For years I allowed anger, disappointment and unresolved hurt to keep me locked up in my pain. Lack of integrity and betrayal by those I should have been able to trust drove me to isolation, at least in part. I kept people at a safe enough distance so that my heart wouldn’t be torn beyond repair when others failed to live up to my expectations. Disappointment in life was inevitable. I sought comfort in telling myself that no one was really worthy of my trust again.
I thought I was guarding my heart so that it wouldn’t be hurt again, but I was wrong. I wasn’t guarding my heart; I was guarding the wounds that I had incurred. I was guarding the wrong treasure. Somehow my perspective had gotten a bit twisted. The thoughts sounded logical as I made those silent vows in my heart. No one was going to get so close that I would get hurt like that again. I refused to allow myself to be vulnerable. And so, with hurt, offense and deep disappointment twisting my perception, I guarded the lie, guarded the pain and thought I could keep my heart safe. I trusted only myself. And yet, there I was. Unhappy, more than a bit jaded and bitter, and unable to pinpoint exactly the cause of my irritability and lingering heaviness in my soul. Day after day I couldn’t escape it. I was barely able to admit to myself that I was still in need of healing, because doing so would mean that I’d have to surrender the lies I had told myself, and the ones the enemy was still trying to get me to believe. “You can’t trust church people, you know. Christians are such hypocrites. They don’t live what they pretend to believe. You can’t trust God, either, because He could have protected you from what happened to you. He let you down. The only person you can really trust is yourself. You don’t need them.”
Only, the truth was, I did need them. Not necessarily the same exact people that wounded me, but I needed the body of Christ because of what was in them. I needed them because of WHO lived in them. The gifts of the Holy Spirit live in others, and it was those gifts that would make me whole again. Somehow, the shell I formed around my heart did in fact protect me from going down a rabbit hole of self-destruction, but after a period of time I realized that God was lovingly encouraging me to allow Him to remove it. I needed to surrender the judgments I’d made about others with a broad brush, lumping all the disappointments in to one category. I needed to learn how to take baby steps to integrate myself with others again, and trust God to work through them to bring healing and restoration. I didn’t want to, but the condition of my heart depended on my willingness to confront my fears and insecurities, and cast them down. I had guarded the wounds as if they were treasure, when in fact my heart was the treasure. The Holy Spirit was the treasure. The Anointing was the treasure. The calling on my life and future was the treasure. Those were the things I should have been guarding, but somehow the lie became more believable and I just accepted it as the truth. And so, I guarded and protected the lie and allowed the real treasure to be taken into captivity. And my soul became chained. My spirit caged. My heart broken. I was hemorrhaging spiritual power. I was bleeding out and it hadn’t even occurred to me that’s what had been happening. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. If so, please keep reading.
Caught between a rock and a hard place, I chose to fall upon The Rock and confront the hard places in my own imaginations. If I didn’t choose life, my soul and spirit would eventually die from my wounds. I felt like my spirit was suffocating. I needed to be able to breathe again. With a heartfelt gasp I cried, “Lord, I chose life. I want to live! Forgive me for judging Your body – and You. I forgive those that hurt me, just help me heal. Give me the grace to trust again. Lead me to those that You know are safe. Lead me to those that You have chosen to be a part of my healing and restoration, in Jesus name.”
And He did.
Lies we listen to:
Lie: I don’t need to go to church. I can work through this on my own, just between me and God.
Truth: God puts truth, answers, love, healing and anointing in His vessels. Those things are designed to have a purpose in our restoration and healing. We were never created to be separate from others, but integrated into one another’s lives. We were designed with relationship in mind. We do need others because we are 'the church.'
Lie: I can have friends that aren’t religious (or live with Christian values) that can satisfy my need for relationship.
Truth: We don't need religion, but we do need Christ. He is the light, the truth, our Healer and Restorer. God has specifically advised us through scripture that darkness has nothing in common with light. Neither the human spirit nor a worldly spirit or a new age philosophy can actually heal or restore a wounded soul. The Lord told us in John 8:32 that it is the Spirit of Truth that can lead us into truth and make us free, and that comes only from God’s Holy Spirit. We are also advised not to forsake assembling with one another, breaking bread with one another and having fellowship. Authentic, godly, loving relationships help provide balance, stability and nurturing in our lives that pave the way for healing and restoration.
Lie: I can just focus on work, family and other things and I’ll be fine. Time heals all wounds.
Truth: Time does not heal our wounds. The evidence is everywhere. Look around. People everywhere are wounded and hurting because they have never received genuine healing for the grief and raw emotions that linger from unhealed wounds. It is not time that heals, but forgiveness towards those that have hurt and disappointed us. Until we choose to forgive those that have sinned against us can we heal. Perhaps someone offended us or did something much worse through unkind and unloving words and actions. I have had people that were acting on hell’s agenda to deliberately try to destroy me and my loved ones. It is hard to forgive another person’s intentional actions to cause pain, humiliation, and destruction – but it is possible. Fear, anger, anxiety, stress, and other worrisome thoughts can be the result of our own unforgiving heart that is plagued by demonic tormentors. The only way out of that prison is through the door of forgiveness. Many, many people have found their way out of spiritual and emotional prison. You can too.
Friend, I pray that this has helped you. If you’ve been guarding the wrong treasure, I pray that you will make a divine exchange today and surrender your heart to Jesus. Ask Him to lead you to the people He has chosen to be a part of your healing. He knows your hurt and disappointment in those that didn’t live up to your expectations. He will heal you if you will just trust Him. It’s time to discard the lies. Your heart is not safe in your own keeping. It is only safe when you surrender it to Jesus and let Him take care of it. Choose life. Your heart is the greatest treasure that you could ever offer to the Lord, and I promise you that He will guard it as the treasure it is. Let Him restore your hope and your heart, because the truth is, there are many wonderful people out there that are worth letting in to your life.