Soft Hearts vs. Hard hearts

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday; thanks for all your good wishes. And I got what I asked as my birthday present, but it’s been quite a road this week, quite a learning experience.

I don’t even remember asking for the new heart God gave me two weeks ago, just realizing that I needed it because mine was hard. But after I gave Him my anger and resentment for confronting me instead of my husband, things changed dramatically. I was amazed. I thought and felt completely different. Maybe it was just toward him, but it seemed that in everything I felt and thought completely differently. What a difference a soft heart made!

Even he said I was so different, so much nicer to live with, and usually if I share about a healing I’ve had, he tells me that it hasn’t made any difference. I’ve always blown that off because it feels different inside. When I learned how much God wants to heal us by telling us the truth for our lies, 16 years ago, I was amazed at the difference each one brought. Now, asking for His truth has become so commonplace I often don’t notice the feeling change. That’s sad. I should take more notice (at least 30 seconds!) of those good changes.

But this new heart thing–wow! What a difference! For 9 days I felt like all of my motives and feelings and actions were coming from a different place. It was like having an emotional heart transplant. Almost like being a different person.

And then we hit a rough patch. We were redoing our kitchen counters and backsplash, and I even did the hard measuring and cutting parts while he was at the gym because I know how he hates that part, and we had done so well working together, I didn’t want to risk it. We decided the counter needed sanding as recommended, but we hadn’t read that the sealer needed 7 days to cure, and it went through to the primer. So far we’re ok, until I try to fix it.

I knew it should be done one way and he knew it should be done another. I had painted it so I KNEW. He used to be a painter, so he KNEW. Of course it ended up that we were both wrong, but the way we handled it was not good. He got angry and I got hard.

That is how I have always coped with his anger. Step back and do what I know is right. It’s good in theory. It has helped keep me in our marriage, but the cost to our relationship and my heart has been terrible. It had almost become like stone with rightness. (Self-righteousness!) What a revelation that has been!

In one day’s time I went to my old ways of thinking and feeling. Talk about sad! I was despairing. “What happened to my wonderful soft heart, Lord?” I didn’t want to hear that I had hardened it, but that is what I heard.

Then I became intent on getting it back. I spent all the next day asking for a new heart again. I knew He would give it. It’s in scripture. Also, that anything we need He will supply if we ask.

Plus, 33 years ago I had visited my friend’s church, and someone had come off of the platform and prophesied over me that God would take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). I didn’t know or trust these people, and, frankly, was insulted. Everyone else said it was a long beautiful prophecy, but that was all I heard of it–probably because my heart was hard with fear!

So now I know what it means to have a heart of flesh–a soft heart! And He told me on my birthday it was my gift. But I also know how easily I can harden it again. Choices are so important. We, mostly, have no idea how important.

 

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