Monday, April 18, 2016

Sound of a Living Heart

It's been almost a year since the Lord moved mightily in my life in a specific area that I want to share about. He revealed Himself as my Restorer, restoring places deep within that had felt wounded for the past several years. I was beginning to wonder if it was possible for Him to mend those broken places... not that I didn't think He could, but I wondered if He would.

Then, just like that, He has brought more healing in my life in the last year than had come in the last few years. And He has been calling out to my soul for it to LIVE again. There were spaces in me that felt dead. I was clinging so tightly to my right to be broken, most especially in the area of losing Lily and her father.

But my Heavenly Father loves me too much to leave me in that place. He showed me He cares more about my freedom and healing than I do. And it was Him Who drew me out of that place. It was He Who called me unto Himself and breathed LIFE back into these dry, weary bones. It was He Who caused me to be so utterly miserable in the place where I was that I was willing to do whatever it was He asked of me, whatever it took to be free. It was He who revealed to me what was really going on so I could recognize it and pray against it. It was He Who has brought me VICTORY IN CHRIST. It is He Who I will praise and glorify all the days of my life.

In the spring of last year, I was in a dark place with grieving over the loss of Lily's father. It felt like an endless pain and I wondered if I'd ever be freed of it. I wondered if I'd ever be free to love another. I was burdened by the dreadful thought that I'd never be whole and healed. Now don't get me wrong, there has been much healing that God has brought in so many areas.... but oh, the regret and pain in this area!

Last May, I was in South Carolina with my sister-in-law Kala (who is also my best friend) and I was pouring out my broken heart to her. She is one person I can always count on to see what's really going on and she's not afraid to speak the truth I need to hear. She said, "you keep saying, "I feel this," and "I feel that." When really what I needed to do was recognize those were lies from the enemy! We decided instead of talking, we needed to pray.

I started off praying by saying I really had no idea what to pray and the Holy Spirit met me there and He prayed through me... it was literally the most intense and powerful prayer of my life. And I was weeping from the deepest parts of me, confessing things and repenting of things I wasn't even aware of until God drew it out of me. It was Him working in me! It was Him fighting! Literally in that moment, I know there was a spiritual breakthrough. I can't fully articulate or understand it, but I know God broke down walls that had been built up for years. He tore them down and proved Himself stronger.

I asked Him to make me willing to be made willing to do whatever He was asking of me for victory and healing. And He was faithful to reveal what needed to be done. He showed me that I had not obeyed something He had asked me to do long before this. He asked me how could I expect to be triumphant in something when I wasn't even willing to do what He showed me needed to be done?! It reminded me of a quote I had read that says, "God will not advance your instructions beyond your last act of disobedience." At that point, I was feeling a lack of direction in my life.

The specific thing God had asked me to do might seem like a small thing, but to me it was huge. He had asked me to throw away anything and everything having to do with my relationship with Lily's father. To me, throwing these items away felt like ripping my heart out. It felt like if I threw those things away, I was in a way throwing Lily away because in my heart, she is tied to him... or she was. God showed me that He would separate the two of them in my heart and mind. And for some reason, those tangible items were keeping me tied to him. I didn't want to do it and didn't for a long time. Until God gave me the strength to obey.

I told my sister-in-law what I knew He was asking me to do and said it needed to be done THAT DAY that I got back home. I literally couldn't wait any longer to obey my Father! I had disobeyed Him and couldn't bear it anymore. So I gathered everything together, the pictures, letters, songs, etc. and took it to the local dump. I wanted it to be symbolic, like these things are something I can never get back and this relationship I can never get back. It is over, it is finished forever.

On the day I took these things to the dump, God nudged me to get rid of anything from my past having to do with guys (even seemingly innocent things from guys I didn't have a serious relationship with). It was like I couldn't bear to have those things in my possession, even the things I hadn't thought about for years. Everything had to go! The thought of my future husband made me realize how much I already love him and how I will do anything to show him that. I can't bear the thought of him being hurt by my holding onto these items. And I wouldn't want him to be holding onto any items from girls in his past (even seemingly innocent things) so why would I? Everything was thrown out. And it was easy! It was a joy! Once I decided to obey the Lord, no matter the cost, and that I desired to love and honor my husband even now, God gave me supernatural grace.

I listened to a song on that day that was the cry of my heart. It's called "To Win Christ" by Ben Zornes. I listened to it over and over and over again and journaled the lyrics. Listen to it below (email subscribers click HERE).

Literally, the day after I was obedient in this, God whispered "Ellerslie Advanced" to my heart. I have my journal entries from around this time. I knew that I had wanted to return to Colorado for Advanced since my Basic Semester 4 years before... but honestly it was not even on my radar at that point because I was a full-time student, scheduled to graduate this spring. But He so clearly put this on my heart that it was what I was supposed to do in the next season of my life. Suddenly, I could hear my Jesus again. I had direction when before I didn't... all because of being obedient to Him.

It has been AMAZING to see His faithful hand guiding me to Ellerslie, how He worked out all the details of my school, finances, everything. And how much He did in me while I was there.

The Lord has spoken so much through the book of Exodus and how He was faithful to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Oh, how it is so easy for me to read about them and think how ridiculous they were for not trusting the Lord and for looking back at and longing for Egypt... then the Lord so clearly spoke to my heart that I am just like them, looking back to my own Egypt, to past relationships and longing for what was when what was wasn't God's best. Forgetting the misery and captivity. Knowing that He is calling me out of that, into something so much more beautiful than I can begin to fathom. I am not looking back anymore. I am following Him and trusting He will lead me through.

I'm beginning again... I'm living again... This is the sound of a living heart.

I hear Jesus calling me
Out of the grave I've been sleeping in
With new lungs I'll begin again
Lift my voice and sing my part
This is the sound of a living heart

(Email subscribers click HERE to listen).


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