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Tag: inner healing

Beautiful Confrontation

by kerriebutterfield

IMG_3197I had the opportunity to travel to Japan recently and had a confrontation with a beautiful piece of pottery. As we walked up an ancient road to visit a temple we popped into a pottery shop to escape the oppressive heat and enjoy the air conditioning. As I soaked up the cool air, a small corner of the shop caught my eye. It contained a series of shelves filled with pottery in the style of Kintsugi.

Wikipedia describes Kintsugi as, “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with laquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.”

This wasn’t the first time I had heard of Kintsugi, but it was the first time I saw it outside of a museum. This first time I could pick up the object and hold it in my hands and run my finger over the golden filled cracks, and investigate it thoroughly. And as I did, God took this opportunity to confront me and align my heart with His. Read the rest of this entry »

A Whip-Wielding Crusader

by Mindy Kiker

It can be tempting to believe that Jesus doesn’t shine in the places where we have been wounded, where arrows or lies have lodged in our hearts from the hurt we have experienced in life. The painful experiences create damaged pieces of our hearts that feel dark indeed. Our enemy strategizes to attack our identity, our gifting, and even our bodies in order to break and shatter who God made us to be, to shroud out the radiant light of His love, joy, and peace.

Image by Blew bird
Flicker.com/photos/blewbird33/8905407840_CC BY-ND 2.0

In our hearts there are places where God’s healing light has not yet reached. Jesus died to purchase our healing, our cleansing, our freedom, but He also stands at the door and knocks. Unfortunately, it can take many years for us to trust Him enough to open our wounded places to His light. He will never force the door open, but instead Jesus waits patiently for us to say, “Come to me, my Savior. I open the door of my heart and give you permission to heal my wounds and make me whole in these areas that have closed me off from your love and freedom.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Putting the Lie to Rest

by Wendy

 

 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)                  

I look at my journal, that precious place where God and I meet, and I see a great, big “SHOULD” button flashing in my brain.  I try to pick up my pen, but I can’t start to write.  Shaking my head, I drop the pen back on the desk and push away the journal.  “No,” my insides shout, “not now,” so I sigh and turn to face the lush green woods outside my office window.  Something tight, something heavy, blocks my wonder, my creativity, my productivity;  I can’t even finish the simplest of tasks.  I can almost feel a physical grip on my heart.

“Oh, just do it,” my earnest evangelical friend (whose voice resides firmly in my head) exhorts.  “Don’t think and introspect. Only start, and the rest will follow.”

Fair enough.  Plenty of times, my mountain is moved by small ant-sized accomplishments.   But this is not one of those times.  I know myself.  This lack of rest, driven busyness, and restless non-work are not driven by a lack of will.  Gutting it out may work as a short-term prod, but never as a long-term solution. Read the rest of this entry »

I Thought I Knew What Love Looked Like

by Dawn Aldrich

firstloved

The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. John 14:21

“Most live life with love gone much unsaid.” These narrated words from a new BBC series pricked my heart as I thought about all the years I withheld my love from my father; repressed my childhood affection from the one who walked away and yet returned with a repentant heart. We’d lost so much time play-acting our roles as father and daughter all those Saturdays of my youth, that when he returned in my college days, I didn’t know what to do. Showing affection was awkward, at least, and risky. I allowed the fear of rejection to build an impenetrable fortress around my heart, keeping everyone at arm’s length, especially my father.

We lived most of the rest of his life with love gone much unsaid until God took hold of my heart about nine years ago. That’s when God pried open my soul and revealed to me my earthly father through His eyes. For the first time, I was able to accept him for who God created him to be and honor all his traits in me without shame. But it wasn’t enough to only ponder these revelations alone. God challenged me to forgive my father face-to-face and to speak my love out loud to him (talk about fear and risk). It took me a long seven months of God working on me to gain the courage to face my father and risk it all, but I’m glad I did.

My earthly father passed over a year ago knowing how much I loved him and forgave him. We left no words unsaid, he and I. I thought his passing restored all lost love between us and ended my father journey, but recently God taught me differently. For I learned that I could not possibly know what a father’s love looked like (or felt like) without experiencing it first. While God restored my love for my earthly father, it was far from that innocent, untainted love between a father and his daughter. My heart yearned for that which was lost from my childhood; a love that now only God himself could restore, for my earthly father was gone.

I stood amongst a few others while the leader of the small group stood on a chair above me, putting me in the posture of a young girl and her father. He then recited my personalized scripture as though God were reading it himself:

I cherish you with an unending, undying love. I pull you near and hold you close with my absolute, dependable kindness. Though your world be shaken and the familiar be removed, still my love for you remains–my boundless, unending, immovable love. My covenant, my word, my promise of peace also remains, for I AM tender, gentle and compassionate towards you, always. (Jeremiah 31:3, Isaiah 54:10 personalized)

In that moment I felt four-years-old again, standing beside my father, protected and encircled in his love. God stirred my heart like never before, lavishing His love on me in such a way words cannot adequately explain. Not only was it a time of restorative love of an earthly experience from my childhood, but more so a present and breakthrough experience of the depth of God’s love for me as my heavenly Father.

Jesus said, “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 NIV). How can we adequately love another if we have not experienced that love from Jesus first? We can read how Jesus loved and try to love as he did, but we cannot offer the extent of his love unless we first experience it from him. This teaching blew me away (First Loved to Love seminar by Rev. Mark Fee). All these years, I’ve tried to love my father as Jesus had taught me to love and honor him, but I hadn’t experienced that type of father-daughter love from my heavenly Father at all. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to ask for it.

So, how do we love as Jesus love so that we in turn can love others? One way, as Mark Fee teaches, is personalizing love scriptures like I did above. Then, read it aloud several times (I found it most  effective when someone else reads it to me, like my husband) until you can actually feel the Holy Spirit’s presence. Then ask the Holy Spirit to embellish His thoughts regarding this scripture for you personally. Record what He says to you and meditate on that throughout your day. And in addition, love others as God is loving you.

All these years I thought I knew what loved looked like, but God is showing me so much more. He is showing me how high, how wide, how deep is His love. He’s longing to show you, too. Won’t you risk it?

Pressing Through

by Wendy

by Wendy Coy

Image

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Is 61:1b, NIV)

 

His forehead wrinkled and a tiny grimace floated across my husband’s face. No one else noticed, but I saw it and winced. This would be harder than we thought.

The microphone in his hand didn’t stop him; nor did the sixty people in the room, who variously prayed, winced or watched intently. He was meeting with Jesus but he was doing it in public, verbally telling us the intimate pictures and conversations He and Jesus were having internally. It was classic inner healing (the person, the problem and Jesus all in the same room at the same time) but brave was far too mild a word to describe this interchange.

My heart raced with a strange combination of pride and concern. I was eager to see if the new prayer process which had worked so well in more private settings could hold up to this kind of public scrutiny, but had we gone too far? My husband was not easily jostled, but this might be too much.

“What’s going on?” I prompted.

“Jesus knows this internal wound requires surgery and it might be painful,” he responded. “The hateful words became arrows in my heart, and they’re infected. He has to pull them out and… well, this may be too graphic,” he paused. I edged almost off my stool and silently prayed my standard panic prayer. “O God, O God, O God, Help!” We didn’t need to scare away sixty eager prayer ministers wanting to watch God at work.

“He wants to suck out the [metaphorical] venom from my heart. The venom came from the poisoned words, the ones I believed.” OH! Graphic, perhaps, but incredibly freeing! Jesus had such creative ways of relieving pain.

I breathed a little, and we waited while my husband’s spiritual surgery continued. He asked questions, Jesus responded. Jesus offered healing, he cooperated. It wasn’t a smooth road, but the lies dissolved, and he forgave the ones who had hurled them.

And then, as if on cue, it was over. “Thank you Jesus!” I said involuntarily. My valiant praying husband looked up, exhausted but happy. The heartache was gone. So was the mental picture that had held him back for years. And sixty people watched the whole miracle happen.

The room was electric with anticipation. Hurting hearts grabbed hope and dared to break through pain to Jesus’ healing.   One vulnerability led to another. Dread and anxiety eased out the door, and we watched pained faces give way to joy.

Was this freedom worth the risky cost of being so terribly transparent and vulnerable? I looked up at my husband, searching to see what he really thought, and smiled as he said all the right words. “Jesus knew what they needed and the model opened the door for them to go deeper!”

The risk was real but the reward was even greater. Pushing through the boundaries of doubt and anxiety brought more healing than we imagined, to my husband and to dozens of others who joined in. “I desire healing even more than you do,” Jesus reminded me. It was an old lesson, now made new: He offers hope and emotional healing to all who are willing to receive it. Relieved, I nodded. He certainly honored prayers, bravery and faithfulness that morning! How many others would benefit from that lesson, as well, I wondered?

Grateful, I wrapped my arms around my husband’s chest and hugged him, hard.

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