Being the blessed mother of two active and adventurous girls, I daily, sometimes hourly, have the chance to pray and bandage battle scars. My eldest daughter, Eiley, severely cut her foot while playing and it has a left a little scar. What I realized is, it’s been months since that happened, but we are still doing everything we can in hopes that scar won’t stay forever. Think about it; being diligent to prevent scars after a cut or surgery or even after pregnancy is common. But, when it comes to wounds of the heart, are we that dedicated to prevent scarring or are we more determined to let the hurt of the wound define who we are?
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)
Thinking about this scripture has caused me to evaluate my own heart. I want to share with you what I discovered in my own evaluation. I saw minor cuts and scrapes that I treated like gashes. I saw bruises that I handled like an incurable disease. Most importantly, I saw myself through the eyes of those battle scars rather than through eyes of hope. When we don’t know who we are in Christ and who we have been made to be, then of course we look in the mirror and see what the enemy convinces us to see. We must shut off of the lies of the devil’s narration that plays in our minds and discover what God, our heavenly Father, originally said. There’s no time like the present to stop letting the wounds of the past rob us from the life God intended for us to enjoy now!
If a complete stranger began telling me all the awful things my dad said about me, do you think I would immediately sink into a pit of depression because of those words? NO WAY! I would probably very calmly and maturely explain to them the truth…Who am I kidding; I wouldn’t respond that way. There is absolutely NO WAY I would believe them! There’s no doubt in my mind what my earthly Father thinks toward me. And to think, in just seconds the devil tells one tiny lie and immediately we believe him instead of the heart of our heavenly Father.
How do we fight off the enemy’s lies? How do we find healing for our hearts, to let the past go and truly enjoy this life?
A couple of months ago, I was really struggling with a past “cut” that I have carried throughout my life. I didn’t realize how much it had become a part of who I was. So, I called my dad with tears racing down my face, tired of struggling, tired of hurting. I wasn’t calling him to find restoration. Instead, I was admitting defeat. For the first time in my life, I uttered the words “I want to quit”. In all his wisdom, his words were, “Aubrey, I don’t have an answer for all of that except to turn your eyes on Jesus. That’s where your help comes from.” I was so irritated with that answer. I wanted a real answer like, “You need to give them a piece of your mind”, or, “you have every right to hurt.” I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I trusted him.
All I could think to do was to start singing the song,
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
I sang that over and over. The more I THOUGHT on Jesus the less I THOUGHT about the hurt. I discovered the power of a single thought. My thoughts changed when my words changed. My words changed when my heart changed. “…What you say flows from what’s in your heart” (Luke 6:45, NLT)
For so long, I’ve been focused on the wound instead of restoration. Have you ever noticed children really love to show off their scrapes and bruises? They are proud of them, even after they’re healed. How often do we do the same with the wounds of our heart? The good news is that all it takes is a choice; a choice to put different glasses on to see life differently. Choosing to turn our eyes onto Jesus is like getting the right prescription, enabling our eyes to see what they’ve been missing all along. However, it’s not a one-time choice, but daily. Proverbs 4:23 in the New American Standard version says, “watch over your heart with all diligence.” There will always be opportunity for new hurts, or feelings of past ones to resurface, but it’s up to us how we will guard our heart. When we guard our heart, we determine what goes through our mind and out our mouth.
A lot of my life has been spent comparing myself to others–physically, spiritually, monetarily and anything else that could be compared. That mindset was always a set up for disappointment and condemnation because there was never satisfaction in who I was in Christ. As the Lord is continuing to open my eyes regarding this subject, I’ve experienced freedom realizing so much of my time was spent speaking things over myself that weren’t true and believing my own lies. I placed little to no value on who I was to others but more importantly my eyes were blinded from seeing how much God not just loved me, but genuinely valued me. It goes without saying that there are many people, and it might be safe to say, everybody has had thoughts like, “I’m not good enough” or “why doesn’t my life look like theirs”. But I am here to tell you, the moment you realize that God not only unconditionally loves you, values you and NEEDS you, you won’t be wishing for someone else’s body, life, abilities, or anointing’s because you are confident in the fact that He is confident in YOU! Be confident in who He has made YOU to be. He wouldn’t have equipped you if He didn’t need you (Hebrews 13:21, NLT). There is nobody else on the planet that is better at you than you. Which means you would make a terrible someone else. We aren’t here to impress people or even ourselves, we are here to serve and be Jesus in every way possible. I believe in you. Jesus believes you are something wonderful.
Imagine what would happen if we believed the truth as quickly as we believe a lie. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE.” Freedom comes with knowing God! We can live life freely, succeeding and thriving in all God calls us to do, by simply believing His Word. He made a promise in Isaiah 61:3 that He would “give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” It is always better for us when we trade our weakness for His strength. This is not necessarily a physical act, but we SAY with our mouth, “God, I am giving You my thoughts, I would like Yours instead!” By doing that, we are making the greatest exchange. Remember, Satan comes immediately to steal to the Word so it’s vital to our victory that we constantly make the choice to believe the truth. We can’t fight our thoughts with thoughts. We must declare with our mouth the truth and that is when freedom takes over.
As much as my girls would love it, we don’t have a castle made of ice like Elsa, but we do have a throne of Grace that we can come to, take our past, hurts, fears and rejection, and boldly LET IT GO!
– by Aubrey Oaks, daughter of Pastors George and Terri Pearsons and granddaughter of Kenneth & Gloria Copeland.