A Hardened Heart

softheartA deep wound, a broken heart, disappointments, bitterness, and unforgiveness can cause the heart to become hardened with time. It causes us to put up walls. Our defenses go up. We self-protect, and we don’t let anyone in including God.

Self-protection leaves us running on reserve and is the cause of intimacy issues and conflict in relationships. It seems that it’s easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable because we don’t want to get hurt. But you were not created to live that way. God made you to be tender and responsive.

It’s hard to shape stone. As long as your heart remains hard you will miss out on the abundant life Jesus came to give. So let the living God come into your heart, heal your wounds and tear down your self-protection and defenses.

The amplified version of Ezekiel 11:16 says “And I will give them one heart, a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony, unnatural hardened heart out and give them a heart of flesh, sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God.”

Give your hurts to the Lord. Let God shape you and heal your heart. He makes broken things new.

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He Mends Broken Pieces

brokenheartedGod can heal your broken heart, you just have to be willing to surrender all the broken pieces. He makes broken things new,  gives us beauty for ashes and a life of abundance and purpose beyond the pain.

You may not have had a choice of becoming a victim, but you have a choice to stay one.

Give your hurts over to the One who can heal and mend your wounded heart. When you do that – He will leave His fingerprints all over your heart, and you will come to a realization in the depth of your soul as Job came to know that your – Redeemer Lives! And that you are a precious child of the living God, deeply loved, who holds every one of your tears in a bottle.

Let Him comfort you as He applies His soothing healing balm to your hurting heart. Jesus is the Balm of Gilead.

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Removing Shame

Removing ShameShame has no room in the life of a believer. Jesus has covered our guilt and shame. Our past does not define us. The sins that hurt us whether ours or someone else’s perpetrated against are not who we are.

They kept us from becoming who God creates us to be causing us to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms and put up walls around our hearts to guard against being hurt. They kept everyone else out including God.

Addiction, sexual sin, bodily abuse, eating disorders, trauma, neglect, violence cannot be erased from our minds, but we can be free from their damaging effects on our souls.

God sets us free by helping us walk through and process the pain, removing the lies we have believed about ourselves, and offering and receiving forgiveness. This releases us from the bondage of being a byproduct of our past. Through the Sacrifice of our beloved Savior and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we are set free.

We can replant and be rooted in God’s love and grace, but we must let go of the toxic things that keep us from living in freedom, growing and becoming who God created us to be

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Forgiving One Another

compassionGod cares about our relationships and wants us to be right with one another. Too often close relationships are torn apart due to hurts, misunderstandings, offenses, pride, unresolved issues, and emotions can run deep, cut at the heart filling us with bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness.

And usually, it’s the relationships we treasure the most that breakdown and cause the deepest pain. Rather than confront the issues, it may seem easier to avoid, blame others and feel justified holding on to our hurts and anger.

Yet God calls us higher. His word says that as much as depends on us to live at peace with all people (Romans 12:18). We need to forgive those who have wounded us and ask for forgiveness when we have wounded others. We will never be free unless we learn how to forgive and release our offenders at the foot of the cross.

We need only take ownership of our wrong doings and leave the rest at God’s feet endeavoring always to extend grace and leave the door open for reconciliation whenever possible. Are you struggling with forgiveness? Sometimes all it takes is to go to Jesus with a sincere heart and ask Him to give you a willingness to forgive, make amends and pursue peace. There is nothing that He can’t do with a willing and surrendered heart.

 

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Unhealthy Boundaries

unhealthy boundariesGod’s boundaries are everywhere throughout scripture. They separate light from dark, land and sea, good and evil, holiness and unholiness. They also define ownership. In our personal lives, they protect what we value and assign worth to.

God’s word says that we are the temple of the living God. This means that we are precious and of tremendous worth. We belong to Jesus. Sadly, many believers don’t see their value so they allow people to hurt and mistreat them.

Healthy boundaries are essential in establishing healthy relationships. Unhealthy boundaries lead to unhealthy relationships, and broken boundaries result in broken relationships.

People with unhealthy boundaries allow wrongful behaviors that hurt them and others, compromise values to please others, expect others to fulfill all their needs, feel guilty when they say “no,” and feel used, taken advantage of, unappreciated, threatened and victimized by others, they feel responsible for others feelings and allow others to tell them how to think, feel and behave. They also struggle with being afraid to disapprove of others, receiving criticism, or losing the love of others.

When we allow God to heal our hurts and show us the unhealthy ways we have been operating in relationships, we will start to see our value and worth in Him, and we will no longer wish to engage in the negative patterns of behaviors that ruin relationships. He will teach us how to set boundaries to guard our hearts and temples against getting defiled with bitterness and resentment.

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A Time To Heal

a time to healA time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Children who suffer abuse or trauma whether physical or emotional will often suppress their emotions in order to survive. However, the pain, sorrow, anger, and despair are still there and manifest in different ways in adulthood – either through negative behaviors or seemingly good behaviors. Both mask the reality of the painful wounds they carry inside.

Some who shut down their emotions often can’t feel at all even pleasant things such as joy, tenderness, mercy and even love. Sometimes we make vows never to be hurt again putting walls around our hearts.

There may have been a season for self-protection but now is the season for healing your heart. Give yourself permission to feel. It’s time to let go of the hurts of the past. Run to Jesus – The Balm of Gilead who heals the wounds of God’s children. He is waiting with arms wide open to mend your heart and wipe your tears. Do you want to be made well?

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