Last week I had a conversation with a friend about some details of his life. He was openly sharing some of his heart’s desires concerning finding a wife, marriage and his career, and great things God is doing in his life. I listened closely and was amazed because for the first time I realized this is what a healthy, single man of God sounds like! That was very shocking for me and it impacted me deeply. In fact I wouldn’t really know how much until the next day.
This scripture from Luke 6:45 comes to mind – The good man brings good things out of the good treasure of his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil treasure of his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Amen. It’s obvious where his heart is.
I woke up the next day with a deeply sorrowful heart. Why? What I will call my “soul” pot was stirred. The stirring revealed parts of my soul that were yet unhealed and just too painful to look at. Part lack of awareness and part fear.
I don’t know about you but in living life, things can sometimes slip past my radar. I have pretty high emotional IQ and deal with many issues that are presented to me but human beings are so multilayered that despite dealing with parts of the heart, there are always new layers to unpeel.
So what’s the point?
I was grieving the loss of identity. My identity as a soul that has value. I looked at his credentials and successes, the desires of his heart and wondered about my own. When I felt brave enough to really ask what the source of my pain was, the answer came: I didn’t believe I was good enough to have a true man of God choose someone like me. It wasn’t about him specifically, it was about what he represented. I felt like damaged goods. So in feeling damaged the list of what made me a credible choice according to society’s standards (and my own thought process) was a weak one.
I can already hear the people that know me telling me the total opposite and I bless them for it, but what happens when you don’t believe this for yourself? Their opinion doesn’t matter. It won’t reach the heart. After all if we look at the root cause of this mind set, it was other people’s opinions and behaviors towards me that created it. However, I love them for loving me. To the ones that hurt me…I forgive them.
Still with me? Good let’s keep going…
It wasn’t until the next day after that, that I allowed God to intervene. Yes I said allow. We have to allow Him entry. He’s not rude. He’s not abusive or intrusive. He doesn’t force Himself on us. I had a good cry to get the pressure out then I prayed to the ONLY one whose opinion really matters…my Creator. The One who is perfect in every way. The one who knit me together in my mother’s womb. The One who spoke a Word and the world was created.
I prayed and I presented Jesus with my brokenness. It went something like this:
PAPA I’m hurting. My heart is broken. I can’t see my value in this moment. All I see is damage. I want to do an exchange with you. Please take my brokenness, pain, lack, failure, fear, insecurity, abandonment. Calm my anxious heart and help me to cast my cares on you because you care for me. Jesus as I release these things to you, what will you give me in exchange?
Did you know you can do this? You can ask Jesus what He would like to exchange with you. Read Isaiah 61:1-3:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
I know that this passage of scripture is my personal purpose for living and my personal ministry. This is God’s heart for you too. Look at the miracle in verse 3: and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
He exchanged His crown of beauty for my ashes. It’s already done but I needed a sweet reminder. That day as I sat weeping in my car, I heard Him speak to my heart and say “daughter, I give you my peace, love, hope, joy, mercy, grace, tenderness, compassion and strength.” He also gave me the heart change I needed to continue to stand during my becoming process. He reminded me that as a son of God I am not bowed down and the enemy doesn’t get to continue to kill, steal and destroy what God says that I can have. And dear friend part of that is our identity!
Not an identity that the world assigns with physical beauty, employment or educational status, or even material possessions; who we know and what we have. The beauty I have is what God has assigned to me…the beauty of His Son along with a host of talents and anointings. God reminded me of the good things He put in me that came directly from His heart to mine just for me and there were many. He reminded me of His love for me and how pleased He was with me.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. God expects excellence in our lives but our security must only be in Him not in created things. We can’t allow created things to define who we are because they are fleeting. God is looking for the “eternity” He put inside all of us. Let it shine through.
If you can relate to what I’ve written here, you have my permission to take a deep breath, go have a good cry and then come back to make a choice. What will you choose?
I had these choices to make:
- Go to my Creator or isolate myself and keep it in
- Relinquish control over my heart or pretend it doesn’t exist (I call that ostrich management)
- Do an exchange with Him or keep the toxins in my heart
- Receive what He offers or reject the truth
- Walk in the victory or just accept it and do nothing with it
So much can be said about all of these. God has A LOT to say about identity in His Word. He also has a lot to say about victory and overcoming. There’s a blessing from Him for that. I feel stronger today. Strengthened by surrender, prayer, and the Word infused into my spirit. Strengthened by the God who has relentless love for me. Have I arrived in a week? Lol…nope. BUT I am standing and moving forward with my head up.
Precious friend, if your heart is hurting today in any way, will you receive the healing that PAPA has for you? It’s a process but a healthy and good one. A path that you will never walk alone. As long as you will get up and give yourself to Him, He will always give you His beauty for your ashes. You are never without hope of change. That is a lie from the enemy of your soul who would rather see you destroyed and cut off from God than delivered and healed.
If you don’t know PAPA yet, pray with me:
Dear Jesus, I come before you asking for you to heal me, change me, make me more like you in every way. I want to exchange my ashes for your beauty. Please come into my life, come into my heart. I surrender my life to you Lord. I believe that you are the Son of God, you died, were buried and raised again in victory on the third day. I surrender my heart to you as both Lord and Savior because you are trustworthy and mighty to save. I gratefully receive your gift of salvation to me. Amen!
Welcome to the light side 🙂
Now let me pray for you:
Holy Spirit, our Counselor, in the name of Jesus I lift up my precious friend to you. I ask for you to fill them with your abundant love and peace in all areas of their lives to overflow. Teach them how to receive your love. Break off the bondages of the past, and give them a fresh, new start, a cleansed mind and heart, the tenacity to walk with a renewed mind every day of their lives. May they with increasing understanding experience Your tangible presence in their lives. Jesus you died to set them free, break the chains off their lives, off their minds, off their hearts. I cast down all imaginations that set themselves up higher than Your Word O Lord and speak freedom, wholeness and completeness with nothing missing, broken or lacking in Jesus name.
Jesus left His peace on the earth. Freely given we freely give. May the peace of God rest on you dear friend in every way. Let Him fill you to overflow. He desperately wants to you know…
Much love and be blessed.