“None of us finds out what we’re made of when everything is rolling along nicely; we find out who we really are when hell is pressing in from all sides.” – Christa Black Gifford, Heart Made Whole.
I am currently in the process of reading through the advanced copy of ‘Heart Made Whole’ by Christa Black Gifford. It has been a wonderfully enjoyable and yet extremely challenging read. I am just over half way through the book but I wanted to share some of whats been going on so far.
These last few weeks (months, even years) have been extremely difficult for me. Even before reading this book, God has been drawing out all sorts of issues in my heart and trying to help me walk through the process of healing from past traumas. But I have been running and hiding at every opportunity, afraid to see just how ‘broken’, ‘intense’ and ‘damaged’ I really am. Although the process of inner healing is an intensely painful one – God is my healer, faithful friend and restorer.
The tough lesson I am learning right now is the power of my words and the fine line between confessing life/death. I know that it is powerful to declare God’s truth over my heart and my circumstances but while reading through Christa’s book, I have also learned the importance of acknowledging pain. Pretending we are doing well when really we are dying inside is not honouring to God. He does not need us to defend His reputation by painting a picture of a comfy, pain-free life. It is far more honouring to say ‘I am hurt and I am angry and I am confused but I refuse to doubt the goodness of my God. He has shown Himself to be faithful and true and when the walls crash in around me I will cling to Him. In His name, I will overcome.’
I believe very strongly in transparency and accountability. Of course, I also know there are things – both good and bad – that we need to keep to ourselves BUT I think that if we bring God into the process and ask for his wisdom we will find there are many occasions where He is asking us to open up to people (maybe in general or perhaps specifically) about our struggles and the truth behind our victories. As a songwriter, (she says, declaring if not quite believing yet) I write through all different stages of life. I have songs written from the absolute pit of despair and ones that have come from moments of joyful breakthrough and revelation. Each is powerful in its own time. Don’t believe for a moment that God can’t use you in your pain. Don’t let the devil fool you into believing you have to be ‘perfect’ before you can have any impact because you will never get there. You are influencing people around you RIGHT NOW, whether you know it or not. How you respond to God and other people during difficult situations is a powerful witness. Don’t wait for the breakthrough to come before you begin to testify.
Finally, this book has helped me to start believing that God did an EXCELLENT job when He created me. There is so much good stuff in me that even I don’t know about yet. Sure, maybe I’ve been roughed up a bit along the way and some things have become distorted and warped slightly but those things don’t make me who I am because God made me who I am when He knit me together in the womb and He is faithful to remind me who I am (and who I am NOT) every day – if I ask Him.
Heart Made Whole is available to pre-order (in all the usual places) NOW and is released on June 7th (US) and later in the UK. I strongly advise everyone to check it out. It is a powerful tool for individual healing and also – I imagine – for ministry. For more information check out;
http://christablack.com/heartmadewhole/ or the Head to Heart podcast.