Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Heart Healthy

Proverbs 23:7 (AMP)
As he thinks in his heart, so he is.

God's intention for your heart has always been to bind it up, making it undivided and whole, just as He promised in Ezekiel 11:19:  "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." ~Christa Black Gifford, Heart Made Whole

Until I read Chapter Five of Christa Black Gifford's book, Heart Made Whole, I am unaware that our hearts are comprised of three distinct, but interactive parts:  Emotional; Guardian, and Function.  God means for these three to work in perfect balance, undivided and supportive of one another, much like I envision the Holy Trinity.

But what happens when they don't?  When, instead of working in unity, these heart parts wage war within us?

It is impossible to live out our lives without encountering pain in this world.  Your emotional heart knows this all too well.  But if, in lieu of being expressed, this pain gets suppressed, that's when everything goes awry.  Gifford says, "When you condemn your emotional heart for the normal feelings it produces, both good and bad, instead of trying to understand why it feels that way, an essential part of your heart gets stifled and shamed, eventually shutting down to cope."

Enter the guardian heart.  "It's sole purpose is to keep you safe," states Gifford, "so your guardian heart will do whatever it needs to accomplish the task.  It believes more than anything that your pain must stay separated from your consciousness or you will be too overwhelmed to keep functioning."

And the function heart?  "(It) must remain in denial about emotional pain or it can't do what it needs to do to stay alive, or perform to remain loved and accepted, or climb towards more success and achievement," Gifford writes.

Bottled-up emotions=overprotective, defensive wall=substituting meaningless doing for mindful being.  In other words, when we don't address and acknowledge the pain we feel in any given circumstance, we run the risk of entering this vicious, self-destructive cycle.

So how might these three work together in a healthy manner?  I'll use the example of a toddler being told, "Hot!  Don't touch!" when she approaches the stove.  Curiosity gets the better of her.  She touches it anyway.  Oh, the pain!!!  She screams and cries, venting her hurt freely and immediately.

To be sure, in the future, her guardian heart will remind her not to venture there again.  And her function heart will help her navigate the kitchen safely when mom or dad is cooking.

If you are suffering from heart dysfunction due to some trauma you simply cannot forgive or forget, I hope you will prayerfully contemplate this heart-healthy advice from Gifford:  "The only way for your heart to live in unity with God is if you're also living in unity with yourself.  This can happen only if you call in a skilled mediator, Jesus, who sits with all the parts of your heart, both wounded and whole, and begins a safe, truthful, inner conversation in which everything is brought to light and laid out on the table."

Because as you think in your heart, so you are.

Amen.

~


Thank you for joining me here for our weekly discussion, chapter by chapter, of Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford.  Make sure to visit my fellow bloggers who are participating:  Jason StasyszenSarah Salter, and Glynn Young.  Although I will post my regular blog this coming Friday, I will be taking off the week of Thanksgiving.
God bless!

12 comments:

  1. Sometimes we may not even know the trauma; we only know the pain and dysfunction it's causing in our lives. So so we turn over even the unknown to God.

    Thanks of the post, Martha!

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    1. And that, we must do, Glynn - turn even the unknown to the One who can heal us.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Being honest to oneself and to GOD about what we truly feel is indeed the first step to healing...

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    1. Exactly, Jerly! How can we heal when we can't admit we are broken?
      Love and blessings!

      Delete
  4. Being honest to oneself and to GOD about what we truly feel is indeed the first step to healing...

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  5. Jesus stands as the Mediator... What a beautiful and powerful reality this is! He makes intercession for us. He heals. He restores. He forgives. I certainly want to trust Him with my whole heart. Good stuff, Martha. Thank you.

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    1. Thank goodness for our Mediator and Advocate - Jesus! Like you, Jason, I'm trusting Him with my whole heart.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, your post today is interesting. Some times, especially lately, I wonder about the health of my heart. While I know the Lord is working in me; perhaps it's time for some deeper work?

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Perhaps it is time for deeper work, Kim. Sometimes it's been the times where I feel that God is not present with me are the exact times when He is preparing me for a spiritual leap. I think the whole church situation right now might also contribute to your feeling a bit amiss in your heart.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I bottle up quite a few emotions, stuff them so far deep - I don't even know they are there anymore. In this second half of life, though I am naming them better and actually befriending a few. good post, Martha!

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    1. It's good that you recognize this, Jean, and are coming to terms with many of them. I think it's a natural process to do so as we mature. We crave to be more honest with ourselves and with God.
      Love and blessings!

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