Showing posts with label heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heart. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Safe Guarding the Heart

I notice the fog creeping up on the front window. I continued to replay the argument in my mind. At the first sound of my ring tone I jumped. Would he really have the balls to call me  right  instead of just stepping out the door? At the second ring I decided to look at the phone. It was him. He was one of my best friends. As I spoke on the phone he reassured me. He told me everything I wanted to hear but none of what I needed to hear. He told me that I deserved better. He told me that I am smart and beautiful. He told me that he could understand me and felt closer to me than anyone ever before and I felt the same about him. Those were all words that I had longed to hear for so long. What first was only the best intentions soon turned into something dangerous. Things at home went from bad to worse. I was extremely lonely.  My marriage was explosive. 

A huge fight left us in shambles. I told my husband that I wanted out. I went to find comfort in my friend. When I was with him I no longer felt alone. Through the months of talking I had fallen in love. Not into a godly love but into a love built on desperation and neediness. He kissed me and I found no strength to fight it. That night my affair went from an emotional one to a physical one. I had an affair. I committed adultery. Those are some words I never thought I would never post on the Internet. There are so many names some may call me, but none that I hadn't called myself. The guilt haunted me. 

That was in 2005. That was seven years ago and God is still using it to teach me and to reach out to others. How much my life has changed since then. I am very blessed. God has shown me so much grace. God used the situation to pull me close to Him. My husband has forgiven me. 

I was listening to a great song that really summed up where I am at. 

Steven Curtis Chapman, "Remember Your Chains"

There's no one more thankful to sit at the table
Than the one who best remembers hunger's pain
And no heart loves greater than the one that is able
To recall the time when all it knew was the shame
The wings of forgiveness can take us to heights never seen
But the wisest ones, they will never lose sight of where they were set free
Love set them free

So remember your chains
Remember the prison that once held you
Before the love of God broke through
Remember the place you were without grace
When you see where you are now
Remember your chains
And remember your chains are gone

I find that when I remember the chains that held me in bondage, I am able to see other with more grace and love. 

My friend and I were discussing the importance of protecting your heart. We are supposed to keep our hearts guarded from things that are ungodly. We are to be alert because the "devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)" When the devil finds a weakness he will pounce on it. 

Ways to guard your heart:
1. Keep in close communion to God. This can be achieved through prayer, His word, praise, and fellowship with fellow Christians. 

2. Have realistic expectations. Your spouse will never fulfill you. Your friends will never fulfill you. Books, sex, music, crafts, drugs, and other things will not fulfill you. God is the only one who can fill the void. Only God can bring true fulfillment. 

3. Keep an eye out for the enemy. A huge lie that many Christians get caught up in is forgetting or not believing that there is a very real spiritual war. If you do not have your armor on (Armor of God- Ephesians 6:10-18). 

4. Have a thankful heart. By keeping a thankful heart you can prevent yourself from the dangers of self pity. 

5. Be watchful of what you put into your head and your heart. By listening to ungodly music, watching ungodly movies, and reading ungodly books we open ourselves up to the lies of the devil. We desensitize ourselves from the things of the world. We are to be set apart. My friend just wrote a very honest and truthful blog about "50 Shades of Grey", a book that so many are speaking about. The book is basically soft core porn.

6. Call things as they are. By using God's terms it brings the truth to it. Instead of saying affair say committed adultery. Instead of saying a child disobeyed say they rebelled. We try to soften things up so that we don't offend people. We want to be politically correct, but we need to be God correct. John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."

7. Seek out only godly counsel. We are to reach out to nonbelievers. We are to show them God's love and grace, but we are not to seek out their counsel. We all, pretty much, know our friends well enough to know how they handle situations. The friends of mine that will let me vent but then hold me accountable to what God wants of me, are the ones I go to with issues. The friends that are very worldly, I don't discuss personal things with. 

8. Write God's word on your heart. When the devil attacks, the best thing to combat his lies is God's word. 

9. Share God's grace with others. Show them the forgiveness and love that has been given to you. 

10. Don't give the devil any more ammunition. He already has enough ways to attack us. We are told to reject evil (1 Thessalonians 5:23). I have chosen to protect myself by not having any close male friends. Other than direct family members, I don't have any males on my Facebook. I don't talk to a male in a private conversation. If someone wants to contact me, they can reach me through my husband. I am not saying that all Christian women should cut off ties with male friends, but I know myself and I don't want to give the devil any room. I also want to honor my husband. By taking away his fear or giving him an opportunity to lose trust in our relationship is not worth it to me. You should stay away from whatever separates you from God.

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Colossians 3:9-10 "Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it."

What is keeping you from God? How do you safe guard your heart? 

Friday, June 8, 2012

When Your Heart Stops

I walked into the room filled with joy and excitement. I sat down on the bed next to my love and I saw it. My heart immediately stopped. I could feel my chest tighten and my eyes were flushed with salty tears of pain, anger, and disappointment. When my heart began to beat again I could feel it sink into my stomach. Even though the image was only on the screen for a second before he was able to close it, it felt like minutes. I was able to have an entire dialog with myself as the thoughts flowed from my soul, but I wasn't able to get the lump in my throat up enough to push out the words I so wanted to say. I took a very focused breath and asked what I needed to ask. He seemed extremely defensive in his assurances that it was only a pop-up from a blog. 

God must have given me His peace, because I only asked to see the blog that it pops up on. Upon viewing the blog several times there was no pop-up. I had asked to see his history in as much of a calm and nonjudgemental fashion I could muster. The settings were in such a way that it doesn't record them. He continued to try to assure me, which only led me to assume the opposite. I felt myself not knowing whether to yell, fight, or cry. Again, God gave me His peace. God's peace doesn't mean you don't always feel the pain, but it does mean you are able to face the pain in a more controlled fashion and less influenced by inner emotional toil.  I left the room to contemplate the situation. 

I write this, not to bash my love but to allow God a chance to speak to my heart and to yours. Sometimes, being a wise Christian means separating your soul from your spirit. My heart is flesh and will deceive me. Whereas, my spirit is in communion with the Holy Spirit, who has the ultimate wisdom. 

My heart wants to know if he was speaking the truth. My heart wants to make him feel pain for the pain he causes me. My heart feels defeated and overwhelmed, but my spirit wants to grow and wants to crawl into my Father God's loving arms, pouring our my tears and frustrations. My spirit needs to see the Truth, so that I can defend myself and my family against the father of lies. 

The truth: 
We all have sins and addictions that pull us and tempts us. These things pull us away from our family, our friends, and from our God. Whether or not he was giving into his addiction is ultimately between him and God. I need to be in prayer for him as the Devil is on the prowl and is trying to attack my love. 

I am no more righteous than my love. I am no more worthy of God's forgiveness and love than my love is.  

Satan would love for the situation to distract me from God's work in my life, from the relationship I am building up with my love, and from praising God. I will praise God because He is worthy. Because God has given me victory over Satan. Because God can turn all things to good. 

My focus is not supposed to be on whether or not I can trust my love or anyone else that I makes myself vulnerable to. My focus is to be on God. He is the one I can trust at all times. He can heal my heart from the pain. 

Where to go from here: 
I need to pray. I need to pray that I may be able to show my love God's love, forgiveness, and grace. I need to pray that I do not allow things to come between my walk with God. I need to pray that God protects my love's heart and helps him become strong spiritual headship. I need to pray that my love can find fellow Christian men that can love and support him. I need to pray that God protects all the marriages around us. 

I need to praise. I need to sing it out. I need to shout the amazing love and glory of God until my heart believes my spirit. 

I need to claim the victory that Jesus has given us. 

1 Peter 5:8 "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Romans 8:26 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."

2 Timothy 1:7 "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."

Isaiah 41:13 
"For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand 
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you."

Psalm 46:1-3 
"God is our refuge and strength, 
    an ever-present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way 
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 
though its waters roar and foam 
    and the mountains quake with their surging."

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

1 Peter 3:1 "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,"

What can God help you overcome? Do you put your trust in man or in God? What do you need prayer for? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rehabilitation Exercises

Within days of having had open heart surgery, patients are encouraged to walk around the hospital as a form of exercise. Why does the heart need exercise so soon? Is it all the way healed already? 

The reason I bring this up is because I am learning that there is not much difference between the way you treat a physical injury and an emotional one. Both can take sometime to heal. Both may need intervention from someone trained in the relating field. And both can affect your everyday activities. I find myself asking, "how long do I heal before I begin to exercise love and acceptance again? Am I ready?" 

The heart needs to exercise soon after an injury for a few reasons. It helps the doctors see if the heart is working correctly after the surgery. It is important to have a blood flow to the area to increase the speed of healing. It is also important to make sure the body doesn't atrophy.  The heart is not healed all the way, but slowly getting into a exercise program that is monitored by a doctor can ensure a faster healing.

When someone becomes emotionally wounded it is very natural for them to take some time to heal. Unfortunately, they can become comfort with their isolation and actually end up slowing down their healing. Their emotional connection can atrophy and they can be left not knowing how to trust and grow in other areas of their life. 

So in knowing if it is too soon to be rehabilitating my emotional wounds, I need to ask myself a few questions.
1. Would the doctor say it was safe? The doctor looks to see if there is any risk of immediate harm and if my heart could handle it. My answer: In this case I am in no risk of harm, there might be some difficulty getting back to what seemed normal and natural but it will come with time. Yes, my heart can handle it. 

2. Do I have realistic expectations about my recovery? I think my expectations are pretty realistic but I need to make sure I don't push myself to recover too quickly. 

3. How will I monitor and know when I can increase the rehabilitation? I will use scripture, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and my comfort level. Doctors often tell you to listen to your body, if you think you are over doing it don't push yourself too much. 

It is time for me to open up my heart again and begin a new level of healing. I am cautiously excited at what God can and will do. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight."

Psalm 147:3  "He heals the brokenhearted 
    and binds up their wounds."

1 Corinthians 13:7 "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Matthew 5:48 "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."