Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain Into Your Greatest Strength

Heart Made Whole (Zondervan, 2016)

Christa Black Gifford — worldwide speaker, worship leader, and songwriter — penned her second book, Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain Into Your Greatest Strength, in 2016.  Since pain never goes away on its own, you must feel, embrace, and bring that pain to the Healer.  For as long as pain coexists with you, its high maintenance tendencies keep you from enjoying life.  Hence, Ms. Gifford exhorts, choose to turn around and run toward the pain.  In addition, give Jesus access to every locked, forgotten space in your heart.  Only Jesus can take the shattered pieces of your life and put it back together, so it flourishes even in the worst situations.  Most noteworthy, the very place of deepest pain miraculously becomes the starting point of your heart’s greatest healing.

Next, Christa defines this deepest pain, aka trauma, as any place in your heart where your pain stays greater than your joy.  However, this creates a significant problem.  Most of us have no idea how to repair trauma when part of us remains damaged.  Also, it doesn’t matter whether the trauma results from the absence of something or from abusive punches.  Ultimately, though, the pain you fail to deal with eventually requires your immediate attention.  Yet, your created heart is never your enemy.  It hold the contents of the real you formed at conception.  To transform your life you must first allow your heart to transform.  Because God created your heart to flourish in surrender – rebuilt by grace and occupied by love.

Therefore, when the pain designed to help you becomes the kind of pain that harms you, it’s time to confront it head on.  But, Christa questions, when you go through trial, do you put God on trial in response?  For either we guard our hearts from God in doubt and distrust, or peace guides our hearts through Christ.  Thus, when tragedy strikes we must anchor our hearts in God’s goodness – or we lower out theology to match our pain.  God’s always intended to bind up your heart, making it undivided and whole.  So when you sign a cease-fire within, it allows your heart to move from constant war into deep rest.  Jesus pulls the broken in close, knowing that only love covers and heals the naked heart.

Finally, the author underscores, while the head might know, it’s the heart that believes.  As the Father gazes into your broken heart, He sees a place of amazing potential for miracles.  Not a hopeless mess beyond repair.  Furthermore, you find true freedom only when you bring every part of your heart into the light.  In the process, your focus shifts from your problem to the solution – handing the problem to Jesus.  As Ms. Gifford stresses, building your heart capacity with Jesu represents the most important thing you can do in life.  And you move toward a heart made whole as you live a life of encounter with Jesus.  To find joy in every situation, simply choose to engage your heart with Jesus, over and over again.

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Dave Henning

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