My journey from pain to freedom has been a hard but rewarding one. It certainly was not a cake-walk and there have been many times where I have wanted to throw in the towel and to give into running to what the world has to offer to fill the void of pain and hurt in my heart. However, there was one thing above all else that kept me from making this destructive decision in my life, His Love. Whether that Love was expressed towards me though His Mercy, His Kindness, or His Peace, I have always found that no matter what the struggle, or how poorly I see myself, or beat myself up over things I can’t shake or control, Jesus has always been standing there next to me to pull me out of the muck I have gotten myself into, or the sinful habits that seemed to consume my life. It is the wounds in my heart that caused a self-hatred, where no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t live the way I wanted to for God. There was always some fear, sin, or lack of trust in Him that prevented my from making the choice to follow Him where He wanted to go with me. I hated myself for being unable to follow Him into the places of risk. I hated myself for knowingly grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit, because I chose not to trust Him with my pain, because my heart wasn’t being healed on my time table. I created this time table because of my self-hatred and saw no value in myself unless I could live rightly with Jesus. So. because I put this pressure on myself, the pace at which God wanted to heal me was not sufficient for me, because the person who I was during the healing process, I hated and needed to be fixed immediately. I began to see myself as the useless son of God, that wasn’t able to follow God past my comfort zone. As my self-loathing grew, so did my pain and wounds in my heart. I needed some way to fill the pain, so I ran back to things in the world to cope with the deep hole in my heart. I felt rejected by God because I wasn’t healed quick enough to be part of what God was doing now. I felt left out on the sidelines, like a bastard son that is tolerated because of the blood of Jesus.
The whole premise of this state of being was based on the lie that I needed to be doing the exploits of God for Him to accept and approve of me. I knew He Loved me, but a part of me still believed that He had to Love me because of what Jesus did on the cross, not because He necessarily wanted to. This whole skewed way of being and thinking sent me into a downward spiral that seemed to have no bottom, and seemed impossible for God to rescue me from.
At the tail end of this journey, I noticed God was changing things in my heart, and for a season I flip-flopped back and forth towards knowing God accepted me to me beating myself up for needing so much heart maintenance and being seemingly not able to choose to trust God and move forward with Him. Why the heck am I such a broken mess? It is always about me!!!! I am tired of it being about me. I want my heart changed and healed so that I am free to Love like my Father, Loving and being about bringing freedom to other people. I was disgusted with myself, and felt extremely needy towards God. Obviously, no matter what state we are in we will always be needy towards God, but I saw it as me being insecure and a person that just sucks the energy out of all the angels around me and God. When I didn’t see quick results through my encounters with God, I thought, “there is something wrong with me” and I began to be disgusted with myself even more.
It wasn’t until I watched an Andres Bisonni video(shared below) that highlighted Jesus’ heart for healing the brokenhearted and how Jesus sought the man of the Gadarians across an entire sea to set Him free, that I saw more deeply into the heart of Jesus. He always has wanted to heal me, and as quickly as possible. But in my current state, if my heart was freed of my burden, I would still have my significance and value tied to the amount of exploits God did through me. It was encountering Jesus at a deeper level, His heart for the broken, the hurting, and the dying that set me free.
1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
18The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
3He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Jesus proclaimed when He started His ministry on Earth, one of His primary reasons for walking the Earth was to bring peace, healing, and true freedom to the brokenhearted and the oppressed. According to Him, it is the whole reason that the Holy Spirit came upon Him. It is the heart of God to bring healing, freedom, and deliverance that only he could bring. It is why He states it so many times throughout the history of man’s interactions with God on the Earth. It is clear that He truly does want to heal and free us, but not so we can do more exploits for Him, but to truly be free to Love and be Loved by Him.
He is not expecting fruit from us when we are not attached/abiding to the vine(Jesus, His Love for us)
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
According to this, the only way to produce fruit is for your heart to be connected to Him, trusting Him fully for your healing and what you need. All of our efforts to receive healing must die, and we simply surrender our need to be healed on a time table other then God’s. We surrender the legal contract that holds God hostage to His Word to heal us, when He fully intends to and already has a plan to bring us into wholeness. It is only through His Love that I have found what I need to actually trust Him with this. Not even our ability to trust Him with our healing process comes from us, but completely by encountering His Love(For me, my encounter with Jesus and Him freeing the demoniac).
I wonder how many others struggle with this, wanting to see God’s power move more through their lives, but not able to trust God because of a disappointment in not seeing God move in a time of need, only able to attribute the lack to themselves, developing a self-loathing, that they aren’t doing enough, they haven’t prayed enough, they haven’t read enough scripture, they don’t have enough trust in God. It is the easiest thing to believe that this is why there is lack. If only I did A, B, and C, then God would surely approve of me and move through me. But this will not get your heart to a place of knowing God’s heart where He can move through you. The truth is, God wants to move in power, but through people who truly know His heart for them and for others: the person who sees His heart in going across a whole sea to free one man, the person that sees his heart when he is willing to leave the rest of the sheep behind to save one lost sheep, the person who sees his heart of love and compassion for a widow in Nain(Luke 7) and raises her only remaining son from the dead. It is the person who sees that Jesus’ heart is truly to bind up our broken hearts, free the captives and afflicted, and bring healing.
I wasn’t able to fully see this part of Jesus’ heart until I was able to realize, embrace, and experience that part of His heart for me. It is something that is repeated much in the church I attend over and over again, to the point where my bitter heart made it seem cliché to me. But it really is true. Abiding in the vine(His Love) and trusting Him to bring freedom and fruit into your life is the only way to truly be free.
I look forward to resting at His feet, completely relying on Him and going deeper with Jesus, Holy Spirit, and my Father to experience and release His Love for me and for others in the coming days. These verses below highlight how we will get there.
26My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Here is the Andres Bisonni video I mentioned, Enjoy!