I wrote a book a few years ago. Paid to have it edited, began working on the edits and then one day, never went back to it. The man who edited my book said to me, “Kandace, your book is good but most of it is you processing your pain.” When I wrote the book, I was still working on some anger issues, feeling residual shame and was tempted to “prove my repentance.” I still battled with wanting people to know I wasn’t as bad as some people believed I was. Though true repentance comes with it a longing to be trusted again, true repentance will also keep us on the narrow path if no one ever trusts us again…because true repentance is first about being right with God and restored by His healing.
I looked up my book today…ha, I actually forgot what I named it. (Uncommon Mercy) I have some sisters who I dearly love who are on the operating table of emotional heart surgery right now. I wanted to encourage them. I wanted to remind that God was giving them a new heart, a healed heart and a heart that would love like never before. I copied and pasted part of my book and sent it to them AND now I am placing it in this blog for you. Maybe you can personally relate…maybe it will give you words for what you are currently experiencing… or maybe you know someone who is deep in sorrow over personal failure and could use some encouragement?
I’m no longer in the same place I was in when I first wrote this. I am so convinced Jesus loves me and has given me all I need, I have nothing to lose in loving those who will never trust me again. All of life has become a gift. Mercy has and continues to wake me up in the mornings. I look at my husband, kids and grandkids and explode on the inside with joy and thankfulness. I wish I would have always done that. I wish I didn’t have to lose so much to see what I had…but I don’t regret staying on the operating table of a very painful emotional heart surgery. I don’t regret asking Jesus to do whatever He needs to do. I wouldn’t take back that painful time because it healed me, changed me and made me love life and the people in it like never before.
I was still in deep mourning over my sin and its many losses. I didn’t understand why the Lord would have me attend a conference that was a visible reminder that I had sold out. I could do nothing. I watched these women in their passion while I mourned the loss of forfeiting my own. I texted my husband and told him I was a selfish mess. He quickly responded and said, “Kandace, pray for these women. Pray for the Lord to strengthen them in their calls. Pray they will stay humble in it.” So pray I did. Somewhere in that prayer time, this picture came to me in my mind and I journaled it:
I was lying on an operating table. I could see my chest had been cut wide open and I saw His hands. They were bloody and full of movement. I could not tell exactly what He was doing but I knew He was repairing my heart. In fact, at one point, I saw His hands holding my heart in my chest. He asked me if I wanted Him to continue. How could I not? He instructed me that if I would only lie still, it would not be as painful or take as long. I had no reason not to believe Him for He had never lied to me before.
Yet, the pain during the operation seemed unbearable at times. It was a pain that nothing I could do or say would alleviate the intensity of. It was the deepest sorrow I had yet experienced in my forty-two years. I had no one to blame and I had no one to rescue me except the One whose hands were the source of the pain I was feeling. Although I did not see His face, His hands told me He was determined. Part of me wanted to get up and run. Then I remembered the words of Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” I surrendered. It was only because I had not surrendered to begin with that caused me to need this heart surgery in the first place.
Jesus was speaking to me. In His kindness, He showed me what was taking place. Right in the middle of a conference where I was watching women fulfill the call of God on their lives, it sank in deep that I would not be doing anything but surrendering to heart surgery.
Though I agreed to stay on the operating table, I desperately wanted Him to give me something to numb the pain. Emotional pain is real. The heart has feelings and when it’s been ravaged by sin, it feels exhausted and tormented. Only God can see the heart, and only He can bring emotional healing to it. There are no pills that will take care of the root of emotional pain, though some try using them for that purpose. And I understand why.
If you are in the middle of heart surgery, I want you to know that Jesus knows what He is doing. There were times things did not make sense to me. I spent too much time trying to unravel in my mind how I ended up denying Jesus with my actions. I wanted to understand every little twist and turn I took. I wanted answers for many things that were happening, but more often than not, my answer was to be still and let the Great Physician do what He does best. Answers may or may not come, but one thing is for sure: if you are God’s child, He will never leave you and that will be enough.