As I was preparing for this new season of my life I remember the excitement I felt knowing I would be learning how to help others! I have this strong desire in my heart to help women who have been abused and I was so thankful to God for the opportunity to learn the skills to help these precious women. To my complete surprise I am learning a lot more than how to help others. Since starting this new journey with God, I have been learning how to let God help me with areas of my life I have closed off for so long.
This was so unexpected. I did not think I needed to work through anything. God has been teaching me that this season is one of pruning. God wants to refine my heart. As one of our speakers puts it, we have squishy spots in our hearts. These are the sensitive areas where as counselors we need to have less and less of these spots in order to help others in the way they need help most.
While counseling, when someone pours their hearts out to us our response cannot be drowning in the sorrow, but rather standing on God’s Solid Rock, with an arm stretched out ready to bring them to His Rock.
In order for me to be on that Rock there are several parts of my heart that I need to open up to God. The squishy, sensitive areas that I have not allowed God access to for so many years. This process is painful and uncomfortable but it is oh so necessary. I find so much hope and promise during this process.
I love what God says about this process:
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. John 15:2 AMP
I want to share one of my pruning experiences with God, with you.
During my morning devotions this past week I read a story about a woman who had a horrible feeling towards one of her friends. She prayed and asked God to remove this feeling. She did everything she thought she needed to do but nothing was working. Later, God revealed to her that He did not want to fix her in the moment, He wanted her to get to the root of the problem. This was a root of bitterness growing in her heart towards this friend. She needed to deal with the root in order for God to bring lasting healing to her heart and soul.
Reading this made me think of a struggle I have in my life. I always pray about this struggle but God never seems to answer. I realized as I thought about this that the reason why He hasn’t been answering my prayers is because He wanted me to deal with the root behind this problem. I had no idea what the root was.
Thankfully I have a dear staff member I meet with once a week during the lecture phase of our school. This last week I shared with her about this problem I was faced with and my thought of needing to get to the root of this issue I have. She listened and asked if I wanted to pray and ask God to reveal the root of this problem. I really did so we prayed and God kind of took control from there.
Suddenly God brought lies to my attention that I had been believing for far too long. This is where the root was. These lies had a way of embedding themselves into my heart so deeply that I never recognized them prior to this day.
These words struck my heart and broke it into pieces. These lies were the string holding these broken pieces of my heart together. This string of lies is not how God intended to heal my broken heart.
While we were praying I was encouraged to think about the truth God wanted me to believe and to think about where God was when those sharp words were spoken to me. I could picture the moment I felt those words shatter my heart and I could picture God there as a pillow on my heart. He allowed the words to hit my heart but He softened the impact. These words were intended to destroy me but God was protecting me and because of His protection in my life I was not destroyed!
I knew God was healing this place of my heart. He removed the string of lies and sealed this break in my heart with His love, His words, His truth, His grace, His glory. This is Everlasting Glue. It never changes.
The best part is that God gave me new words to hold onto. Ones to replace the lies. I felt God speak to my heart, I am yours and you are Mine. I needed these words.
I am not someone else’s property, I am God’s. Thank you Jesus!
God truly set me free and reminded me of Galatians 5:1 AMP
It was for this freedom that Christ set us free [completely liberating us]; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery [which you once removed].
As if this moment wasn’t sweet enough God wanted this truth to really sink in. The very next day my morning devotions spoke to this exact truth now reigning in my heart. During worship before class we sang a song with the following lyrics: I am yours, You are mine, And we’ll be together Forever. The verse of the day on my phone was Galatians 5:1.
God is so so good! He waits patiently for us to hand over parts of our hearts that truly need His glue. I pray that you can spend some time with God thinking and reflecting on parts of your heart that God wants to prune. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free!
With His Love and Mine,