Monday, September 12, 2011

The State of My Heart

I wrote this in the middle of the night, but I saved it for publishing so that I could link up with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood. After you read my post, please go over there and visit. See what the other sisters have to offer!

As I was getting ready for this week, I decided to change purses, which of course means lots of rearranging (for me, anyway). Hubby walked in the room and said that he thought all women should only have one purse. What a disappointment. I thought I trained him better than that!

Anyway... I found something that needed to go in my wallet. I tried shoving it in the slots on the right side, but those had too many credit cards, loyalty cards, insurance cards, etc. So I put it in a one of the slots on the left. I caught a glimpse of my organ donor card while doing that, and evidently that planted a seed for the thoughts occupying my mind during my current bought of insomnia.

I know I've mentioned before that I am not the healthiest person around. That being said, I still have filled out an organ donor card and let my family know my wishes. On the chance that when I die I still possess an organ that could be of benefit to a very sick person, I want to share. Knowing people who have received the amazing gift of transplants inspires me to make sure that my donor information stays updated.

I know there are some tissues/organs that I cannot donate. My corneas have problems that prevent them from being useful. For the longest time, that was the only thing I could not donate. I've started to wonder about my heart, though. Nothing has happened that has required a trip to a cardiologist, but I have had a few doctors say they've heard a murmur. Other doctors have said they don't hear it. So is it there or not? Can people with mild heart murmurs donate their hearts? I haven't researched it, so I can't really say.

Even though this is on my mind, it is not the real issue that is making my head spin at this hour. What came into my mind was, "What if somebody needed my other heart? Would it be fit to transplant?" What other heart, you might ask? The heart we talk about that holds my emotions. The heart that connects - or not- to God. The heart that people (who are not doctors) talk about when they say, "She has a good heart." The heart that holds my compassion, empathy, joy, and sorrow.

The book of Exodus talks about God hardening Pharaoh's heart against the Israelites. It took horrible plagues, the worst of which killed Pharaoh's son, to finally soften his heart enough to let the Israelite nation leave Egypt.

Exodus 10:1-2 says, " 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”

Evidently God had a use for hardening Pharaoh's heart. I would like to think that an Almighty, Merciful God had considered the state of that man's heart before deciding to use him in such a way. Surely, if Pharaoh had had a heart that was open to the One True God, he would not have been used in such a manner. That is how my understanding of the Lord works, anyway.

So what about my heart? There are times when it has been very hard. But is it healthy now? If I had to give this heart to another so that they could live as Jesus defined Life, would it be fit for the job? Would Jehovah Roi, taking the heart from me for the benefit of another, even recognize it as one of His own?

God has pursued me since my youth, trying to woo my heart to Him. Jesus has come and outright asked for it. I cannot in any way claim ignorance of the Lord's desire for me to willingly, joyfully give Him my heart.

Now for the icky moment of truth: *sigh*

I haven't given my whole heart to God. There. I've said it. He doesn't have all of me. He gave me a choice - freewill, as it were - and I have held back. (bleah! just typing that makes me feel icky)

One of my five loyal readers must be asking, "Why? Why would you not give your heart completely to the God Who Is Love?"

Um, well...let's see here. Lack of trust would be a huge factor. Disobedience is obvious. Selfishness. Laziness. We could probably list most of the seven deadly sins (Proverbs 6) and the works of the flesh (Galatians 5) here, but put a concentration on what the New Living Translation calls "hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy." These are things that make a heart hard. As we saw in Exodus, God can harden a heart for His purpose, but the hardening is not always His work. It has been my clinging to my sinful nature that has made my heart hard. And when my heart is hard, it won't budge. There is no giving it to God or anyone else. It is all about self.

I suppose my heart is not as hard as it used to be. I probably wouldn't be writing all of this if it had not softened in some small way. But conviction for the remaining hardness lays heavy upon me. More and more over the past few weeks I have seen exposed the hostility, resentment, anger, and discord that is still in my heart. A heart that would not be fit to transplant into any soul that hoped for life. It has been easy for me to be deceived into thinking that because I have let go of some of the negative that I have let go of all of it. And now I know - the health of my heart is lacking. There is much more than a murmur making me spiritually ill.

Because of The One Who First Loved Me, there is grace enough to cover me. Life support, if you will. God will be faithful to complete the good work He has started in me. That might mean some "spiritual surgeries" to soften my heart and to remove some blockages. The process might be painful at times. But oh what rejoicing there will be when I have a whole heart to give to my Savior, a heart that could be shared in the most dire of circumstances to keep someone else alive. 

Please pray for my heart. Let me know if I should be praying for yours as well.

PS Don't forget to go over to Soli Deo Gloria and check out the links!


  1. I praise God that he is always working on my heart: a continual process. Sometimes I get frustrated that, at my age, it is not softer. But I have to be patient with me just as God is!

  2. I love the question you ask! I've never thought about that before, but yes, what if someone needed my other heart. Thank you for this reminder. I pray God would mold my heart.

    p.s. glad to find you from Jen's community!

  3. I like how often something in our physical world reminds us of eternal truths. Well done.


  4. Hello ladies! Glad to start meeting people through Jen's page and generous link-up party. So happy you stopped by!

  5. In my class yesterday, I talked about what things in our life we have surrendered to God and what things that we have not. I talked about how my inability to understand why God did not send rain during the fires caused my heart to be hard.

    I think we are always in the process of God chipping away at the stones we have around our hearts. Always, we are inching toward a more complete trust.

    I will be praying for the state of your heart. Thank you for trusting us with it.

  6. Carolyn, I love you. I know we've never actually met, but I LOVE YOU. You rock my world a little bit every time I read one of your posts.

    I, too, struggle with this, so I will be praying diligently for your heart, and I would appreciate it if you would pray for mine, as well.

  7. God can use a wide assortment of things to capture our attention, can't He?

    I love the name of your blog and consider myself a fellow ragamuffin - loved the book too!

  8. God can use a wide assortment of things to capture our attention, can't He?

    I love the name of your blog and consider myself a fellow ragamuffin - loved the book too!


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