Most of my life, I went around trying to show people that I had a heart of gold. I would go out of my way to do things for people, even when they did not ask and even at times when they did not want me to and even when I didn't really want to. My “heart of gold” was a bit of a dictator. It knew best. Or so it thought!
“Doing” is concrete to me. I like to do things for others because I love them. Frankly it is not wrong to do things for others.
BUT.......I needed to learn (still learning) that when I am doing, it is with no conditions attached. And further, it is with the heart for GOD, (not the desire to attain a heart of gold) that I am to love, help and assist those around me.
However, sometimes I get caught by doing, with conditions attached. And guess what? That dulls that golden shine!
In the past, I even had a mental “good deed” bank account. Perhaps you are familiar? It went like this. I helped someone with X, it went into the debit side. I assisted that same person with Y, also on the debit side. Then, I needed someone to help me. I asked, and notta! Heck, I had two debits and no credits! That is where the sulking and the anger entered.
So, here I am at 1 Corinthians 13:5 where it says that love is not self-seeking, easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.
An ongoing work of progress, I am. But it was getting very clear to me that I was “doing” to get some kudos (self-seeking) and when it did not go my way, I got mad (easily angered) and then the whole deed account (keeps record of no wrongs). Man oh man, I need to work on this!
In the sermon at my church this past Sunday, the Pastor spoke about the heart. Where is your heart? Do you have doubt in your heart? Do you have a believing heart? It made me really look at my heart. Ouch!
John 15:2 tells me that GOD is constantly changing me removing the bad and making the good even better (paraphrased). That is kind of what I was hearing in Sunday’s message.
For instance, I had to really examine my “doing and giving”. So, I said to myself, “Deni, do you want a heart of gold or do you want a heart for GOD?”
Old habits, sheesh!
A new path of changing and growing in the “doing” department. I had to really examine myself and my motives.
For instance, I had a big Easter gathering. And I just had to have it my way! But of course, look at all I am doing! Cooking dinner, having egg hunts, serving dinner…….. and then since I thought I was “doing” all of this, the participants first HAD to participate and secondly, HAD to do it the way I wanted them to do it. Oh yeah and they all HAD to laugh and have a great time!
Let me tell you, GOD was showing me lots! In order for you to shine those ugly parts, you have to see them, recognize them, realize they are an issue and then with the LORD’s help, change them…. Hmmmm, sounds like the serenity prayer a bit.
With all this being said, it was not all bad. Easter was great and I was amazingly blessed! I didn’t want to leave you with this picture of me running around beating people into submission because I wasn’t getting my way.
I am also blessed that my relationship with GOD is deep enough that I hear HIM direct me, correct me and prod me in the right direction. Each day, as in John 15:2, I will become even more fruitful and have a great heart for GOD!
Thank YOU JESUS ❤
I can be an emotional hoarder! Past hurts piling up to overflowing like an over-stuffed closet!
You know what happens when you keep filling a closet up beyond its capacity? It busts open, may even break.
What do you think happens when we do the same with our hurts? Or our sins? Yep! They break us!
Growing up where there was much importance placed on presenting a front to the neighbors; I learned quickly how to put on a mask. Even if I was hurting or being hurt, I just held on and it in.
This carried on through my later years. Eventually, I lost me in the shuffle. That is what happens when you pretend. It gets buried and stuffed in that emotional closet.
Something bad happened; put it in that closet- I hurt someone - yep, in the closet; someone hurt me; in the closet it went.... you get it..I heard recently how there are layers on an onion. And working through your past hurts, hang-ups and habits is like peeling the onion.
I realize that I have one big onion and a closet stuffed to the brim!
So that is where confession is needed. When I heard that word at first, I thought it meant sitting in a little box with a secret man sitting on the other side and you said those words "Father, forgive me for I have sinned"...
And it is true I do confess to my FATHER GOD, and we need to do that - it is also good to share it with a trusted friend of GOD! "Trust" is the key word! Don't just go around speaking it all over! That does nothing but provide juicy gossip and complaining.
Little by little I am seeing the real me emerge. It is like me saying "Deni, meet Deni". It is scary. It is even awkward at my age not really knowing the real me.
However, I have a strong and loving FATHER, who lets me know "Come on out child, you are safe now"!
Thank YOU JESUS ❤
I don't like feeling or being vulnerable. I put a lot of energy into making sure I am not! Illusion!!!!
Safety has been a very common theme in my lifetime or lack thereof.
Somewhere along my travels through my days here on earth, something, someone, and an accumulate of occurrences left me feeling open and unsafe.
That lack of feeling safe did not begin to leave until I let go and fell into the arms of JESUS.
Aha moment yesterday! In an effort to create the illusion of providing safety over me and mine; it appears that what I actually did was create fear in those I love. What I thought was meant for good, ended up having bad effects.
This is a hard one for me! I feel and actually see a scared little girl buried deep within. And GOD is telling her, "it is safe now, Deni, come out- I will give you rest".
Rest? I didn't get it! Here is the aha! It is exhausting being on watch all the time! Ready to fight- run- react!!
I know my story. At least I thought. Now I understand better that all of it was for HIS glory!
Once there was a little girl with big dark eyes. She was intense from a tiny little tike. She had a dad and a mom who cared for her so. They covered her in protection. So much so that she didn't feel safe anywhere else! When she left that safety, her heart beat rapidly, she swallowed the fear as best she could. Even leaving for seconds caused a deep yearning to get back to that safety.
Forward, 50+ years and she is learning that the only safe place is in JESUS arms!
Thank YOU JESUS for gently showing me that I am ok, I will be ok, and everything is going to be ok! ❤️
I am Deni, short for Denise. I grew up in a Jewish home, in a Jewish neighborhood and a Jewish family. In 3rd grade we moved. We moved to a mostly non-Jewish area.... that is where JESUS found me. I say found me because I yet had not acknowledged it, but would find out later.......by grace, HE HELD ME ALL ALONG, just a lil Jewish girl from Philly.