Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When the Heart Hears

Today, I want to share something personal.

I want to give you my before and after.

No, I'm not talking about pictures of me before I began exercising and healthy eating...
(please feel free to sigh in relief!)

...I'm talking about how I was before--in my heart.

Before I was...


I was full of anxiety.

I hated.

I felt hated by others.

I was consumed with hiding my imperfections from others.

Life felt like I was moving from one argument to the next.

There was a great absence of peace in my heart.

I laughed, but it was often AT other people.

I lied.

I cheated.

I gave no concern for others, unless there was some kind of payback in it for ME.


My life turned on a dime.

I was walking in one direction and spun around to walk in the opposite.

The day stands out in my mind.

I was 15.

What you might ask, would change someone's life so drastically in their teen years that she would never walk away? That her life would go from so enthralled with HERSELF to enthralled with her CREATOR?


It was Jesus. Jesus on the Cross.

That night when I was 15, I saw Jesus on the cross. He was being nailed to it. Each nail was named...and for some reason, each nail was something I personally was guilty of. The soldiers nailed that sinless God-man to the wood and held up each nail first proclaiming, "Hatred!" 

Then the banging of that sin through the flesh of Jesus.

Then the next nail was held up and proclaimed, "Lying!"

Bang. Bang. Bang.

My tears began to flow.

For the first time in my life, after years of my parents taking me to church with them, I began to see something I never had:

Jesus died on the cross for ME.

It was my actual sin that nailed Him there.

And He didn't deserve it.

I distinctly remember my SHOCK.

THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS??? I was truly incredulous.


I had heard that my entire life, but never with my heart.

The heart must hear.

When the heart hears, the heart melts.

My life changed then.

He began a long process of taking me from where I was and changing me into someone He dreamed of.

Romans 8:29 declares that dream:
"For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to be like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."

God's dream is to make us like Jesus.

And He does that work. Not us.

The beautiful (and so mysterious) gift of His Holy Spirit does that work in us.

I am here to say: it is real.

My life looks NOTHING like it would have had my heart not heard.

I was not about to look like Jesus before!

Here is the Bible's description of love:

Patient. Kind. Not jealous or boastful. Not proud. Not rude. Does not demand her own way. Not irritable. Keeps no record of being wronged. She does not rejoice about injustice but rather when truth wins out. She never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures every circumstance.

And the character of Jesus that the Holy Spirit creates in me daily:

Loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self controlled.

Let me say it folks, THAT is NOT POSSIBLE without GOD!!!!

So, you must be wondering, am I claiming perfection?

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!! You make me laugh my head off silly!!!

Oh no. 

Sadly, no.

I still lose my patience with my children.

I still catch myself hoping you think I look good...or have done something well.

I am still tempted by old sins. Satan does that you know. He knows where we are weak and loves to hit those old spots.

But God is IN me. (Yeah, that's really weird. And totally wonderful.)

And with God in me, I am controlled by another power. It is not of my own. I don't have to sin. I am FREE.

Free to love.

Free to have joy!

Free to give my life over to whatever God dreams for me!

And friends, that is one AFTER picture that is glorious!

And as I am learning...that picture may surprise even us! Who knows the mind of God? He plans things for us that may surprise (and delight!) us. Those plans have been in place even BEFORE He created the sunshine.


Those plans the Bible calls "good, pleasing and perfect."

I am LOVING the after.

Soon, I'm going to be sharing some "after" pictures of my life that I never saw coming.

And you might join me in the amazement.


"That is what the Scriptures say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." ~ I Corinthians 2:9

1 comment:

  1. I love your "after" too! I can not imagine what my life would be without Jesus. Oh my, I'm so grateful for His saving grace and His bountiful mercy. Life, indeed. Love you, friend.


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