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Don’t Make Permanent What Was Meant to Be Temporary


Out of His overwhelming love for me— for all of us as His children— God brilliantly fashioned our hearts in a way that equips us to survive in the world, giving them the ability to keep pain from overwhelming us so we can function.

However, this coping mechanism was given as a temporary solution to help survive emotional pain, but never as God’s permanent solution to heal it. –Christa Black Gifford,  Heart Made Whole

A world marred by sin and selfishness can do some incredible damage to our fragile hearts at an early age. People make choices to abuse or violate in a number of ways. They also make choices to withhold what’s needed. Both cause real and tangible issues for us moving forward.

But just as Christa wrote here, it’s because of His love for you that He gave you the capacity to keep going in the face of horrific situations (which obviously looks different for nearly every individual). That “way of escape” is a valuable tool, but if you refuse to allow the Healer access, you get stuck.

Patterns emerge in an effort to gain control of something–anything. It can be related to food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or a hundred other things. God is not unaware of how you got there, but He never designed for you to stay.

I believe this is why it’s so damaging to focus on “fixing” our behavior (I’ve experienced the frustration, despair, and discouragement plenty). You may have been told God gives grace for a little while then at some point expects you to “get over it,” but He’s interested in relationship and healing the brokenness.

Even when He pointed out the sinful behavior of His people in the Old Testament, He called them out because these things were destroying relationship. Yes, there is true conviction of sin, but He’s never asked you to work on it.

He points out the junk that tries to rob us of peace, life, and intimacy with Him. Some of these things are deep-rooted patterns that take time, and though we may desperately want it all to be done and over, He is patient and will stop at nothing short of full restoration.

One more short quote that struck me as I read,

Grace acknowledges that maturity is a relational process and not a destination called perfection.

It’s hard for me to sit back and let Him be Lord of the process, but He is the only Healer of my heart. I’m not striving for a goal or destination. I’m deepening a relationship. Yeah, I’ve got to remember that.

How about you? Have you ever considered God’s love in allowing you coping mechanisms even as you struggle to allow Him to bring healing? What are your thoughts?

hmwWelcome to week 2 of our book club discussion of Heart Made Whole by Christa Black GiffordWe are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add your link to the widget below and don’t forget to check out my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, feel free to dive into the conversation!

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  1. It’s definitely all about deepening our relationship with God. Thank goodness He is infinitely patient with us!
    Blessings, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?My Profile

    • There are days I wonder if even infinite patience is enough! 🙂 It really is a constant breathing in of His grace and mercy. Thanks Martha.

  2. I hadn’t exactly thought of coping in these terms I look forward to reading more.

    • It’s a great book. Authentic and insightful. It’s helping me put language to things more easily, and I’m very appreciative. Thanks TC. 🙂

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