My loves, I was torn between two different subject matters today. One of which was going to be very inspirational… You know, the kind that makes you feel so empowered the you believe you can conquer the world. I was sold on that blog until life happened a little bit, and I was once again challenged to see me for me. So though I want to have a Life Class like Oprah today, I will be transparent and share what God showed me about myself in an effort to help someone else… (I’ll try to make this short and sweet.)
I have shared through some of my previous blogs that I am on a journey to healing by means of forgiveness. (Read Just Let It Go…, Heart Check: Seeing, Cleansing, Progressing, or Heart Check: The Message…My Truth to see how these journeys began/are progressing.) And as mentioned in my blog Moment of Truth: Misplaced Trust, Disappointment, Vulnerability, Jealousy, I am beginning a journey of healing for the deep rooted jealousy that I seem to have. Basically as you can see, God is making me deal with the tough, rough stuff that has taken root in my heart and soul. Ugh! I’m not going to lie at all, this process is so painful! There were areas of my life where I thought I was fine because ” I felt fine” most of the time, but God is showing me otherwise. As much as I may want to some days, I can’t be upset with Him because He is merely fulfilling my request, “God, show me myself even if it hurts.” I walked right into that one.
The other day while in prayer during my devotional time, I was having a conversation with God about some of the things He’s called me to do this year and how I need to get my freaking life together so I can accomplish these things (with His help, of course).
Side note: you must know that I don’t talk to God in King James Version, Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew. I talk to God like He is one of my friends or my father, and we are just chatting over a cup of warm apple cider. Being free in that way allows me to continue the conversation even when I feel like I can’t find the perfect words to say. Because I’m talking to someone who loves and created me, I know He’ll understand me. I digress.
So anyway, I’m praying, and I start telling God how I really want to be able to forgive _____________ (insert name here), and how I really want to be rid of my jealousy for _____________ (insert name here). I begin telling Him that I need His help changing my language about my life, those situations, and those people so that I don’t continue to speak negatively and possibly bring curses to my own life. And then He reminded me of this scripture:
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
Luke 6:45 [New Living Translation]
“What you say flows from what is in your heart.” For real for real, I felt like God was responding to me in His sarcastic, clap-back nature (because that’s how WE communicate), but it helped me to clearly understand what He was trying to say to me.
Chris, you’re praying to me about your actions and words when you need to be praying about your heart!
In other words, I was merely trying to treat the symptoms without healing the real illness.
Quick story: In January of 2017, I was suffering from severe chest pains. I did what any other person of my culture typically does: I prayed, took some Tums, and went to bed. (No shade to my people!) As the days progressed, the pain got worse, and I got worried. Because my mother passed in January 2010 of a heart related issue, I could only imagine that I was dying like my mother. Still, all I could focus on was wanting the pain to stop instead of wanting to know what was causing the pain; therefore, I delayed going to the doctor and took pain medicine instead. Finally, when the pain became so excruciating that I could barely breathe, I agreed to go to Patient First (because it’s cheaper for my insurance). I remember telling the doctor about the pain and putting emphasis on wanting it to stop, and I also remember said doctor not giving two flies smashed about my quick remedies to get rid of the pain. He ordered an EKG. If you don’t know, an EKG (electrocardiogram) tests the heart’s function – – the heart’s rhythm, the heart rate, whether or not the heart is enlarged, etc. He wasn’t just interested in the fact that I was hurting, he wanted to know why I was hurting. In the end, knowing the why allowed him to provide the best treatment for me and give me the correct care instructions for proper healing.
So back to this scripture. “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” When that scripture came back to my remembrance, I immediately began bargaining that I am a good person. I believe I treat others well, I genuinely rejoice with those who are rejoicing, I avail myself to people in their time of need, and I share positive messages of hope to those around me…hence, this blog According to Chris. I began giving God my resumé in a way that matter-of-factly asked, “Uhhh, where is the evil in my heart? What’s wrong with my heart?” I wanted Him to explain how if there was so much good in my heart that I was freely giving, how could there be any room for evil? Clap-back #2…
The human heart has four chambers: two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers). Trust me, I am NOT about to get deep into the anatomy of the heart…my medical field days are over! The left atrium receives oxygenated blood, and the left ventricle pumps out oxygenated blood. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood, and the left ventricle pumps out deoxygenated blood. Valves open and shut to regulate the amount of blood that exits and enters the heart. Any fault with a valve can cause some form of heart attack or failure.
My point…His point, there is so much more to your heart than what you understand. Things are going in and coming out at all times. When you have a good experience, that affects your heart, and when you have a painful or disappointing experience, that affects your heart as well. Without my knowledge, something can malfunction and disturb the intended flow altering how my heart functions. Without proper treatment of that issue, other functions of my body are affected too.
Anything that has been pouring out my mouth, good and bad, has been directly connected to the reservoir within my heart. “What you say flows from what is in your heart.”
But I haven’t been able to control all that has happened to me. It doesn’t seem fair that my heart has to be affected by so many things when all I sought to do is try to live my best life, love people, and be loved. So what now?
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10 [English Standard Version]
I know I have referenced this scripture before. I guess I will over and over again because I’ll never stop needing God to clean my heart…clearly it’s a mess!
I went to Patient First that Sunday afternoon after all the remedies that I knew to try had failed. Tums didn’t work, pain meds didn’t work, and even taking my blood pressure medicines didn’t treat that issue because high blood pressure wasn’t the problem. Maybe all of our efforts to fix the symptoms, stop the pain, change what we say and do are useless because the root issue remains untouched. And my failed attempts at self-treatment proves that some healing can only be done under the government of the [great] physician. My negative feelings and talk concerning those individuals and even my own life are the symptoms…I have a heart issue.
Today I challenge you to trace your words and actions to its root and ask yourself, “What’s wrong with my heart?” Maybe you, like me, think there isn’t anything wrong. Got it! But I do know we are all human and processing experiences, thoughts, mishaps, and successes through our chambers all the time. Maybe without you knowing it, something that should have pushed through could have gotten stuck and remains unprocessed or unforgiven. That’s what happened to me. Once you’ve taken a moment of reflection, simply pray the prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Oh! Let me share what He said He would do for me…
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Ezekiel 36:26 [New Living Translation]
WE DON’T HAVE TO STAY THE WAY THAT WE ARE! And with a new heart comes new life!
I hope this helps.