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On the Road to Unshakeable

I don’t live in a war-torn country. I haven’t faced death for myself or my family repeatedly. I haven’t filed for bankruptcy or lived in a homeless shelter. Still, I have had some deep heartaches in the past few years from which I feel I’m just beginning to recover.

You may have experienced hurts and pains lighter than mine or greater, doesn’t matter. As my father-in-law used to say, “My headache feels more pressing than someone else’s cancer.” We empathize, of course, but only you can deal with your own feelings of pain, loss, and grief.

We’ve jumped headlong into Christa Black Gifford’s book, Heart Made Whole; and let me tell you, her story packs a punch. I won’t even try to summarize here (get the book and read it if you haven’t), but she tells the story of losing her daughter at birth due to a rare condition.

Heart wrenching.

But she points out as well that each of us has a role to play in dealing with the pains we face.

You see, pain itself is not the enemy. Pain is inevitable in this bumper-car life where you will continue to collide with a fallen world that you cannot control. Unhealed pain, however, will become your greatest foe if your broken heart is not made whole again after each collision. And dearest friend, there is only One who can take the shattered pieces of your heart and put it back together so that it flourishes even in the worst situations.

Forgive me for posting another passage, but it’s so good.

As I’ve learned from my incredible therapist mother, when you’re living in wholeness with Jesus and your heart is thriving, you can be unshakeable, living fully alive in each moment, taking risks, trusting your heart, fully aware of what you love, remaining yourself in every circumstance, and adoring God with every part of your being. However, if your heart remains broken, even as a Christian you will experience consistent separation between your heart, soul, mind, and spirit that keeps you from living in joyful connection with God and others. –Christa Black Gifford, Heart Made Whole

echoThis is the wholeness at the center of the Gospel of Jesus! It’s not simply spiritual. It’s not only of physical benefit. It is mind, body, soul, and spirit. When all of that is in the hands of the Healer, you cannot be shaken even when pain beats down your door.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident. –Psalm 27:1-3

His light illuminates the pain. His salvation heals the brokenness. His love drives out the fear. You become a thriving, unshakeable force by His grace.

I certainly can’t say I’m there, but I want it. And I want it badly. Even six months ago, I don’t know that I would have believed it were possible, but here I am. God is so good. Pain won’t win.

How about you? What are your thoughts? Are you good at bringing unhealed pain to the Healer?

hmwWelcome to week 1 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. Pain is a symptom -- and it’s typical of us humans that we want to stop the pain, so we medicate. We forget that pain has a cause.

    • It’s so simple, but it feels more practical--sometimes more spiritual--to simply ignore it. Just turns out that’s a horrible thing to do! Thank you, Glynn.

  2. Fantastic thoughts Jason! Sounds like a book worth looking into.
    Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..12My Profile

    • Thanks Bill. I’m only a couple chapters in, but there are some great insights and reminders here that I feel like everyone can benefit from. Definitely check it out!

  3. Sounds like a great start to this book.
    We can’t avoid pain, but we can be healed. I’m learning to trust God with my pain. I look forward to this series and hope to get this book soon.

    • That would be great if you were able to read along. It’s emotional for sure, but filled with redemption. Thanks so much, TC!

  4. Wow. That is some serious wisdom! That’s how we know it’s our Father talking to us through someone else.

    As I was reading the song by Horatio Spafford came to mind, “It Is Well With My Soul”.

    Thanks for the reminder that peace is only gained on the inside and only through our Savior.

    • Such a powerful hymn! What a testimony. Thanks Floyd. Looking forward to more wisdom and more Holy Spirit change in me. 🙂

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