I'm learning from a book, The Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd, this year what it means to live fully out of my heart, to understand the core of feelings. A sweet sweet gift the Lord has given me is four women that I get to meet with every week that we get to share in confidentiality our heart and the feelings we have been feeling the past week. Now actually going through the steps with the group I am going back through the book and understanding more about what Dodd is saying on how the heart works. I'm realizing that for so long my heart has been crying out but because I had fear of feeling a certain way because it would bring pain I avoided it not knowing that I'm actually robbing myself of my heart's true potential for joy. Instead of facing the truth I sought after counterfeit solutions all to avoid the neediness and vulnerability so often found with the truth. I'm learning that life is not simply about being happy. It's about living fully in an intimate relationship with my self, others and with God, which is a joy unto itself.
"We subordinate ourselves to the lie that our lives don't have great worth except through performance or merit. We do things because we ought to instead of awakening to the desires within our hearts that hunger for truth and hunger to do things because we passionately desire to do them...We live far below the heights for which we were made."
" By surrendering to your heart's true expression, you can live abundantly. Your thirsts and hungers will be satisfied. Your feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hope will lead you to full life.... Ultimately, living fully means more than happiness, comfort, or thrills. You have the capacity to experience true joy, yet you are equally capable of grieving deeply while holding on to hope. Full life means you can expect great things in the midst of great loss. You can accomplish many good things while still needing to be forgiven for the harm you have caused."
Through the whole book he explains the structure of the heart and how it works as a system of spiritual and emotional roots that need spiritual and emotional nourishment. The system consists of feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hope. Through knowing the system we are able to pursue abundant living.
I had no idea how much I have stuffed down in my heart all because I don't want to feel the pain. All because I don't want to deal with the ugliness of my sin. All because of fear and shame that I don't want others to know my junk. I don't want to rip off the bandages I have covered my heart with because I honestly don't want to see what the wound looks like underneath. I don't want to see the ugliness of the deep rooted hole that is in my heart that is invested with dirt but I know that by cleaning it out healing will come but in the midst of the cleaning there is pain. So here it is in the season of singleness the Lord is sanctifying me and I'm not happy about it but I can say that I am glad. I am experiencing true gladness in knowing that my Father loves me so much that He doesn't want me to stay in the mess of sin I'm in. That He wants me to deal with the wounds no matter how much it hurts He knows that this is what's best for me. That He cares more about redeeming me and making me more like Him than He does about making me happy.
By seeing the depths of my sin I am getting to see a clearer picture of who God is: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love, faithful to his promises, loving toward all he has made, upholds all who fall, lifts up those bowed down, righteous, near to those who call, fulfills the desires of our hearts, watches over us, healer, restorer, creator, mighty, great, a fortress, a stronghold, a deliverer, a shield, a refuge and sustainer to the humble. And to know that God delights in his people, those who fear Him(those who hate sin),who put their hope in his unfailing love... (psalm 144-147)
So single ladies as much as I know you want to be married, I'm in the same boat, but what would happen if we stopped looking at the season of singleness as merely a waiting room for our "Mr. Right" and began to look at it as what it truly is, a gift from God which He sees is the best for us right now. That through our life He cares way more about our hearts and about restoring them so that we may become more like Him.
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."
1 Peter 1:13-16
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. but just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."