I dip. I rise. I see the world through new eyes.
I broke my own heart that day without even knowing it. The repercussions followed and the usual symptoms of burning chest pains, overwhelming sadness, guilt and regret washed over me like crashing waves of doom. I did it again. Without a set plan or purposed intention I acted carelessly and hurt someone close to me. I didn’t mean to poison the well where we all gather to drink. Why does this keep happening? Why can’t I just get it right? Why do I have to keep stumbling? Do my flaws, weaknesses and failings need to be waved before my own eyes like a red flag? Like a bull confined to the ring, I’m storming on the inside with conflicting emotions, forgetting how easy it is for my energy to shift an environment for better or worse. I am surrounded by spectators and they aren’t always the rowdy, jeering type; sometimes they are silent and steely, their avoidance, distance and shifting eyes speaking volumes. When the dust settles, are they rooting for me to break this pattern and overcome my negative habits or are they quietly hoping that I succumb to the stylish and flamboyant moves of the matador whose aim is to steal, kill and destroy the very best of me. I am dancing with the devil. I am staring death in the face.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
I am undergoing a spiritual heart transplant while on the road to radical transformation. Sometimes I really don’t get God’s timing. While I want to run ahead as swiftly as possible to fulfill my calling and purpose, there is a delicate surgery taking place, an internal process being closely overseen by my Great Physician.
“A heart transplant is an operation to replace a damaged or failing heart with a healthy heart from a donor who has recently died. It may be recommended when a person’s life is at risk because their heart no longer works effectively.”
My Donor died thousands of years ago. I heard Him whisper my name one day, calling me out of darkness into His marvelous light to receive a new life; to be made a new creation, to embrace all things new. Yet “new” doesn’t always mean easy and sometimes it hurts so much I can hardly bear it. The pieces of me that are failing and damaged die daily as I actively seek to be transformed more and more into His image and likeness. You see, He wants to heal everything in me that’s broken, chipped and shattered. He wants to make me whole and completely reliant on Him in EVERY area. What I now realize is that this happens in cycles . It’s not a wham-bam-thank -you-mam business! There is no abracadabra zapping involved because this isn’t magic. This is the transformative power of the Holy Spirit – not achieved by my own might nor human power.
“A heart transplant may be considered if you have severe heart failure and medical treatments aren’t helping. Conditions that may eventually require a heart transplant include:
coronary heart disease – a build-up of fatty substances in the arteries supplying the heart, which block or interrupt blood flow to the heart
cardiomyopathy – where the walls of the heart have become stretched, thickened or stiff
congenital heart disease – birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart”
How many times have you tried to take matters into your own hands? How many times do we come face to face with the fact that our methods just aren’t working? Are there substances blocking the flow of the Blood in the arteries of your life? Is pride your junk food of choice? Does arrogance cloud your judgement? Does fear dictate your inaction? Do you struggle with the need to always be in control of the process? Have you yielded too much to the pressures of life and forgotten the need for balance? Has the fear of the opinions of others made you stretch past your deepest convictions? Feeling worn out, stiff or hardened?
If your answer is yes to any, some or all of these questions, there is a great Cardiologist I know. He specializes in the weary and is close to the brokenhearted.
“A heart transplant is a complex and risky procedure….you’ll also need to take medications called immunosuppressants for the rest of your life. Without these medicines, your body may recognise your new heart as foreign and attack it (known as rejection). Possible complications include:
the immune system recognising the transplanted heart as foreign and attacking it (rejection)
the donated heart fails to work properly (graft failure)
narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart (cardiac allograft vasculopathy)
side effects from the immunosuppressant medication, such as an increased vulnerability to infections, weight gain and kidney problems”
There are times where I wonder if I am truly changing or growing at all. It seems in one area of my life I am soaring high, making strides and building some hefty muscles, yet in other areas I keep tripping up and making basic mistakes. It has become glaringly obvious to me that this business of recovery from a heart transplant is a complex lifelong process. There are times where the habits and patterns of dead flesh fight against the fresh and new organ planted within me. Unlike human doctors, my Cardiologist is never wrong, makes no mistakes and doesn’t change or fail so it’s up to me to surrender and obey. If I don’t, my new heart may never work properly.
Yes it’s up to me to work out my salvation and there will be times I have to wrestle with Him on a few things, but in the same breath, fighting against the recovery process laid out before me and struggling to do things my way all the time won’t make this any easier. Besides, I’m no heart expert!
My daily medication must be the living Word of God and in the midst of my vulnerability to contamination and infection, I have to draw closer to Him and stay in communion with those who are undergoing the same life changing process that I am. Some patients will be closer to me than others as we share similar complications and reactions to the healing process. There will be others I can hardly relate to. They are distant and seem far away and disinterested with my struggles or may be way ahead in some respects on the road to recovery – yet we all have one thing in common. We were once dead and have been brought back to life. We are desperate for change and each day little pieces of our old defunct way of being die daily so the Greater within us can emerge and shine.
I have received a new heart and this heart’s true design is to love above all else. I was saved to love. I am alive to love. No matter how many times I fail, I am learning and growing stronger and wiser. No matter how much the recovery process hurts I have surrendered to love at all costs. I pray that my words and actions will more consistently reflect this new heart…and when they don’t I’ll surrender once more to the fact that this is all part of His willl and process occuring to reveal the greater within me.
Zechariah 4:6, Psalm 34:18, Matthew 11:18, Malachi 3:6, Lamentations 3:22, John 10:10, 1 Corinthians 15: 30-31, 1 John 4:4 ,