“Put everything you have into the care of your heart, for it determines what your life amounts to.” Dallas Willard
A week after surgery I felt flat, numb, emotionless. That’s a sure sign that something is not right within my heart. There is a hurt that hasn’t been healed, a lie I’ve believed, an offense I haven’t forgiven, a loss I haven’t grieved, or I’m controlling and putting a cap on my emotions in hopes of not feeling pain. The last time I did that was in 1995. My husband and I were on a short-term mission trip in Kabul, Afghanistan when the Taliban were bombing the city. I unconsciously numbed out to protect my heart from all that I was seeing.
As I sought the Lord, He began to uncover what was going on within. He showed me how I was stuffing my pain and disappointments and not fully grieving my losses. He encouraged me to feel them and then let them go. He told me pushing them down and not putting a name to them is what makes me feel flat and unfeeling and that’s a dangerous place to be. He said to weep, cry, get angry even-just don’t push it down. Then He pulled back the curtain and unveiled the lies I had believed.
“I have to be strong” was the first lie, with the second one being, “I have to take care of myself.” Next came the misbelief that, “What matters to me doesn’t matter to anyone else.” God then proceeded to speak the truth over me. He said I didn’t have to be strong; He’ll be strong for me and will take care of me. He then recalled to mind, what matters to me, matters to Him.
After God’s gentle reality reminders, I wrote out my prayer to Him. “Forgive me for stuffing my emotions way down below my heart and for putting a cap on them as my protection from feeling pain. I choose to give You back the control of my emotions. Take them. Bring them back up to the surface, so I feel again. Even if it’s painful, I want to be alive again.”
My counseling session with The Counselor ended with these words from Him. “It’s okay to cry Norma and to get angry. What’s important is you get your emotions out. Ask yourself how your heart is doing and what your heart needs. Take your pulse periodically. Know how you’re doing and then take care of your heart.”
Just as King David did in the book of Psalms, he urges us to do today, to pour our hearts out to God. “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8) And when we do, we will experience the freedom to feel.
“There is only one being who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.” Oswald Chambers
Relevant Reflections: 1. Take your pulse. How is your heart doing emotionally? 2. What steps do you need to take to make sure your heart is cared for?