I have fallen in love all over again with my Lord. The walls around my heart crumbled at the sound of a quiet whisper of truth. With that truth the ice melted and tears of joy and sorrow flooded my soul. For the first time in a long time, tears flowed and threatened to never end. I felt like the Grinch who's heart went from being too small to suddenly about to burst.
There are not adequate words to even begin to describe the work that has been going on in my heart for the past few months. The best picture is that of a pure gentle lover romancing the heart of the one he loves. Tonight was similar to that of a wedding- when the groom sings over the bride having won her heart and becomes one with it. The most incredible part of this picture though is the patience and gentleness that the groom has displayed...because this bride has not been an easy one to win.
It has seemed, almost daily, the lover of my soul has sent me small tokens of his love. He has written his love for me in quiet ways that only I could notice. He has spoken his truth over my heart, patiently waiting for it to penetrate and soak in. I can't even begin to list all the ways Jesus has fought for my heart. One of the most recent, came this past Sunday. During a vow renewal ceremony, I was reminded of my marriage and the love of my husband. This was a wonderful opportunity for us. But God used this simple ceremony to speak something even deeper to me. All of the wives were given a single rose. When I was handed a white rose, I immediately knew that Jesus was speaking healing to my heart. He spoke truth to me in a way that only he could. "You are pure before me" " This, my love, is how I see you." If you know me and the things that I have been struggling with lately you will know how huge this was for me.
After weeks of wooing my heart and softening it, the Lord chose tonight to speak the most profound truth to my heart. During a prayer and praise service, the Lord used the pastor to speak into my heart. I didn't expect what I heard. I didn't think there was anyway there could be something the Lord wanted to say to me tonight. The pastor encouraged us to give to Jesus whatever was keeping us from being intimate with him. At once, I heard the Lord say, "You took your heart away."
Tears come now just thinking about this. You see, on the night that my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor and came face to face with death, the Lord clearly spoke to me and asked me for my heart. He asked me to place my heart in his hands for a awhile. He told me it would be ok. He told me to trust him with my heart. That he was going to use this but that he needed my heart.
I didn't have to give him my heart. But at that moment I could picture myself placing my heart in the hands of Almighty God. And his promise has never been far from my mind. For a while I was willing to let God use this life shattering, heart crushing circumstance for his glory. Many of you were touched by it, encouraged by it, and even saved through it. I wanted to be used of God in this miracle.
But time has gone on and that promise feels further away than ever. I know God was not promising to heal my child or to restore our lives to pre-diagnosis state. He had promised that He IS good. He does what is best. And He can be trusted. I saw then that his tears mixed with mine as he held my heart in his hands. Somewhere along the line though, I stopped even wanting to be used. I didn't want to trust anymore. I didn't like this plan. And I took my heart away.
I didn't want life to be like this. I didn't want my dreams crushed. I didn't want to wake up each morning desperately loving this child who was no longer the child I knew. I didn't want to feel the conflict of loving him so much yet feeling so tired and overwhelmed with the damage that it is almost unbearable. I had my whole life planned out and it certainly didn't have anything to do with this. It certainly was not going to include giving my heart to someone who would let pain and suffering go on for so long with no end in sight. But the other side of this truth is that I also didn't really want anyone but God to have my heart. So the part of me that all of you have seen for so long has been the one who knows that God is the only way. There is no where else to go, no one else to run to. But it has also been one who is only half-heartedly following after the Lord. I have been holding my heart in my own hands.
For awhile though I have sensed that this whole issue goes even deeper than just Jonathan's illness and all that has been lost. This is what I think God has been sifting through with me gently in the past few weeks. Recently parts of my past have been blown in like an unexpected storm. I didn't see it coming at first. Then when I saw it on the horizon, I tried to run and avoid it. My heart said no. My Lord said yes. Thankfully, I obeyed. It is because of this that we are in the church we are in. Because of this church that God is finally being able to break through and rescue us. So like most storms there is turbulent weather but new life following the rain. I wasn't sure and at times am still not sure how the Lord wanted me to deal with this. I just kept feeling like he was telling me not to run but to seek him through it. That there had to be some greater purpose - because this was way too weird to be anything but God's orchestrating. Tonight I realized one of those reasons...Everytime I fail, I take my heart away. Everytime I believe God can never use me. What lies that have held me in bondage! And what joy to be free.
So tonight as tears ran down my face and would not stop, we sang a song so perfectly chosen- " I give you my heart". For the first time in a long time my heart truly sang those words to my Lord. And tonight with a greater understanding of what it really means I placed my heart back into the hands of God.