The Heart of God.
My Rock. My Foundation. My Heart. My God.
It amazes me even as I type this that it has been over 14 years in which God rescued my heart in bondage. There was a time when the lies of the enemy were so loud and so real. I could hear them. I could feel them deep.
You can read through many of the passages throughout God's Word and hear the pleas, groanings, anguish and heartache of God's people. Sin is Sin but pain is not just pain.
Just as the medical professions ask you to label your pain on a scale of 1-10, we could easily use the same scale for the pain of our hearts and souls. Some days, weeks or even seasons are identified by a marked "2" on the pain scale, whereas others are an intolerable "11." Yah, I hear you...we have all been there.
I talk about my journey of overcoming throughout other writing entries, so I will refrain from this turning into the book it will one day be. I want to share with you about the Hearts From God and how they began.
Fear, anxiety and insecurity ruled my mind and I am sure blocked many blessings I know were meant for me BUT GOD, so much grace, long suffering, loving kindness, rescued me from the chains that bound my heart and set me free into glorious freedom. Even when I was anxious and fearful, He was a Good Father, protecting and kind, no doubt shaking His head at His Daughter every time she got into her head and started to worry and overthink...everything!!! I know the feeling as a Mom, when you see your children in their head. My kids have brought me to my knees and I can only imagine Jesus dropping to His, in fact, He gave His life that I may have courage and believe.
Oh me, the ye of little faith.
Through a Divine orchestration of events, God brought into my life two woman who would not only Counsel me out of my pit, but became Praying Mentors walking with me, teaching me, encouraging me to remain faithfully clinging to Him with my every exhale. It was almost like a Spiritual baton passing from one Mentor to the other. How blessed and surrounded was I that He would care so much.
Healing was a laborious process. Every breath counted....breathing in, and out, with every intentional expansion of my constricted lungs, every day stronger than the next, more trust, more surrender, more Daily Bread, more joy and more faith.
Time came for our annual family vacation. This year, it was a road trip to New Mexico, a favorite family destination but I was not so sure about the trip. Anxiety still had a hold of my hem, a thorn in my flesh. The wounds were healing but the scars were still fresh.
Here we were headed on a trip that I wasn't sure I could, or should make. I called my mentor and shared my nervousness. She would be the only one who would understand. Knowing my anxiety, she called me to meet her in her office at the church and greeted me with a hug and a card with the instructions I could open it once we arrived to the house in New Mexico.
This would be a significant moment forever etched in my life. Standing in the middle of her office, she would be the first person to have prayed over me, face to face, side by side.
Our family loaded up and hit the road. Nearly the entire way, I fought for my peace and calmness. I counted every breath, through every passing mile. As we drove, my fear revealed itself through claustrophobia and agoraphobia. I was Holy Determined not to give in to the sting of death in my body. I was clinging desperately to my Heavenly Father, my Authority and Strong Tower with the marking of every mile.
In this season, I came to know how worship lays a covering over worry, slowing snuffing it out. In every breath, I worshiped in constant thanksgiving to the Lord for His provision and Peace, His grace that anchored my soul in trust and surrendering faith, across the many, many, many miles!
I will share more in the book all the details of all that happens next but here's the long story short. Once we arrived at the vacation house, the kids could not wait to get out and explore the new Frisbe Golf Course at the top of the same mountain we usually ski in the winter. I really didn't like this 15 min ride up the very high lift to the top.
My adrenaline was racing and while exhausted from keeping it together, I was equally jumping for joy in awe to be alive! I took a deep breath preparing myself for another plea for more grace and help, so before we headed out, I grabbed the card given to me. It was time!
What a beautiful card with a heart shaped rock on the cover to remind me God never takes His eyes off me. What a wonderful comfort for a girl who currently feels like she is a Lone Ranger in the middle of a small mountain town, headed to the top of a quiet mountain in off season. Lord, You are good.
Going in Grace, we headed to the mountain and hopped on the lift. I hopped on, smiling and hoping, again. I probably held my breath the whole 15 minutes!! As with healing, it's body, mind and soul. For me, the physical body doesn't always follow the thinking of the mind for my mind was not fearing, but rejoicing.
As common with panic or anxiety attacks, I became very out of breath and a little disoriented, although that could have been the altitude too. Who can stand miles high looking over a cliff and not feel a little unsure of your steps?!? We took a quick family picture and I sent them on their way, because I felt the welling up within. I didn't want them to see me stirring.
It was happening.....
The enemy is so quick to clap his sarcasm, "Well, it was a good try. You knew your faith wasn't strong enough yet."
Tears filled my heart. Will I always be so "messed up" Lord? Do my kids see me as ridiculous and weak? Is my husband disappointed and embarrassed by me? Can I ever be normal again? Why did You wait till I was trapped on top of mountain to let this happen? Where are you? Why am I not healed yet? God, please tell me You are still in control, that You have a better plan for me. This cannot be my life.
I began pacing and praying, not knowing where to go, then, there it was. Among the white mountain landscape, just inches before me, appeared a grey rock. A heart shaped rock. It was as if God had created a 3D print of the rock from the card I had opened at the house.
As if winning the lotto of Heaven, my spirit jumped inside me. I could hear Him saying these words from the card to me, "God's never taken His eye off of you. Not for a millisecond. He's always near. He lives to hear your heartbeat. He loves to hear your prayers." I picked up that precious heart-shaped rock seemingly dropped from Heaven and held it tight in my hand, squeezing it with all I had physically and releasing my grip emotionally, exhaling the deepest breath. He was near. He saw me. Amen.
Holding The Rock....my Strength, my Joy, my Refuge. And He was holding me.
This "heart" of God has become a symbol of His promises to me, of His faithfulness and grace and ever-watching eye over me.
In His fun nature and grace, He sends me these Heart Hugs just when I need them, never when I ask for them, so I have stopped asking. Instead, I worship. I surrender. I trust. He sends His hearts when He knows I need them.
Here's one I found while snorkeling....
I choose to live every day in gratitude and grace. He is my breath. He is my Peace. He is Perfect Love that casts out fear, whom shall I fear?!?
Friend, Jesus LOVES YOU, SEES YOU, HEARS YOU, this I know!!!!
Won't you seek the "heart" of God today and ask Him to show it to you in a way that is undeniably Him. Over these many years, God has allowed me to encourage others and share His hope through Hearts From God and I love hearing stories about hearts He shows others which some may not be hearts, but other symbols between them nd their Prince of Peace and Great I Am.
Fear Not! Believe and trust that He is near, because He is!!!
"Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD.
Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD." Jeremiah 23:24
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13
If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or drop a Hello in the socials!! Feel free to share with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!
While it could be a whole Encyclopedia, here's a little Guide with things I have
implemented since 2009 to help me live a life of greater Peace and Joy..
Heart Hugs and Blessings,