Every woman, who may confidently count herself a daughter of the Most High God, does so because of the love of God expressed in flesh and bone Jesus spread wide on a cross. Over two thousand years ago, Jesus came to and for us. On account of His great love for us He came to destroy sin and the efficacy of its work, so that in Him we could come to live an abundant life. (1 John 3:8).
An abundant life is one characterized by love: it is patient, kind, protective, faithful and hopeful, not envious, proud, self-seeking, easily angered and unforgiving. (1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8). It is from our abundance in Him that we are called to bless others. Freely we have received and freely we give. (Ephesians 4:32). Yet, in spite of this awareness of our call to a generous life of love, we struggle.
Often we can’t love because of how we, leave unprocessed, an offense done to us by someone. Unforgiveness blocks our spiritual arteries, which supply our heart with the experience of the perfect atoning work of Jesus’ blood, and leaves us in the grip of the strongholds of bitterness, anger and resentment. In this state of unforgiveness, the enemy of our souls succeeds at stealing and destroying what is rightfully ours in Jesus Christ: righteousness, peace, love and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17). We are free, yet living as captives. (Matthew 18: 21 - 35). We are in the midst of having a spiritual heart attack!
I am a survivor of a spiritual heart attack. For years I struggled with unforgiveness towards my ex-husband. No matter how hard I tried and prayed, I just couldn’t align my heart with God’s command to forgive. I would turn slightly to the way of forgiveness, only to find myself right back at square one. Where was the progress? Where was the resolution? How could I enter it?
It took me years to move forward in obedience because of my expectation of an apology. I had resolved that until he confessed his wrongdoing, I would not and could not forgive him. Even with prayer, I would find it difficult to see him-even to hear others speak of him. My unforgiveness left the door of my heart open to being triggered. I was unsafe. My heart was ensnared. Beyond the “chance” encounters and conversations about him, he continued to provoke me to anger by the things he said publicly. How was I supposed to forgive him!
I knew that as long as I was unwilling to forgive him, I would not experience the peace of God that I really wanted.
One day I became ill with severe abdominal pain. Upon close examination by a medical professional, it was determined that I had a small perforation in my intestine, which required my admission to the hospital for possible surgical intervention. But, God is faithful and a healer. I did not need surgery because it was found that the area had already begun to heal on its own.
Upon reflection, I have come to realize that the sickness of my heart had manifested itself (through stress, tension and all the ways in which I tried to cope) as physical sickness. What a wakeup call! At the sound of the spiritual alarm, I sought the healing that God offers His children through confession in Christ-centered community, and then I gave God my broken pieces. (James 5:16). I gave Him my heart. And what I gave, He healed.
Today, I am free of unforgiveness. Today, I am a faithful steward of the grace of God towards me. Today, I see him as a son of the same God I call Father. Today, I see him as one created in the image of the One I endeavor to love. I love Him the same way Christ loves me. And all this is a gift from the Father of Lights, who liberated and healed me. (James 1:17).
I close with a question posed to me, while attending the Healthy Church 2020 Conference in November of 2017, by Pastor Dharius Daniels: “Can you accept the Blood of Jesus Christ as full and satisfactory payment for what others did to you”? (Healthy Churches 2020 Conference 11/18/2017, “Danger of a Heart Attack”).
Stop waiting for an apology from someone else that’s too broken or too proud to see that they hurt you. Take your brokenness to the Lord, confess your anger, resentment and ask Him to heal you on the inside. Jesus has the power to heal your heart.
Happy temple building!
Note: Today's post, along with all others in this month's series focused on heart health, were written by our Medical Advisor, Jeanette Bailey. We thank God for her and look forward to the many ways in which she will bless EarthBasic's Be-Held Community in the sharing of her overflow in Christ Jesus.
Jeanette Bailey is a believer in Jesus Christ, who believes that health, wellness, healing and wholeness is obtainable with a Christ-centered and evidence based medically sound approach. Her life's mission is to help individuals, families and communities
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together. She is excited about this addition to the Be-Held Community, which will provide practical, sustainable, Christ-centered and well researched resources to support women in cultivating a life of holistic self-care: spirit, soul, and body.