How God Can Make You Whole Again
- Christa Black Gifford
- 2016 10 Jun
PAIN CAN BE HEALED
You can’t control the storms that pound against the walls of your inner realm, but you can control whether or not your heart chooses to become a shelter of peace during those storms. You can’t control your parents’ decision to divorce, but you can choose whether or not your heart grows bitter and cold. You can’t control that you don’t have a job, but you can choose whether or not you move into anxiety or stay steady with trust. You can’t control the betrayal of a spouse, but your heart can choose to forgive. The space inside of your heart is the only place where you will ever have full ownership and authority. You are the guardian of your heart, and as the final say over your inner realm, you’re the only one who can decide what happens next.
At this very moment, your life is the sum total of all the choices you have made, because you’re the only one who can make them. You can either choose to surrender your heart to pain monsters, or to a Healer who died to make everything whole.
As I sit in a coffee shop writing these pages just five months after losing my daughter to a condition I didn’t even know existed, called anencephaly, I have already had three people stop by my table and ask with genuine concern, “How are you really doing, Christa?”
When people have asked me this, most of them expect me to lie, rambling off the cliché answer, “Oh, I’m fine,” to try to avoid an awkward moment. Some might think I will clam up and change the subject, or possibly even burst into tears. And when the uncontrollable tears do flow from time to time, I’m never ashamed of them. But today, and every day since my Luca Gold left my life to head home and be with Jesus, when asked this question, a part of my heart has been able to answer in a remarkable way that I never thought possible.
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“Today is the most painful day of my life, but my heart is still thriving.”
Some might think I’m being irreverent after tragically losing my daughter. It’s assumed that having feelings of true peace and even joy in the fire must mean I’ve cloaked myself in some sort of self-protective denial in order to survive. But I have learned the hard way that pain doesn’t just go away, even when you turn your back on it.
This time around, with this level of heartache over losing my daughter, I’ve been determined to try a new approach.
I have chosen to turn around and run towards the pain. Like a young boy named David facing an enormous giant, I have chosen to take on the monster named Pain. I have thrown my arms around this current suffering and all the hardships that come with it and have made a commitment to feel everything as the heavy emotions of grief, anger, hurt, and loss steamroll over my soul on a daily basis. I have pledged to learn everything I can inside this fire to equip me to overcome future flames. I have invited the refining nature of extreme heat to consume everything in my heart that keeps me broken.
And I will never turn my back on the pain of losing my daughter. She deserves better than that.
In this very moment, I’m standing inside the most agonizing moments of my life, knowing that if I don’t continue to deal with the pain that accompanies this trauma, it will destroy my heart and cripple me for years to come. So each day I choose to confront the reality that I will never hear my daughter’s sweet little voice, or watch her crawl for the first time, or drop her off at school and wave good-bye, or feel her soft dark curls between my fingers as she falls asleep, nestled safely under my chin. And when I sit down in the hottest fire of my life, the unexpected happens: The very place of my deepest pain miraculously becomes the starting point of my heart’s greatest healing.
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.
After years of living as a Christian with a broken, bleeding heart that continued to spew out all sorts of unpleasant things, I finally uncovered a mine of precious jewels that seemed too good to be true, but actually was true. And it began with a Holy Spirit–guided journey to the center of my truest self—the heart that Jesus loved so much that He died to live inside of it. I realized that in order to find out what it meant to live each moment from my inheritance of wholeness, I needed to learn how to let the Healer make me whole. And in order to do that, I had to let Him have full access to every emotion, every trauma and shameful truth.
I couldn’t hide my wounded heart and expect it to heal. I couldn’t neglect my feelings and expect them to change. I had to surrender, hold tightly to the hand of my Savior, and turn around to face the overwhelming mess. I had to allow Love to start pouring into my inner self to cast out all my fear—turning my heart into the home it was created to be.
It’s time for every part of your heart to be loved into wholeness.
Christa Black Gifford is a dynamic worldwide speaker, worship leader, and bestselling songwriter. Years ago while touring as a musician with The Jonas Brothers, Christa began blogging to provide resources for those broken by the pain of life, leading them into wholeness of heart and intimacy with God. Her first book, God Loves Ugly, was released in 2010.
Publication date: June 10, 2016