Written on the outside of the brown paper bag were the words, broken in three pieces. Tucked inside were the fragments of a cherished family heirloom. The pieces, hidden from the sight of others, had been in a state of brokenness for many years. If only the elegant plate had been repaired after the incident, it could have been serving others in a most charming manner all along. Our hearts, like that plate, can get crushed and neither one can be fixed by ignoring the broken pieces.

This tucked away treasure is a picture of the emotions found in the human heart. People get hurt and without even realizing it, can carry the pain within their hearts for years. If we can step back and look at ourselves, we may see some broken pieces from our past that we have hidden away. We are so much better off releasing the pain from our past, instead of continuing to carry that burden of brokenness. It’s hard to carry the pieces and function at our best. That is why acknowledging our broken places is so healthy. Once we identify them, we can then release them to the Lord. Psalm 55:22 tells us, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.” 

It is never too late to be who you want to be. Search your heart. If there is something in your past that you feel ashamed of, talking to the Lord about it will promote healing and restoration within your own heart. Don’t let the shame of the past steal the joy you could be living out today. Identify those hurts. Become aware of the triggers in your life. If you can pinpoint them and acknowledge there is something there that needs to be dealt with, the next step is bringing it before the Lord to seek His wholeness and healing. 1 John 3:20 says, “For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”

God sees all. Nothing is hidden from Him.  In Psalm 56:8 we are told, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” You don’t have to do much explaining because the Lord is already aware of the hurtful situations you have encountered in life. The Lord is our Healer, the One who fixes our broken places. Why go through life hiding those pieces when you can give them back to Christ, allowing Him to release the pain and fully restore you. 

You are His Masterpiece and He designed you to have a whole heart. Psalm 30:2 says, “O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” Give it all over to Him and leave it at the foot of the cross. We were designed by God. He crafted us together. Psalm 139:14 tells us “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” He wants us to be whole in Him, not fractured or broken. Our purpose really is to be about His business, serving Him and others. And when we allow Him to heal our broken places, we can do that all the better.  

As the years rolled by, the time was never taken to simply glue the family heirloom back together. What a shame it had been to carry it through life, broken. Gluing the plate back together, I realized, had I taken the time and effort to deal with the break right then and there, I could have been enjoying it’s beauty all along. And so it is with the human heart. If we choose to deal with the hurts of the heart, and allow the Lord to glue together the broken pieces, how much better life will be. When the condition of the heart is whole, it is simply a beautiful thing. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart forever.” Psalm 73:26  

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Flight of the Butterfly

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Fluttering above the spring garden blossoms with its wings of brilliant yellow, the gentle flight of the Swallowtail butterfly was beautifully carefree. It flew from plant to plant with such ease, as God had purposed it. As it continued, it danced its way from the garden flowers and unknowingly ended up beneath a large obstacle that hindered its flight. In a flying frenzy its instinct was to head repeatedly upward, only to result in further panic and entrapment, as it repeatedly flew into a wall of resistance. If only it could focus on the light straight ahead, it could fly free. Like that butterfly, we can find ourselves feeling trapped, beaten down, and in an emotional frenzy when we allow continual hurt to hinder us.

Instead of repeating the same painful patterns, healthy change must occur. The catch is, sometimes the adaptation that needs to happen for us to experience freedom isn’t based upon our surroundings at all. This is an internal adjustment that needs to be made. Nothing in our present situation need change for a change of heart to take place. 

Often times our hurt can be linked to unrealized expectations and disappointments we had for our relationships with others. It could be their failure to live up to such expectations that caused the source of pain. Or, maybe there was never any closure from an offender. Whatever the reason, there is this unresolved pain

The Bible is clear in telling us that the Lord looks at the heart. He sees all those broken places within us and He desires to release us and do a healing work in our heart. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7. With the Lord, we can receive emotional healing without the act of reconciliation actually happening. It is about laying down all the hurt, pain, and rejection caused by others and giving it over completely to Jesus Christ. He alone is our Comforter and Healer. It is an act of complete surrender of the heart, trusting in the Lord who sees all things. Psalm 56:8 tells us,“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

We are to give up all the unrealized expectations and disappointments we have towards others. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” We are to lay it all down at the foot of the cross. Forgive those who have hurt you, accepting them for who they are and what they are not. Expect nothing in return. That means forgiving them even though a bad behavior within them may not have changed. Remember, this is about you and your heart attitude. This is about the healing of your wounded emotions. Pray for reconciliation within your own heart. And, ask for forgiveness for any anger or hurt you may have been holding in your heart. 1 John 1:9 reminds us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And if possible, pray for the person who wounded you. In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” 

It is amazing how freeing it is when we let go of past hurts. Only when we decide in our own heart and mind, and we make that conscious choice to forgive, regardless of the current relationship status, do we truly become free. It may seem we are letting our offenders off the hook, yet, it is our own chains that are broken through the act of truly forgiving. Psalm 107:20 tells us, “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” Our angry thoughts and bitter heart may fight it, but when we do forgive those who have hurt us, the Lord pours out His healing upon all our broken places. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 It is when we forgive others that we truly receive our own healing.

Forgiving those who have hurt us is not an easy thing to do, especially if the wounds have been there for any amount of time. But with the Lord, there is hope! He is our Great Physician and Healer of all our pain. The hardest part is letting go and giving it to the Lord and allowing Him into ALL our broken places. It is a decision we have to make, but when we do we will feel free and whole once again, no longer trapped, beaten down, or in an emotional frenzy. Like that butterfly, who needed to fly straight ahead and focus in on the light ahead in order to fly freely once again, so must we. Focus on the Light of Christ. Trust Him to guide you in your pursuit of healing, giving all unrealized expectations and disappointments over to Him. Once you do, like that butterfly, you will experience the freedom Christ designed us to have when we are whole in Him. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

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