(Also titled “The Heart: Part Two”. I told you there’d be more to come on this subject!)
Our hearts are the purest indicator of who we truly are. What we believe about our own hearts reveals to us what we really believe about ourselves. For so long, I lived in self-hatred and believed that there could be nothing good in me. My eyes have been opened to lie, and there is one thing that I now know to be true: I’ve been given a new heart. A redeemed heart. A ransomed heart. And Jesus says it is good. Really good. Good enough to die for.
As I said, though, I didn’t always know this. Ever since I was a little girl, I carried this belief around with me that said my heart didn’t matter, that I didn’t matter. My biological father left when I was a baby, and I haven’t seen him since. Why would he stick around, after all? My parents were emotionally (and sometimes physically) absent for a lot of my early childhood. It’s because of you that they’re always gone. Why would they stay? Why would they love you? My ex-husband cheated on me, left me and then divorced me. You’re disposable. Worthless. You will never be cherished, never be adored. Everyone always leaves you—and it’s all your fault. With each wound came the same old lie, and the pain that I felt only seemed to serve as proof that it was all true. I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me, with my heart, that drove people away. That made me unworthy of love.
I didn’t recognize this, of course. Not in a way that I could put into words. But it was there, deep down inside that wounded heart of mine. It would rise up in me whenever I felt rejected. Out of place or not good enough. Lonely. The tears would come, and I would nod yes, this is how it would always be. These hurtful things inside of me would never go away, and I simply had to learn how to fight the pain, choke back the tears, and “move on.”
But then, one day, I heard another Voice. A softer Voice, a gentler Voice. It was a Voice that I recognized but, admittedly, a Voice that I hadn’t heard in a while. That Voice whispered to me, adamantly. That’s. Not. True.
And over time, through prayer and study and learning to listen to that Voice, it began to make sense. It made so much sense, in fact, that I could hardly believe I’d been blinded for so long. Isaiah 61 hit me like it never had before. In it, God explains the reasons that Jesus has come. And you know what He says? “To bind up the brokenhearted.” “To proclaim freedom for the captives.” “To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
When I read those verses, I could see it so clearly. That was me; He was talking about me! My heart had been broken by pain and other people’s sin, and I had become a captive to the lies that came from that brokenness. But that’s not the end of my story! Because Jesus came—and He came for me! That means the ashes, the mourning, the despair, the lies, the feeling of worthlessness is gone. Christ’s work is finished, and I now stand “rebuilt”, “restored”, and “renewed”, just as He promised.
That, my friends, is Good News. Because of what Jesus did when He came, my heart has been made new—I have been made new. So if your heart is feeling heavy and broken, if you’re weighed down by hurt or fear, I urge you to take that precious heart of yours to Jesus. Your heart matters to Him; you matter to Him. And He cannot wait to set you free.
(Photo from bravegirlsclub.com)