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   There’s nothing like the pain of a broken heart. At the thought, most of us think of the worst times in our lives when we remember pain like that. Do you remember? Can you feel it beating hard, pumping strong, and aching within your chest? In contrast, when was the last time you welcomed a broken heart?

   Mine shattered within my own chest over two weeks ago at the words, “I love you–.” Those words, “I love you,” couldn’t have pained me or ministered to me more. Those words felt like they burst my heart into a million pieces. Even though I could hardly breath, I welcomed the crippling pain, knowing it was worth it.

   It broke ground. It exposed the tender places only those words could have. They ripped through an encrusted protective layer and made my heart vulnerable once again to someone I love. The tears rained down and nourished the soil of my heart. The flesh within me received every drop. God has given so much, loved so much, and extended more grace than I could possibly deserve in this life. What more could my full heart possibly receive without overwhelming or overcoming me?

   This last weekend, through a last minute and gracious invitation from my husband, I accepted a ticket to a women’s conference that tended what God had already begun. My broken heart, tilled by more words of love, truth, and mercy, allowed me to welcome what God wanted to fill to overflowing with His Living Water. Every salty tear watered the garden of my heart. They watered seeds waiting for just the right time to sprout and rise up. I was right where God wanted me last weekend to simply receive. I believe my garden needed the refilling of a rushing downpour after what has seemed a very long season. The tears, not only refreshed my aching heart last weekend, but His truth continues to cleanse it now.

   God is good. He’s moving. He’s tending the gardens and broken hearts of His people as I write tonight and you read this. He’s preparing us for our reunion, His radiant Bride, and telling us He loves us over and over again. He’s beautifying us! This past weekend, as I looked around at the crowd of women surrounding me, I was a witness to something profound. I witnessed women, who overcame unbelievable circumstances testify to God’s work and victory in their lives, His saving grace, and His incomprehensible mercy. I witnessed determined women trekking through snowstorm and gale, driving extra hours, risking their lives to gather for a God kind of nourishment. We all, with denominations aside, embraced the brokenness within our hearts and worshipped the one and only Giver of all things new.

   Today, I pray the heartache for our God never leaves us. As He readies His Bride, may He prepare our hearts to receive something only He can give today, only He can plant and grow within each of us. It’s something no other god holds the capability to give. May we welcome and receive His “I love you,” as our very own. We His eternal Bride, His Church saved by grace, must welcome brokenness. Yes, brokenness, defined as contriteness. My Life Application Study Bible’s commentary states, God wants a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. You can never please God by outward actions–no matter how good–if your inward heart attitude is not right. Are you sorry for your sin? Do you genuinely intend to stop? God is pleased with this kind of humility.”  We must surrender as we are, allowing our Gardner to do what He must to prepare us, even if the pain cuts deep. We must allow Him to do what He does best in perfect season, preparing within each of us the abundant harvest He deserves.

“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

Psalm 51:16 & 17

 

 

*Life Application Study Bible NIV, Tyndale House Publishers 2005*