The Guarded Heart

I’m just going to come out and ask the tough question:

Where has your heart been broken?

I think a lot of us avoid that question. Part of the reason why we avoid it, is that we think that if we get to talking about how our heart was broken, there’s this immediate feeling that we should be able to get over the hurt. Talking about our broken hearts — places where we’ve been betrayed, where we’re lonely, times that hurt us — doesn’t heal our hearts. In fact, talking tends to expose the wound. Which many of us have learned. So, in a “only the strong survive” world, we don’t talk about it AND we’ve learned, that we have to guard that thing.We have to put it under lock and key and put some of our strongest mental capacities to the task of caging the thing.

But today, I’m just wondering, is a wound worth guarding?

See, from what knowledge I glean from biblical teaching, in order to detach yourself from the hurts, you have to withdraw emotion. For a relationship, that means that you can maintain devotion — you can stay the person’s “friend” — but your heart towards them is never the same. You’ve withdrawn your love along with your trust. And you’ve pretty much assured that the potential for the relationship will never be reached from that point on.

For a memory, you have to erase the good things that you recall, the things that made your heart leap, because they remind you of the bad. And so many of us walk around with self-placed white out over the timeline of our lives.

But we render ourselves even more damage than lost potential and a pity-worthy memory of events. When we withdraw our love, we’re left powerless. Even though we have that person, that relationship, that memory “in control,” we’re not free. Not even close.

So we may have guarded the threat, but we’ve become a prisoner to too. We’ve committed ourselves to staying in the cold, dark dungeon with the memory that we fear will destroy us.

Which is why I wonder if it’s worth guarding.

What if we didn’t fight the thought when it rose up in our mind? What if when we saw the person that hurt us, we didn’t put on a layer of emotional kevlar and showed ourselves as we really are. What if we actually break that relationship? Delete the person from Facebook? Walk on without the baggage? Leave the past to the past? And in exchange, we get on with life?

We use bible passages like Proverbs 4:23 –“guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life” — to justify our actions. But darlings, if our guarding these broken places isn’t bringing forth life, then we’re not guarding the heart. We’re guarding something else and our heart is under attack. Isn’t it about time that we start guarding the thing that matters?

Which begs the question, “how do we guard the heart?” Well, fortunately, the bible does have an answer for that. Philippians 4:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Let me do a translation for you. Remember who God is. He’s going to restore the years the locusts ate — i.e. He’s going to bless you abundantly for what you had or have to go through. It’s who He is. It’s what He does. Remember that He’s also a God of justice, and He’s not going to let the fact that you got hurt slide. He’s also bigger than you can possibly fathom, so He is capable of clearing things up, of restoring your character and reputation, of hiding what really needs to be hidden — or burried. Retain your sensitivity. You don’t need to harden up. You really don’t. It’s not going to help you. Heck, you can even let other people see you’re sensitive. He’s not going to allow it to hurt you. Remember, He’s near to you. He’s promised to be near to the brokenhearted. Don’t be worried. Talk to Him. He’ll keep assuring you. He’ll bring a peace that will guard you. Don’t resist Him and you’ll be amazed at the freedom you’ll be given.

My friends, love God and love yourself enough to let God in. He’s a mighty warrior. He really can guard that thing. And He’ll allow you to partner with Him in guarding the thing that really matters. Your heart.

Love,

Pam

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