I remember that morning as I sat on the hospital bed, paging through a magazine, looking at all the beautiful women displayed in its pages. Today was going to be the day that all my prayers were answered.
I was only 16 years old. And at that point, at least four of those years were spent desperately looking for that one solution that could help me find peace. I had tried every diet fad, every appetite suppressant, every fat burning pill, the latest in exercise equipment. The results were short lived and always seemed to bring with it, an even heavier weight to carry.
Gastric bypass surgery was going to finally end the struggle! And I was going to be just as beautiful as those women in that glossy magazine. Well, that was what my teenage heart sincerely believed. Even after my parents spent months trying to talk me out of it and reluctantly gave their consent. I guess they too, were at the end of their rope.
Sadly, the surgery was not successful and added painful and embarrassing symptoms to a struggle that was already causing havoc to my mental health and self esteem. Four years later, I mustered up the courage to have the surgery reversed and it very nearly ended my life.
I was a mess. The harder I tried to fix myself, the bigger the problem became. Quite literally! I was completely focused on the wrong problem. My physical experience was actually a product of a broken heart. And there is only one Physician that specialises in that kind of surgery.
It would be many years later, that I discovered that real peace would come from heart surgery and not gastric bypass surgery. I had to let God into the mess, into the pain and dysfunction. He (and only He) has the skills to bring order and life to those broken places.
“Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar
and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart.” Psalm 3:5, The Passion Translation
Let me be real here! When His fire falls on my heart it hurts. There is nothing comfortable about it. It makes me feel things that I have been pushing down along with the sugar and carbs. And though at times it feels like I will be consumed, I know that once I’m left with the ashes, He will be able to make something beautiful out of them.
But this is the hope that I have found in all my seeking, in all the trying and failing: When I bring my mess to Him, every single piece of my broken heart will be restored to the masterpiece that was His original design.
My mess might be different from yours. Your heart’s pieces may have shattered in a different place. But I want to encourage you to push through the fear of coming to the Father. The One who formed you and knew you, before the foundations of the Earth were created.
His design for your life is magnificent. If you (and me) will allow Him to see behind the struggle. Open up your heart and let Him do what He does best.
Today I hear the Father whisper: “Beautiful Child, I am able to do for you, what you cannot do for yourself. Allow me into the broken places of your heart. Do not fear the fire of my Love, but allow it to purify you from every mark left by trauma, rejection, disappointment and pain. Come to me and hear about my plans for your life. Ask, and you will see the dreams I have for you. You have a beautiful destiny and a powerful purpose in My Kingdom. But most of all, you are loved.” ❤