When you’re ready to love yourself and feel at peace within

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.

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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
I’m innocent
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.




When you’re tired of beating yourself up for not being good enough

If forgiveness takes away what stands between you and someone else, then forgiving yourself takes away what stands between you and your heart made whole.

The Holy Spirit is screaming of your innocence at each moment, but your wounds scream about your supposed faults. God sees us as we REALLY are, and since we are the perfect image of a perfect God, He sure does love what He sees when He looks at us.

You don’t have faults. You simply have wounds. Your wounds are the places you have judged as ‘not enough’ or ‘unlovable,’ so what if you could forgive yourself for your wounds today, even as they’re being healed?

1) Put your hand on your heart.
2) Close your eyes.
3) Say this out loud: “God does not want to punish me. Christ was punished enough. God wants to heal me. And I will be like Him, so I will forgive myself.”
4) Say this out loud as many times as you need until it sinks in…

“I forgive you, (name), for being wounded.” – Christa Black Gifford | Heart Made Whole 

Kailey, I forgive you for all the times you choose to live small, afraid and chained by your pain. I understand why- truly I do – and from today forward, I choose to simply sit with you in your hurt and give you grace, just as God gives you each moment. I will not blame you, I will not judge you and I will no longer try to fix you!


I forgive you for being so easily offended.

For so much of your life you’ve felt misunderstood and your heart misrepresented by people’s assumptions. You’ve wanted those closest to you to see you for your strengths and your goodness, rather than your faults and imperfections.

I forgive you for having no boundaries, for people pleasing and doing things out of obligation.

Time and again people have emotionally withdrawn from you or gotten upset when you haven’t acted the way they would like or when you haven’t met their expectations. Your greatest desire is connection, so I can see your fear in not meeting their ideals.

I forgive you for pushing your feelings aside for the benefit of others, to avoid conflict or others anger.

You didn’t know any better and believed that others emotional health was your responsibility. You’re still learning to establish boundaries and to see your emotions as valuable tools.

I forgive you for striving and performing.

Growing up, the attention you did receive was from the things you accomplished, your hunger to grow/improve and for your ferocious work ethic. Although the attention was a counterfeit substitute for love, you took it because it temporarily soothed the hurt of people not staying.  It came from a place of longing to know unconditional love.

I forgive you for worrying and falling prey to paralyzing anxiety.

You felt unsafe and unprotected int his world from the early age of six. You felt it was your responsibility to keep yourself safe and that’s a heavy burden for a child to carry.

I forgive you for seeking the acceptance, approval and love of people more than God.

You’ve experienced rejection in some of your most significant relationship which told you you weren’t good enough. You longed desperately to have someone in your corner who would stay, even when things got hard or you stepped on their toes in your imperfections.

I forgive you for being mad at God, for seeing him as a bully and a punisher; the source of your pain and suffering.

From an early age you were taught about God’s wrath and about religion- a set of do’s an don’t– , rather than relationship with Jesus. You experienced the death of a loved one so young and the messy wrestlings of why bad things happen to good people. It too much for a child to understand. You’ve experienced the churches attempts to tie suffering up in a pretty bow, void of empathy for your personal hurt and experiences. How could you see things any different?

I forgive you for seeing yourself as the main character and heroin of the story, rather than God.

You fell so deeply in love with Jesus so fast and your heart rejoiced in finally hearing YOU MATTER. The child in you needs to soak up the love and attention from your Father, God, to truly come to know her true value in Christ.

I forgive you for judging others and not trusting that God is at work in their life transforming them in his ways and time.

You were taught that if you want something done, you better do it yourself and commit ’till completion. You were made with this drive and a heaping dose of discipline which has aided you in your faith journey. But you’re still learning  that it’s not about what you can do but what’s already been done for you on the cross. You’re still learning that it’s when you let go and stop trying that God finally begins to work miracles. You’re still learning that his way and timing are always, always better than your own – because truth is, your ideas are pretty great sometimes! 😉

I forgive you being afraid of failing and of making mistakes in your decisions.

Because for a long time, you made some pretty poor ones! It comes from a place of so desperately wanting to remain close to God and to stay in his will for your life. You’re just discovering that your faith is like a pendulum attached to a centre axis point; God is that axis point and while you may swing right to left, you will always return to centre.

I forgive you for punishing yourself when you make mistakes, like reacting in your anger.

You suppressed your anger for so many years and your learning to see your anger as a friend rather than a foe. This is a healthy and vital part of establishing boundaries! Your punishing yourself is out of a desiring for personal growth and to walk in the personhood of who God knows you’ll become.

I forgive you for clinging to your expectations and for being heartbroken when they’re not met.

So much of your life has been full of hurt and disappointment and yet you continued to stay strong, with a positive and hopeful outlook. Life continues to get harder in many facets and it seems you’re constantly reminded of your faults and how far you have to go.  You’re tired and you feel let down. Grieving expectations is healthy so that you can move into the future without looking back.

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Kailey, God is not surprised by these things and he forgives you in real time- past, future and more important, present! So I will too!

I resign as chief accountability keeper of your shortcomings, knowing The Holy Spirit is your guide and he speaks correction to you in the way your heart is able to receive in love.

I will choose to speak like over you for all that you ARE, imperfectly, in this present moment, trusting that God is at work in your heart and in your life. In his way and in his time, he will continue to transform you into wholeness.

My job here forward is to to be your friend and your encourager; to offer you forgiveness and my empathy. I promise to take it seriously…

I love you.


When you’re hurting and you feel let down and mad at God

I sat once again on my counsellors sofa. I could feel the emotions bubbling just under the surface but after a week of endless emotional fits before God and nothing to soothe the wounds I’d ripped open, I was reluctant to open the dam again.

I wanted more to numb the excruciating pain from the emotional baggage I keep putting down but somehow keep picking back up.

For seven days, I’d been wrestling God with metaphorical punches and then tender embraces, sharing with him all the ugly unspoken broken I’d been processing. It has taken me two long years of depression, grieving, counselling and the hard work of healing to get here, but I’d finally gotten to the core of my deepest pain: Rejection.

In every significant relationship, whether it was romantic, friendship, familial, business or mentorship, I’ve experienced rejection over and over by the people I most adored and desired connection, depth and intimacy with. The ones I sought passionately to know me and love me from the inside out, have in some form or fashion made me feel cast aside, unwanted, unloved, and ultimately not good enough.

And in the last week, I discovered I was now feeling the exact same way about God!


1,6, 12, 16, 19, 20, 24 and now again at almost 29, I have experienced deep rejection time and again.

I’ve been unpacking my pain and these experiences of rejection with the help of counselling, The Trauma prayer, Wild and Free, as well as Heart Made Whole and sitting alone for hours on end in prayer and guided mediation with Jesus. I’ve been desperate for comfort and love, but not from anyone, from THE ONE.

I’ve wanted God more than any other time in my life to make himself known in a vary real way to me, as my father, my protector, my comforter, my encourager and my healer.

And yet, I haven’t felt him in any way shape of form in recent weeks.

….like a little girl who has her arms outstretched ready for her daddy to pick her up and comfort her in her sorrow and he won’t.

…..like a love sick teenager who’s just poured her heart out, waiting in desperation for a response to her love song and hears crickets.

…..like a hurting friend who’s deep in a pit and longs for someone to see her, sit with her and embrace her without judgement of her heart or blame.

…..like an unsure and scared college grad who longs to know their potential and needs someone to speak life over them and tell them what they’re made for!

These are the things I’ve wanted desperately- almost pathetically– from my Father, God.


And yet I’ve felt nothing but crickets.

As I sat on that couch, I poured out my hurt, anger and frustration at God. I begged to know why I’m so desperate for God’s affection, to just be with him and to know his thoughts- the very things he says he wants from me– and yet I feel like he’s refusing me. It’s like I know he’s there but he wont do anything but stare at me in silence!

My counsellor listened with such empathy, giving weight and validity to my hurt and anger. “Thank you!” I lamented. “I feel like a freak most days; like no one understands and I’m supposed to just shut up, stop acting like a child and move on already. Like I’m selfish and wrong for feeling these things!”

“Kailey,” she lovingly protested, “That would never work for you, ever! Hear me when I tell you that if you approach your hurt and relationship with God in that manner, you will never be able to receive and feel God’s love for you! You’ll spend the rest of your life striving for God’s affection and still feel rejected and like you’re not good enough in your last breath.

Because everything about that mentality and approach to hurt makes the little girl in you scream in tantrum protest. That little girl in you has experienced pain in her life and she needs someone- The One- to hear her hurt and validate it! No one else will do;Only her daddy can soothe that.”


“But I’ve been doing exactly that and I’ve been furiously protesting everything and everyone who’s trying to hit me with the message of “grow up and get over yourself.” And yet he wont answer me! He refuses to meet me where I’m at! WHY!”

“Work with me here.”  she said, as she proceeded to take me through a guided mediation in which I spoke face to face with my father, God.

I told him everything I had just shared with her and more and then I waited for his response.

To my absolute astonishment and surprise, God revealed that he’d been earnestly trying – doing everything in his power to comfort me and speak life over me- but the fact is I can’t hear him or see him because I refuse to. My anger has my “talk to the hand” thrown up high and no matter what he does or try’s to tell me, it will never be good enough until…


WAIT…..WHAT? Forgive God?!?!

No one has ever even hinted towards the idea that God, my father, would seek my forgiveness for the ways I feel he has let me down, he should have protected me and I’ve been hurt!

I literally sat in silence for an extended period. I was dumb founded…and that’s a feat for me.

And like the weight of a million bricks was lifted from my heart, I felt peace and such relief for the first time in weeks. I actually started to laugh!

Me. Little old me. My God would choose to humble himself and submit to my choices – to MY will! Wow. That’s crazy.

Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an all together new idea but in some aspects, it’s certainly not a common theme you hear preached or discussed in Christian circles.

When your heart explodes with love for someone, it chooses to give the gift of affection, which is why God gave you a control center deep within your heart that possesses the ability to either choose to love Him or choose to reject Him. Since He created the human heart, giving it the great gift called free will, He gave all of us full jurisdiction over our inner realm, including the ability to say “no” to His love, His will, and His ways.

Let that sink in for a second. You are the only one who will ever be in full control of your own heart—not God. He will never violate the control He gave you. Our good God will always be present and willing to be your Counselor, Helper, Protector, Redeemer, Savior, and the Restorer, but you hold the final say. God offers you unconditional love and eternal relationship, but then gives you the freedom to refuse His gift. – Christa Black Gifford | Heart Made Whole 

Part of relationship is honesty and God has been very gracious and gentle in allowing me to learn he is big enough to take my messy and sometimes ugly emotions; in fact he wants me to bring them to him!

But never ever have I entertained the idea of two way forgiveness in our relationship.

And yet that makes so much sense!

In every relationship I have, forgiveness is required on both ends, including my relationship with my daughter. While she is only 15 months, I have already on countless occasion sought her forgiveness. And I have no disillusions that it’ll stop. As she gets older with convictions and ideas of her own – no doubt many that will differ, contradict and even challenge mine- there will be times where I hurt her, even if I don’t mean to… even if what I do or say is quote on quote “for her good.” 


Because the thing is, emotions are neither right or wrong. They simply are. And no one can tell me that how I feel isn’t valid, because it’s my heart that’s experiencing life in my unique way; my experiences and my personality help shape that.

So, whether or not we always understand why someone feels the way they do, it is always the loving and kind response to seek to understand, to extend grace and empathy and if applicable, to seek forgiveness. And on the other end, it is always the hope that the recipient will accept the invitation and offer forgiveness in return.

Because forgiveness always reconciles connection in relationship.

Isn’t this Christianity 101?


Find a quiet place in solitude. Perhaps wait until no one is home or try the bath, the closet or your car. It’s important you have the time and space to invest in this moment without feeling nervous someone will walk in/hear you or could be pulled away suddenly. 

Is there anything in your life that you are mad at God for? Do you feel he’s let you down or hasn’t been what you believe you needed at the time? We may never fully understand why God allows certain things on this earth, but we can trust that God weeps with us in our sorrow, that he hurts when we hurt and that he desires to have your heart fully trusting that he is for you and that he is good. 

Close you eyes and imagine yourself sitting face to face with God. Take all the time you need to connect with how you really feel. Invite Holy Spirit to remind you of the things you’ve been ponding and wrestling with – all the things you’ve imagined asking him or saying to him one day in hope of answers. Share your hurt, your pain, your frustration and your confusion. Don’t hold anything back! Let every emotion rise to the surface and allow it to fully run it’s course. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, how you sound or even if what you say makes sense. Just say it out loud! 

When you’ve let it all out, just rest in silence and wait. Listen for what he has to say to you. Trust that the things that come to you in your mind and heart are God’s response. 

If you can find it somewhere inside of you, offer God your forgiveness and ask him to restore your heart to his. If you can’t just yet, that OK! Ask God to help you want to forgive him and trust in time, you’ll get there.