2017 started the way the last three years have: me and my journal and Jesus.
I was reflecting over the previous year and praying over the coming one, a word sitting heavy on my heart.
I was in the middle of writing down what I felt the Lord say He would revive, when I felt His question breeze through my heart. “What do you want me to revive?”
Taken aback, I thought for a moment. This word-of-the-year habit was new for me, and the two previous years the Lord had spoken them over me, declaring what they meant–new things, harvest. But this year He was asking my input?
I remembered the blind man calling out to Jesus as He passed by. “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” People tried to get him to stop making all this racket, but Jesus stood before him and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:38-41). In faith, the man called out, believing that Jesus could heal him. And He did, sending the man away saying, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well” (Luke 18:42).
What do you want me to revive?
“Lord, I want you to revive my heart.” I scrawled the words onto the page, thinking about all the broken pieces, all the ways I had grown bitter or anxious or resentful. All the ways I wasn’t content. All the ways I was still hurting.
Like the blind man, I wanted to be healed. “Lord, I want to see!” He called out. “Lord, heal my heart,” was my echo.
And He’s been answering. But the healing hasn’t come as I expected. I expect the healing to be done in a quiet space, involve a lot of tears and pain as the wounds are sewn up. But instead, He’s been showing me that this type of healing comes through entering into someone else’s mess, brokenness, stepping into the noise of this world and being a vessel of grace.
God is asking me, in faith, to step out and give myself away.
That’s how you heal a broken heart: you give it away.
Ann Voskamp’s newest book, The Broken Way, explores this backward idea that wholeness actually comes through brokenness, through giving away your one broken heart. So many of her words I have underlined and saved; but this struck me this morning: “You are where you are for such a time as this. Not to get anything, but to risk everything.”
That means discomfort. That means abandoning my own agenda. That means forsaking my plans. That means fully and completely entering in to this place God has put me, having faith in the fact that I’m here for a reason, and God wants to use this to bring healing, not only to me, but to those I encounter too.
Faith brings healing.
If I have faith in God that He cares for me, that I matter to Him, that He’s going to do everything in His power to reveal Himself to me and bring about good things, even through the struggle, I’m able to lay myself aside and pour into others. I’m able to walk into my job knowing that I’ll encounter difficult people–people who are hurting just as much or even more than I am. People I can pour life into and give myself away for, so that they might see Jesus.
There was another man Jesus encountered and healed, a man called Legion because he had so many demons inside him. When Jesus cast out those demons, the man was made well again and was eager to travel with Jesus. But the Lord shook His head. “No, you stay here. Go home and tell your family what has happened. They need to hear your story.” (paraphrased Luke 8:39).
Sharing our faith, sharing our story of how the Lord has brought healing in our lives, brings healing for others. I can just imagine the man’s family when he returned home completely himself. Jaws dropped, eyes opened wide, shock was written on every face. How could this be? How did this happen? And the man told them. Excitedly he shared about this man named Jesus who freed him from bondage and healed his mind. How many of his family members claimed faith that day? How many felt their own hearts being healed?
Faith brings healing.
It definitely isn’t a quick process. Matters of the heart rarely are. But I believe the Lord is good. I believe He has the best in mind for me. I believe I am where I am because He has a purpose for me here–people to grow with, to nurture, to pour into. People to share my faith with, to share Jesus with. People like you.
As I glance into my heart, I notice that the black spot where that hurt resides is smaller. The wound is healing.
The Lord knows what He’s doing. It seems all backwards and upside down. But I think this is how it was meant to be all along.
Live in His love!