Saturday, April 27, 2013

Confessions Of A Once-Broken Heart

If you turn back a year in my journal, you will find the following question on April 14: "Will it ever be okay?"

We call Jesus the Healer of our hearts.  But that question was penned nearly a year after an experience that left me feeling confused, shattered, and beyond the reach of grace.  And even just a few months ago, in the wake of difficult confessions and all the remembering and reliving that comes along with that, you can find the words, "I'm so frustrated and tired."  "I don't know what's going on with me."  "My heart is so worn."

And somehow, even though this topic haunted the pages of my journal for nearly three years, it vanished a few months ago and hasn't returned until I wrote this declaration of victory and healing in it last night.

My journey was long, probably longer than most.  Circumstances made it hard to understand and find closure; my own hypocrisy from years past followed me for much longer than I would have liked.  But I am here to tell you: Jesus Chris heals broken hearts.

He does not do it quickly, certainly not as quickly as we want Him to.  But I am convinced that the reason it took so long was that He was not interested in a quick fix.  He wanted to take His time and deal with every little part of my heart.  He wanted to deal with habits and mindsets that had influenced my path to this heartbreak.  He wanted to root out deep-seeded insecurities and lingering anxieties.  He didn't want me to have a good-as-new heart.  He wanted me to have a new one, completely remade, more in His image than ever before.

Our culture is obsessed with quick fixes.  We slap a Band-Aide on it.  We turn to drinking.  Drugs.  Sex and relationships.  Anger.  Bitterness.  Or the most common one, gritting our teeth and "moving on."

So when I tell you that it will take years for Jesus to heal your broken heart, I understand how that could be discouraging, even upsetting.  That is why I am writing this.

I want you to know that it's worth it.

Jesus thinks it's worth it to pour years into healing you.  Isn't that comforting?  He's not going to hand you Advil and an ice pack and send you on your way to wait out the pain.  When He deals with a specific pain, He deals with it -- so that it never gets to come back.  So that you can recognize its lies when it tries to creep back in.  So that you don't just have relief -- you have victory.

If your heartbreak was caused by your own actions, He wants to show you a better way.  He wants to reveal the lies in your life that told you that you needed to do such-and-such.  And He wants to forgive you and make your confidence in Him complete, wants to satisfy you with Him instead of whatever it is you were chasing.

If you suffered at the hands of another, He wants to remind you of who you really are.  He wants to show you every tiny consequence of what happened to you and bear them all away on the cross.  He wants to lead you along the difficult road to forgiveness, and He wants to love you when you cry.

It will be slow.  It will probably be painful.  But please believe me when I tell you it's worth it to allow Jesus Christ to restore you.  Shun quick fixes.  Let the ultimate Healer do His work -- slowly, thoroughly, completely, perfectly.

You can be free.

It will one day be okay.

Cling to your precious Jesus as He carries the pieces of your once-whole heart and binds them back together with His blood and tears and love.

He hasn't forgotten you.  He isn't refusing to heal you.

He just knows you're worth the time.

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