And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:19-20
As I have been growing closer and closer to God in my walk, I have come to realize just how hard my heart can be sometimes. There are so many places where He has healed me, breathed His Spirit into my stony heart, and brought it back to life. But for every layer of stone He chips away, there always seems to be another one lurking in the shadows.
From childhood, in the various less than pleasant experiences I journeyed through, I allowed walls to form, barriers that I believed to be protective built around my heart to allow no one fully inside; woundedness and sin the cement that held the stones in place.
That stony heart made true connection impossible. I didn’t want to show my weakness, reveal my vulnerabilities. I didn’t want to let anyone in to see my shortcomings, my struggles, my pain. I didn’t want to let anyone close enough to see that I didn’t always have it completely together, especially in those moments when I was actually falling apart.
In keeping myself closed off, I wouldn’t even let the One who could actually help soften me, near enough to foster healing. My past hurts, my past failings were just too scary to approach again. I thought I had sufficiently swept them under the carpet, but time and time again, there they were again knocking at my door.
I eventually realized that when I gave God permission to delve into my heart, when I gave myself permission to listen to Truth and to make the choice to forgive, I didn’t need to be scared of what had been anymore. I realized I was allowed to be free, and that was what God wanted so much for me that He gave His Son to be made sacrifice for my life.
Often the lies that turned my heart to stone scream loudly; but even in His still, calm voice, God is able to bathe my heart in love, grace, and mercy. His Truth soaks into the stone, and that river of Truth cleans off the propaganda of the enemy and replaces it with Himself, His Spirit, His Life.
With each layer of stone that God crumbles away, new flesh is brought to the surface and new freedom is released in my heart. I choose to allow myself to be open, honest, and vulnerable. I choose to obey the One who ushered in liberty, the One who gave me unconditional and everlasting love.
I choose God, just as He chose me.
Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.