree more.
I've read all the online tactics to gain more followers, to increase readership, and ‘become an online sensation in 5 easy steps!' I've heard the statistics about how readers need consistency, and how they need you to crank out content that will make them come back salivating for more. But every time I dug my heels in over the years, deciding to do what I needed to do to ‘make my name great in the earth,' all my steam would consistently wear out in about three weeks.
Something in my heart never felt right about writing just to write or speaking just to speak.
Something in me felt icky….like I was prostituting my gift for ‘likes' and ‘clicks,' followers and readers.
And if you're reading these words, you need to understand….you mean more to me than that. You are not a number, you are a beating heart—alive with life, joy, pain, and suffering—and I am honored that you would entrust your heart to me the way I want to entrust my heart to you.
I won't ever just give you content, friend. I won't ever give you information. I will always give you my heart…..in whatever state it's in, encouraging you to do what I've done the last two years of my life….
Tend to your heart with delicate care….loving it like you would love your best friend.
Today, my heart is heavy with sadness. Deep, deep, deep sadness. In fact, I feel like I've been sliced open, filleted and stretched wide on an operating table while the deep substance of heavy grief continues to drain from the inside of my heart.
You see, we're coming up on the two year mark when my little Goldie's heart stopped beating in my arms on March 5, and my insides still quake with sobs. In the past, I would have tried to put on a smile—especially since I'm writing these words in a public place. I would have gotten out my Bible and quoted scripture about joy, beating myself black and blue with the words to try and change. I would have hid my sadness behind worship, service, and good works.
But not anymore.
Today, and every day since Goldie went to be with Jesus, I live to sink deeply into the pool of sadness within my heart…..knowing that I'm not alone in there.
If someone stabs you in the chest, you denying that you're bleeding doesn't make the knife goes away—or prove that you're full of faith. It just means you're stupid (sorry, but true)…..and that you don't want to be healed anytime soon.
After Goldie died and the knife of death sliced deep within, the only way for that slash to begin the healing process was to first do this….
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THE STAB WOUND
Friend. I guarantee you, there are knives sticking out of your heart that you're trying to deny. We have all been wounded by a wounding world. You might be trying to pretend like your parents divorce didn't cripple you, or that it doesn't bother you that you're still single. You may have lost a loved one, trying to move on before fully acknowledging the pain. You might be living in denial about your current affair, or addiction, or self loathing. Whatever pain is currently in your heart will not go away on it's own.
You must turn to face it, acknowledging its existence.
Pain, I see you, and you are not my enemy. You are simply pointing to a wound.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE THE HEALER
Our greatest fear is that we will face our pain….and that it will be too great for us to bear. Can we handle the enormity of our pain without short circuiting and going insane? Can we really feel the depth of our pain and survive?
There are many reasons why I am a follower of Christ, but one of my favorite reasons is the fact that He wasn't afraid to make His home inside the hottest messes on the planet……YOU AND ME. When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to unpack His bags and make a permanent home inside of our hearts, He made provision for us to never be alone in our pain. He moved inside as the Healer, Comforter, Redeemer, Helper, Counselor…..
Basically, you have the greatest Healing team in the universe a breath away from you at all times….because you're carrying them around on the inside of your heart.
As I acknowledge my pain, and the deep stab wounds of death that's still there, I know better than to go spelunking down into the deep corridors of my heart without the a Light.
I take a deep breath, place my physical hand over my heart and dial my heart into the reality of heaven that lives inside.
Comforter, I need you. Healer, I have to feel you. I know you're in there.
And then……..I simply wait.
3. FEEL THE PAIN
This is the part that most people live to avoid. In fact, you might have set up entire infrastructures to make sure the knife sticking out of your chest isn't bothered. This is where control freaks come from (and I'm speaking from experience). If you can control your OUTER world, then there's a possibility that you can control anyone from getting too close to your stab wounds.
But this doesn't heal the wounds. It just wears you out, living every breath to stay free from more pain.
Today, as I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, I watched my heart open up like a butterfly—COMMITTING to keep it open, instead of closing when the pain gets too great. I looked inside and SAW the Healer, Jesus—who told me He lives in there. I SAW the Comforter, Holy Spirit—who set up home inside. I saw the greatness of God—the One who pulls me close. And all of a sudden, it wasn't so scary to fully embrace the contents of my heart.
And today, friends, my heart discovered another deep pool of sadness that's still there after losing my little Goldie.
I close my eyes.
I imagine myself sinking into the sadness of that deep pool, submerged in the feeling.
I am sad, and that is okay.
I miss her terribly, and that is okay.
I am heartbroken over the loss—even after two years—and that is more than okay.
As I FEEL the sadness, tears come easily. As I FEEL the heartache, sobs are natural. But the beautiful thing about it is this…..
I am not alone in here. And my feelings are not my enemy—they are as real as the breath filling my lungs. I am still sad about my daughter's death, and denying that sadness will not make it go away.
I can feel the hands of the Comforter around me like a blanket. And the beautiful thing is, He's not trying to change me—He just wants to BE with me.
The most healing thing in my life has been this discovery…..I have a God who weeps with me. I have a Love that cries with me. And in that place of Oneness—of connection—of intimacy……I find what I've been looking for….
Peace and rest.
Too many times, we try to move out of our current sadness and find change. Sadness is not bad as long as it doesn't move into despair—because despair is void of hope. But I always have hope as long as I stay tethered to the God of hope—especially inside of deep pain.
As you stay honest about the content of your heart today, a strange thing might happen. Your deepest pain might be the very place where you connect deeply with the Divine.
Today, I am hurting. But in my hurt I feel God closer than ever before. So my hurt becomes the safest place in the world.
Can you find that safety today? Dare to bridge the divide between the pain that's destroyed your life, and the Healer who is waiting on the inside of you….ready to love you back to life.
Excited for you to get your hands on my new book Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain Into Your Greatest Strength, released June 7 this year. I'm ready to teach the world how to unlock their hearts, living from a place of authenticity, connection, openness, and intimacy!!!!
Love you, friends. Thank you for being on this heart journey with me.