By Deborah Kendrick
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 130: 23 & 24
My life continues to become easier as I remind myself of this very simple truth: God loves me too much to leave me as I am. Sometimes He will even break my heart.
But when we learn to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit in that broken-heartedness, our lives are transformed. We offer our shattered hearts to God and welcome Him to reveal those hidden places of darkness to us in order that He may also change us.
Recently, Jesus’ voice spoke in the stillness of my heart: I am always leading My people . . . You think I am leading you to success. . . I am leading you to My Heart. In the moment of His whisper, a door of understanding opened for me. We often perceive His purposes through the lens of our own desires, and believe He is leading us to success. When we hit that heart-breaking bump on the road of life, we accuse ourselves of failure. But that bump may be there to keep us from going the wrong way or even to encourage us to turn around. Those are the moments when it is fortifying to remember that He loves us too much to leave us as we are. Bumps on the road of life, like speed bumps on the roads we drive, are there to guide us.
Steve Largent, a professional football player and committed Christian, held three NFL records when he retired in 1989. Afterwards he was elected to four terms as a Representative from Oklahoma to the U. S. Congress. Following the bidding and leading of the Lord, he also ran for governor of Oklahoma. He lost. When he sought the Lord, asking if he had missed God’s purpose and direction, he received this answer: I asked you to run; I did not ask you to win. Success is not the only way we win. We also win by losing, especially heart-breaking losses. Steve knew how to win, but God wanted to reveal something to him through losing.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it;
But whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Mathew 16: 25
When our hearts break, we come to know the only One who comforts, heals and brings lasting peace. These are the times when life is not easy, but they are also the times that make us.
I am reminded of a story. Two maestros were marveling at the voice of the new young soprano. “She has the voice of an angel; it is as if heaven opens when she sings,” said the younger maestro. “As yes,” replied the older one. “She sings beautifully, but she will sing even more beautifully when her heart is broken.”
The essence of Divinity flows into and out of humanity’s brokenness.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to a saint who paid the price with his heart and life. In our world today, there is an epidemic of unhealed broken hearts, with many consumed by their own anxious thoughts to the point of panic and with disappointments deep enough to sink into depression. May we, as Jesus Himself declared in a synagogue in Nazareth, pray that those suffering would on this Valentine’s Day reach out to Him.
The 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 the captives and freedom to prisoners;
And to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. . . Isaiah 61: 1-2a
Jesus is still binding up the brokenhearted. He is the King of Hearts.
Holy Spirit, You are always working in our hearts, revealing us to ourselves . . . purifying us that we may see God. We are forever grateful for Your abiding presence. Continue Your divine work of creating a pure heart in us. Amen
About the author:
Deborah Kendrick came into the Catholic Church in 2011 through her interaction with Catholics in ecumenical meetings though out Europe, where she was a conference speaker and led retreats for twenty years. During her testimony, she says, “The French Catholics just loved me into the Church.” Deborah’s heart is to see people know and receive the love God has for them which encompasses a New Pentecost for the new evangelization. “God is calling us closer in this hour. Open hearts bring an open Heaven.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artwork used with permission. All rights reserved.