Most of my life, I functioned with a broken heart. I didn’t wake up every day and think that my heart was broken. I got so used to it that I didn’t really notice it. I became numb to my heart because it was easier to deal with my life if I just ignored it. Denial can be a good thing for awhile but then you have to deal with the issues that are staring you in the face. I didn’t realize how damaged it was until I had to deal with the hurt.
I knew that I had to let God into my heart to help me heal it, but letting someone into your heart is scary especially if you have had it broken so much. John Eldredge says, “This is the last thing the enemy wants you to know. His plan from the beginning was to assault the heart, just as the wicked witch did to the tin man. Make them so busy, they ignore the heart. Wound them so deeply they don’t want a heart. Twist their theology, so they despise the heart. Take away their courage. Destroy their creativity. Make intimacy with God impossible for them.”
Satan was definitely trying to keep my heart closed off to God. He was trying to keep me from believing that my Abba Father loved me and wanted to help me. He didn’t want me to believe that I could have intimacy with my heavenly Father. Eldredge also says, “Really denial is a favorite method of coping for many Christians. But not with Jesus, He wants truth in the inmost being, and to get there He’s got to take us into our inmost being.” It was very hard for me to let Him in because I was so afraid that once He saw all the things I felt or thought, He would turn away from me and leave me all alone. I thought if I was completely honest with Him, He wouldn’t be able to handle it. I was also afraid that He wouldn’t love me any more.
But, here is the truth that I finally realized. I didn’t know how to approach God as my Father because I didn’t know how to be a child. God tells us to have childlike faith, but I didn’t know how to have that kind of faith because my childhood had been taken away from me. Am I speaking to anyone out there? I missed the course on childhood steps that most kids have growing up. I didn’t know how to speak to God from a child’s perspective. My perspective was completely warped because of my relationship with my Dad. Max Lucado says, “Many people live in fear of God’s justice because they have never reckoned His justice with His love.” I couldn’t wrap my brain around God showing me justice out of love for me. That was a foreign concept for me to accept. Andrew Murray states, “We want to stand at the door and cry, but Jesus would have us first enter in and realize that we are His friends and children.” I desperately needed to realize that I was His friend and His child. I also needed to realize that He was not my enemy.
I wrote in my journal, “I don’t want to cringe when I hear the word father. I long to say that word without fear, disgust, pain or sorrow. I long to call you my father! I am having so much trouble seeing myself as a your dearly loved child. I have been so afraid of punishment, that it has kept me from opening my heart up to you. I know that you don’t hurt your children because you aren’t that kind of father. David says in Ps. 68:5 that you are a father to the fatherless. Help me believe that is true!”
Because I was functioning from a heart that wasn’t receiving God’s love for me, I wasn’t able to process things correctly. I used to think, “Why in the world would You love me? I am not good enough for You to love me. I say stupid things and I do stupid things. I am not worthy of your love for me.” But then He would say to me, “My precious child, you are dearly loved! You are the apple of my eye. I allowed Jesus to die on a cross because I want you to live with me forever. There is no greater love than laying down your life for someone and I did that for you. I want you to understand how wide and how deep my love is for you. I rejoice over you with singing because you matter so much to me. You bring me joy. I look forward to talking with you every day.”
Tears fill my eyes as I write this because I am reminded again of His great love for me. My perception of Him and His love for me has drastically changed but it has taken me a long, long time to get where I am today. I have had to spend many hours talking to Him and reading His word. I have had to reprogram my brain and I have only been able to do it with the Holy Spirit’s help and a lot of counseling! It doesn’t make sense that God would love me so much, but He does. And, He loves you too! He is in the business of healing broken hearts and my prayer is that you will ask Him to heal yours too. I want to help you know that God’s love is real. I would like to share some verses that have meant a lot to me.
Hosea 14:3 “For in you the fatherless find compassion.”
Ps. 27:10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy.”
1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”
Oh, how He loves you and me fellow sojourners! I hope you grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Until next time…