As long as parts of your heart are at war with one another, the peace you long for will remain beyond your reach. As long as you despise your negative emotions, they can never change. As long as you condemn your old wounds, they will never heal. And as long as you stay in denial, you can never uncover truth and be made whole. The only way for your heart to live in unity with God is if you’re also living in unity with yourself. This can happen only if you call in a skilled mediator, Jesus, who sits with all the parts of your heart, both wounded and whole, and begins a safe, truthful, inner conversation in which everything is brought to light and laid out on the table. – Christa Black Gifford | Heart Made Whole
I closed my eyes and envisioned the scene that I’ve played out countless times this past month…
I imagined myself running at top speed towards a round pool of shimmering gold water. I dove in, singing down deep in the depths of the water. My body was flailing and my eyes were open frantically searching for someone to save me. Suddenly, a strong hand, much larger than my own reaches down and pulls me out of the water into his arms. He hugs me tightly before pulling away to grab my face between his hands. He looks me square in the eyes.
This man is Jesus and his love for me is palpable; like a love sick bridegroom, who just saved his blushing bride.
Together kneeling, he motions for me to look down at a heart. I know it’s my heart and he encourages me to talk to it.
I ask my emotional heart how she’s doing and before me appears a young girl, maybe 8. She’s sitting crossed legged with her head hung low and she’s picking at the grass to make a floral crown.
“I’m doing fine,” she says. “Much better actually. I’m grateful that you’re finally listening to me and you’re not yelling at me all the time, telling me I’m weak and stupid. I feel hopeful again and I know that in time, I won’t feel sad or angry about the past anymore. But I’m content with where I’m at and I feel a still, quiet joy stirring inside me. I’ll return to my bubbly, outgoing self again soon. But I still need a bit more time. Please be patient with me. I’m not trying to be a burden.“
I told her there was no rush and that she could take all the time in the world to fully heal. I reminded her it’s been a long 28 years getting here and there are a whole slew more days ahead of us to move on. I wanted her to be at her best before we continue on in our life’s journey. I told her I love her dearly, even though I’ve been terrible at showing it up until now but I would spend the rest of my life trying to love her well. I grabbed her and pulled her close in a big family bear hug with Jesus. Together, we plastered her with kisses and she giggled sweetly. And for the first time, I knew she truly believed she was loved and adored.
I then asked my Guardian heart how he was doing. [Yes he, because truth is, I identify with masculine tendencies when it comes to my guardian and functional heart.] He looked confused and while his armour was still on, the straps weren’t done up and his sword and shield were dangling by his side.
“I’m so confused” he said. “I have no idea who I’m supposed to be battling right now or and what I’m suppose to protect you from. First, I thought our enemy was Emotional heart, but then you told me to leave her alone. Then I thought It was God, but he too, you told me I could trust. Finally, I thought it was your husband and just yesterday, you told me me to bow out of that battle also. So, I don’t know what to do! I feel useless now.”
I told him he wasn’t useless and I reminded him that it was only because of him that I’d been able to start putting up healthy boundaries as of late. It was because of him that I was able to drop the legalism of my faith and embrace fully, my relationship with Jesus. It was because of him that I was beginning to embrace and love myself for who God created me to be. “Oh…” he said.
I told him I had a new job for him and it was this…
“From now until eternity, this is your life’s greatest mission, my friend. I need you to guard my relationship with Jesus from anything that will disconnected me from him. And I need you to protect my time with the father. ” I pointed to the little girl and continued. “Emotional heart needs ample time with her daddy right now, so guard her time from anything that will take that away from her. This is the best thing you can do for me!”
“Got it.” He said and his battle stance resumed.
Finally, I checked in with my functional heart and immediately a smile formed across my face. Standing with his arms cross and a pout fuelled by jealous anger, I immediately recognized an old friend. I knew he was hurt and felt rejected.
With sincerity, I apologized. “I know I haven’t needed you much this last while, Function, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I still need you! So much of who I am and what I’ve accomplished in life is because of you and I’m so grateful for that.
But the truth is, and I say this in the nicest way, you’re kind of bossy and you want to be a lone soldier!
Even if you don’t want to admit it to me, my life is a responsibility you can’t carry all on your own. You’ll eventually get tired when the going gets hard and by the time you realize it, you’ll have lost your greatest allies. You need your tribe!
The only way we’re going to do this life well is if we do this as a team: you, me, emotional heart, guardian heart and Jesus. You’ll lead us, but you must be willing to hear us out and take our advice when making decisions.
If you do that, you’ll have SO much less stress and anxiety as we trek on. You’ll know joy, peace and contentment more, my friend. And when we hit rough spots, you’ll know you’re not alone in the battle! We’re all in it together and we’ll carry each other through.”
He stayed silent but I knew he heard me loud and clear. And he knew I was right.
“I want you to stop fighting your own team and start embracing each other! Lean on the others and remember that I need each of you to be healthy and whole. Not one of you is more or less important that the other. I love each of you for what you uniquely bring to the table of my heart.”
Still kneeling, I looked over at Jesus who was watching intently. He smiled at me with pride, hugged me from the side and leaned in to kiss my forehead.
“Atta girl.” He said.
And for the first time in my life, my heart was no longer divided, but united in perfect love.
When I’m with You
I feel the real me finally breaking through
It’s all because of You, Jesus
Anytime, anywhere, any heartache
I’m never too much for You to take
There’s only love
There’s only grace
When I’m with You
Nobody knows me like You do
No need for walls, You see right through
Every hurt, every scar, every secret… You just love me
I’m breathing in
It’s like my heart’s on fire again
I’m not afraid
I’m not ashamed
I’m safe when I am with You
So I’m here just as I am
Bruised or broken
I don’t have to pretend
-When I’m with You | Citizens Way
To learn more about the different parts of your heart, their unique functions in your life and emotional health, pick up the newly launched book, Heart Made Whole.
I had the absolutely pleasure of working through the book as part of the launch team and I cannot say enough about my experience! Seriously, friend, it’s a MUST read!
It’s raw, powerful and transformational; like the most authentic and vulnerable counselling session where you trust the person sitting in front of you knows your pain intimately, can sit with you without judging or blaming and sees the person you are destined to become. You’ll not only crave healing and freedom like never before, you’ll know it’s possible not only for yourself but for everyone else you know and love.
Its helped me with anger, letting go, trust and even expectations. I’ve forgiven God and even myself for so many things I’ve been mad about for years! And let me tell you, never ever before have I begun to truly love and embrace who I am – messy, imperfect parts and all , with such freedom and without fighting or running from my emotions.