I grew up hating my heart.
I hated what came out of it….the inconsistency of my wounded emotions and the mystery of my whirlwind thoughts. I hated that it seems to tether me behaviors I hated even more—addictions, perfectionism, and manipulation. I hated that it seemed broken beyond repair, and that inner pain kept sabotaging my life and relationships—all as a dedicated follower of Jesus.
To further my “heart hate-case,” I heard scriptures like Jeremiah 17:9 preached from the pulpit, how we shouldn't listen to our hearts because they are, “hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle no one can figure out.” (MSG)
Deny your emotions!
Deny your desires, they're deceitful!
If something is in your heart, you should probably do the opposite in devotion to God!
There's too much emotionalism in church and in worship! God should only be logically rationalized with our minds!
(By the way, that scripture in Jeremiah 17 is describing the heart without God—not the heart where God resides! Talk about a scripture being used out of context!)
With my own self-hatred of my inner realm–fueled by the teaching of many churches and pastors–I had cut off my heart like I thought a good Christian girl should…..
Ignoring and shaming the very place that God chose to make His home.
No wonder I couldn't hear God. No wonder I couldn't feel Him. How could I ever experience someone real and close when I had built a stone wall between us, refusing to acknowledge the place where He dwelled?
I am here to reeducate the church on the heart, because friends……we are completely heart-illiterate as Christians. This isn't said with the intent to shame—I was right there in your shoes just two years ago—focused almost completely on my external world, all the while completely neglecting my inner realm.
I had no idea why God created my heart, or what He intended it to be.
I had no idea what was inside of it, or the components of it.
I didn't understand that my heart was speaking to me constantly, or how to decipher and understand its language.
I didn't know it was my friend, and not my enemy.
Jesus told the Pharisees, “First cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean.” Matthew 23:26 (NIV) I think we have a lot to learn from this one scripture, especially since the heart is the most anthropological term in ALL of scripture, mentioned almost 1000 times throughout the Bible. The heart is talked about more than love, more than hope, more than obedience, more than sin.
If God is talking about the heart more than anything else, then friends, its time that we prioritized the heart like God does. It's time that we learned what the heart really is, what God intended it to be, and how to move towards it in love and kindness, instead of neglecting and shaming it for being broken.
It's time for us to learn to be like Jesus who moves towards brokenness, and not away from it in fear and shame.
“For many years, I was afraid of unzipping my chest and taking a good look down into my heart because I saw it as a confusing enemy, always working against me. Without warning, it would rise up with nasty traits like insecurity, anxiety, jealousy, and anger. Now I realize that what I was afraid of when I looked inside wasn't really a few of my true self but a fear of seeing what the meat-grinder of pain had done to my heart over the years.”
-Page 47, Heart Made Whole
Your whole heart isn't deceitful, especially when the Spirit of Truth lives inside. (John 14:17) The unhealed pain inside your heart can deceitful because it believes its separated from love. (And it's not, nor will it ever be). (Romans 8:35-29). The whole reason God moved inside your broken heart was for the purpose of turning on the light, illuminating everything, and restoring all that's been lost. (Isaiah 61, Luke 4). He's not afraid of your pain like you might be—in fact, He's waiting for you smack dab in the middle of it. (John 14:16-18)
Are you ready to unzip your chest, learn to connect with the Love that already lives inside, and move towards your brokenness (instead of away from it)? If so, it's time to take a journey with me.
“If you want your life to transform, then you must first allow your heart to transform. In order to do that, you must do what you might have avoided. You must start paying close attention to your heart through the lens of the Holy Spirit. The building of your heart was never intended to be ignored and forgotten while life continues to smash it up. It was created to flourish in surrender, to be cleansed with salvation, healed by heaven, rebuilt with grace, and occupied by Love. Your heart was intended to be the safe house where you coexist in relationship with the Trinity who lives inside. When this dance of unity between your original self and God happens, pure life can't help but pour out of the secret place.
Friend, no matter how long your heart has hosted deep pain, endured the monsters that feasted on your soul, and felt shattered by the wrecking balls of trauma, I have amazing news for you.
The most powerful person in the universe is already waiting inside, and if you let Him, He will restore everything that pain has stolen from your life, binding up your broken heart and teaching you to walk in freedom.” -‘Heart Made Whole', pg 55
This is a journey you were never meant to take alone. Subscribe to my email newsletter, and let me equip you with resources on your inner exploration. Pick up your copy of Heart Made Whole and find out who you really are. It's time for you to be a heart expert, know what's inside of it, but most importantly….
Find out how to fully connect with the Love that is waiting for you inside.
(At the request of a comment below, I have gone back to ADD more scripture since this is sure to hit a few nerves.)