Problems And Pain // Overcoming Difficulties

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Journey to Your Heart—The Beginning of Everything

It has been a long road, the waiting for things to change. It is so hard to keep your heart soft. It feels so much easier to close it off. To stop hoping. To stop trying to get yourself to believe that things will change—that your relationships won’t bring pain, that you won’t feel stuck, trapped in circumstances you didn’t anticipate being yours to live. 

This was not the plan, you tell Me. It was not the plan to feel isolated—not only from other people but from your own heart. For you have put it away, this heart of yours. It has felt too much—too needy, too heavy. What it needs, what it cries out for, you don’t even want to know. For you are afraid your life won’t be able to give it what it needs.

So you push it down. Keep it quiet. You ignore it the best you can. And you are getting good at it too. When it aches, you try to look at the bright side—think about the positive things in your life. When it feels heavy, you make yourself busy. Stay preoccupied with tasks and projects and work. There is always so much to do. It is easy to keep moving, keep filling moments with the next thing and the next thing and the next. And your heart gets buried, silenced in the busy and the noise.

But I see it. I know it. I have not forgotten it. I am not tricked, distracted by all your movement, your ignoring of what I love most.

Will you listen now? I have something to say. You matter. You matter to Me. Your emotions, your opinions, your story, your pain. How you feel and what you think. You are treasured. I do not ignore you. I do not push you away. I do not dismiss you. I do not reject you. I do not neglect you. So, please, why do you do this to your own self? Why do you run from your feelings, dismiss your opinions? Why do you push away your desires, assume they are not important, not worth caring about?

Your heart is the center of where I am. It is where I abide in you. My Spirit in your spirit abides in your heart. And your heart is not just a shell, a hollow holding place where your thoughts, your emotions, your ideas should be dismissed. For you matter. You matter. Your heart matters. Your desires matter. And it is time to awaken your heart. 

It is time to pay attention to it. It is time to address your pain, years of dismissal of your own thoughts and memories and hopes and dreams, and give it to Me. For I see it, and I know it—and giving it to Me will enable you to see it, hear it, feel it. It is time to stop ignoring the masterpiece that you are.

You are complex and beautiful, a masterpiece I want to restore and heal. So slow now. Pause. Take a deep breath. Take another. There is a journey we are going to set out on. It a journey to your heart. And you will not go it alone. It is place luminous with the hope of joy. It is a place fragrant with new life. It is a place restored and good—where all the old pain is noticed and attended to. And we honor you. We honor your heart. It is where I show you how to love your own self by letting Me love you. We have to go there. We have to. Come; no more distraction. This is going to be so good—the beginning of everything for you. Let’s go.

Exercise:

This isn’t easy. Addressing pain that’s been pushed down. Acknowledging wounds—the ways we’ve been hurt—whether they’re in the long ago past, or whether they happened just yesterday.

But acknowledging pain is important. Not because we’re able to fix any of it—but because God can. He won’t change the past. But He will attend to our pain; He will bring healing to our hearts; He will bring to light into the darkness. For He is in the business of making right everything that has been wrong.

King David, in the Psalms, sang, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” That’s Psalm 34, verse 18. He sang, “God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” That’s Psalm 147, verse 3.

Even when you are brokenhearted, Our Father is close. Jesus is close. Holy Spirit is close. When your spirit feels crushed, you are not forgotten; your God pursues you—so that He may care for your wounds and heal you.

In the message we just read, Holy Spirit called you His masterpiece. It’s difficult to accept and believe that we are that, of course, given all the pain we’ve suffered. The pain we push down, the pain we’re afraid to admit—they prevent us from believing we’re worth very much.

So, let’s ask Holy Spirit for help. Let’s spend the next few minutes talking to Him, surrendering ourselves to Him. Let’s ask Him to show us what He sees, in us. 

Take a deep breath, and call yourself to attention. Don’t pray or listen halfway. Call your heart, your mind, and your spirit to attention. For Jesus is in the room. He is with you now. And He is eager to hear what you have to ask.

Jesus, I am fearful, reluctant. But I trust you. So, come into this room, into this space, and help me deal with my fearso that I can hear You and feel your presence. You say your love casts out fear. And I believe it. So help me get past my reluctance. Help me to stop ignoring the things in me that need to be healed. Bring your light and goodness and healing. I need them.

Holy Spirit I need your help too. Give me courage. Give me the will and the courage to face my past.

Jesus, I consecrate my mind, my imagination, my heart, my spirit, and my body to You.

So, take me on a journey. Show me the places of pain I’ve buried. Let me feel the emotions. But protect me when I do. Keep me safe while I face these things I don’t want to face, but need to.

What did He show you? What did you see?

Jesus, I admit it. I’m hurting, and I don’t know how to deal with it. I don’t know what the first step is. So, I am looking to you. What should I do in the face of this pain? This regret? This sadness? This anger? This loss?

Listen for His voice—His wisdom, His love.

However Jesus counseled you, I encourage you, do whatever He said. Or resolve to do it when you can. If He asked you to give Him your pain, go ahead and do it now. Hold out your hands or imagine holding them out, in your mind. And give the pain to Him, now.

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I love You. And I trust that you love me. 

So, I am going to ask. Will you explain to me, now, how I am your masterpiece. It is hard for me to believe that I am, so show me a picture or give me a word or phrase. Originate a thought in my mind. Let me see what You see when You look at me. Show Me how I matter to You.

God, thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for wanting to heal meand for beginning the process of healing today.

In Your amazing name, amen.