Confessions From A Broken Heart (An honest open letter based on James 5:16) “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
I was asking God for freedom while holding onto my life. I built a strong tower around me with a one-way door in which I could come out to comfort others, but no one was allowed in. I was afraid to be vulnerable. I was afraid of needing a friend. I avoided vulnerability with God and others in fear of becoming an unmended mess. I was afraid to let go. I was afraid of the pain that might come if I gave God an open door policy. I was afraid to invite the sufferings of Christ that come from doing his will. I was afraid that He would not be enough for me in my time of sorrow.
Fear became my master. It dictated my obedience in certain areas of my life. But the time finally came where this master failed, and I could no longer control the blows. I realized that control was not what God desired for me. We might not understand this, but at times God desires our brokenness. And it is in the process of allowing God to have full reign in our lives that we find the freedom that our Savior desires to give us. The freedom to let go. The freedom to live in a broken world. The freedom to give people room to make mistakes. The freedom that comes from being vulnerable for a season and not being ok. The freedom that allows us to admit that we might not fully understand why certain things happen to us until God sheds his light on it. The freedom that comes from an honest, broken heart. The freedom of admitting our need to be heard & understood. The freedom of being open to receive an encouraging word. The freedom that comes through being real. The freedom that comes from allowing the right people in. The freedom that comes from admitting that we need help and comfort because we have become weakened by the burden of our pain. The freedom of allowing God to hold our hearts when we are hurting for his name sake.
Lord forgive me for trying to serve you while holding on to self-composure. Help me to let go, and give you the opportunity to gain my trust in yet another area of my life. Lord help me to trust that your protection will be enough for me when you lead me into a storm. Help me to remember how you have proved yourself trustworthy in my past. Help me to remember all the things you have accomplished in my life thus far. Help me trust you even when I don't understand what you are doing. And finally, help me to open my self up to whatever you choose for my life, even if it requires walking through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4).
The Importance of Vulnerability
Proverbs 21:26 describes the Godly person as an individual who loves to give; for we who know God, know that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).That being said, we may run into problems when our circumstances require us to receive the unconditional love of Christ- which is needed to mend a broken heart. It can be frightening when we are the ones in desperate need of grace. However, just as we are called to give the unfailing love of God, we are also called to learn how to receive it. Sometimes we would rather get all our comfort in private with Jesus, but he also desires to comfort us through his body. He does this so that we can grow closer to our brothers and sisters. It is important to God that we develop intimacy with His Body, so much so, that there are only three relational entities that God calls us to become One with in His Word. Here is a list of those entities in their proper order:
We are called to be One with God
We are called to be One with our Spouse
And We are called to be One with the Body of Christ.
All of these relationships require vulnerability to grow. There will be times that we will get hurt in the body of Christ, because a church is composed of imperfect people. But It is foolish to avoid people to avoid pain, because God uses His people to bring healing. The enemy seeks to isolate us so that he could destroy us. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:1 that,
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
Suffering for Righteousness Sake
The Bible says in 1Peter 2:19-21,
19For if anyone endures the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God, this is to be commended. 20How is it to your credit if you are beaten for doing wrong and you endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps:…
There are 3 main ways that we suffer as followers of Christ. We can expect to suffer:
For Christ when we are called to do what is right in spite of the consequences.
With our spouse and the church of Christ, as we bear with one another's failings in Love.
And we can expect to suffer from the natural phenomenon's that we experience as part of walking through this world.
As for God, he has already suffered for us once and for all (1Peter 3:18 ). And because of His suffering He is able to sympathize with us in our time need (Hebrews 4:15).
However, our faith is NOT about suffering. We suffer because we live in a fallen world. But we know that the centrality of our faith is about the hope, healing and supernatural joy that is found in Jesus Christ. He alone is the restorer of that which is broken. He comes to heal and restore. And we can trust Him to get us through our times of trial as He works in us to makes us stronger.
Handling Pain With the Wisdom of God vs. The Wisdom of the World
When we try to deal with pain in a worldly way, we can fall under four extremes. Either we can pretend that pain does not exist by ignoring it and becoming emotionally withdrawn. We can become entangled in a cycle of co-dependency, by going into relationships where we can take on the role of savior. We can become controlling, by trying to fix everything that is broken around us so that "nothing" brings us pain. Or we can enter into relationships with the idea that we should put ourselves first. This idea sounds appealing to our selfish nature, but putting our selves first is contrary to Love(1corinthians13;4-7 & Colossians).
In God's wisdom, he advises against all of these worldly ideas on handling pain. He acknowledges that pain is real and it needs to be dealt with (John 1:16). He teaches us to guard our heart with the instructions of His word, so that we do not become co-dependent (Proverbs 1 & 4:23). He heals us so that we can let go of control and we can freely love others. And he teaches us that love is a sacrifice that we make to serve the other person (1Corinthians 13-4-7).
God uses our obedience to heal us and teach us how to function in this world. There is no healing without the revelation of God's word through His spirit. And there is no freedom without confession and forgiveness. Part of being vulnerable is our ability be able to confess our pain and our sin to God, and others. When we do this, the word of God promises us that He will be faithful and just to forgive us, cleanse us, and heal us as we pray for one another (1John 1:9 & James 5:16 combined & paraphrased).
"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1John 1:9)."
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)."
"Confessions From A Broken Heart" was written shortly after a conversation I had with two friends. Before my conversation, I did not know that I had been keeping the pain from the "wounds I acquired in my friend's house" to myself. While I was silent, I limited my understanding of what was going on in my heart. I fell captive to the enemies lies, and I became fearful of acquiring more pain. The enemy took advantage of this, by creating strongholds of bitterness, discouragement, and depression in my heart and mind. Although throughout that year, I kept going back to God for healing, and he did intervene in my situation many times. I was imprisoned by Satan's lies about my suffering. That's when I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to reach out to a Godly mature friend so that I could confess my pain and my sin.
I always try to be honest about what I am going through, but since I was used to reaching out to people, I did not notice that I had closed myself off to those who were trying to reach in. God & my husband were the only ones I trusted to comfort my heart. However, I am glad that I reached out to the Body of Christ. Once I took the first step towards receiving the love and comfort from people that cared about me, the process of healing began to take place. And shortly after my second conversation with another trusted friend, I was inspired to write "Confessions From A Broken Heart."
I pray that God would use this post to remind you and me, that when God calls us to his sufferings for righteousness sake (1Peter), we would be encouraged and willing to embrace our situation. I pray that we would allow God to work through us and in us. I also pray that in the midst of suffering we would remember that we have a God that sympathizes with us, both in spirit and in the flesh through His Body. And finally, I pray that we would allow God to heal the broken places of our hearts as we submit to His will for us.
I dedicate this post to those who have reached out to me & have shown me the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
Finally, I dedicate this song to my readers.
A Final Word...
...Be Willing To Be Held...
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