Open Heart Season

Open Heart Season: Underneath the Surface

 “Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down into the pit (grave). Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”

Psalm 143:7-8 (AMP)

Stuck in a Moment

Hey there! I am so glad you’ve decided to join me again this week. Last week we talked about springs in the valley and how important it is for us to have an open heart in order to allow God to produce springs of life for us. I briefly explained how I dealt with depression and how I believe God’s mercy reached me in that valley.

I think at some point in life we all have to cross a valley. We are struck with some really difficult moments, but have you ever felt as if you are just stuck in that moment. It’s like when you are streaming a movie with poor WiFi connection and the frame freezes on the worse possible scene. You want to see what’s next, if the protagonist will make it. But, no, the frame is frozen.

I am not sure what your valley looks like. If it is the valley of frustration, stress, discouragement, doubt, uncertainty, fear… whatever that valley is, it just seems like a never-ending struggle.

Let’s say you are blessed enough that at this exact moment you aren’t going through a valley personally, but when you look at the world around you with rumors of war, mass shootings (Vegas), and natural catastrophes (earthquakes in Mexico or Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean Islands)… it just seems as if we are surrounded by crisis. How do we not panic? How do we not become desensitized by the human condition?

How can we have an open heart to what God is doing when it seems as if He isn’t doing anything? The frame is frozen.

One of the ways that I usually deal with these intense moments is by going to the beach. I don’t know how to explain it, but it usually is a place where I can get away from the noisy city and have some alone time with God. That’s the place where I pour out my heart and my many questions, but as much as I love the beach, I don’t usually get in the water. I have some serious respect for the ocean.

See, for as long as I can remember my mom has been fearful of the water. That is because when she was a child she almost drowned in a river. She says the scariest part for her was the fact that on the surface the waters looked still and that she was only in waste deep when a strong current took a hold of her and she couldn’t fight it. Underneath the surface there was a raging current that dragged her and almost took her life. My mom was fortunate enough to survive, but there are plenty of victims who frantically attempt to swim to safety, they sometimes overestimate their swimming ability and underestimate the river currents. Sadly, these unsuspecting victims did not expect for tragedy to strike them.

The Current Can’t Pull You Under

It got me to thinking, how many of us we look still on the surface? How many of us manage to put a bold face for all to see? Yet, underneath the surface we are experiencing raging currents that are dragging us away from the shore, away from safety, away from the Lord.

King David wrote, “Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down into the pit (grave). Let me hear Your loving kindness in the morning, For I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”

He was facing an intense situation and he was calling on God, he was opening his heart to God by confessing to Him, “If you don’t answer me I am going to die, but I trust that you are good.” It seems that underneath the surface, David was experiencing a ranging current. He knew he needed God desperately, and he knew that only God could save him.

Let me tell you a “not-so-secret” secret. I can’t swim. I know this is not ideal for me considering that I live in a peninsula that is below sea level, but my mother’s fear of the water meant that she would never let me get near the water. She was adamant that I could not, and would not, be allowed to go in the water because of fear that one day a current would get a hold of me. And in case you didn’t know… you never contradict a Honduran mother. Just an FYI. Yes, I know pools don’t have currents, but I still haven’t managed to stay afloat without one of those floating devices (OK, it’s a $1 floating noodle, but device just had a nicer ring to it, please don’t judge me).

How many of us are living in constant fear because we are scared that underneath the surface there is a rip current waiting to pull us under? How many of us stopped dreaming, stopped believing, stopped fighting against the current? Because what’s the point? You tried before and failed. You kept fighting and now you are just tired. Tired and frustrated.

You know something I learned about rip currents, there is no current that can actually pull you under. People start going down because they panic and they feel as if the current is pulling them under, but in actuality there is no current that can do this. Don’t believe me? Check out this link.

King David understood that the key to not drowning was trust. He says, “Let me hear Your loving kindness in the morning, For I trust in You.” But, first he opened up to God about his condition, he told him “my spirit fails”. During this Open Heart Season, I want you to put your trust on the Lord. Trust that he is good. Trust that he loves you, doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you can’t do. My friend, I understand that this life is difficult, that’s because we are living in a broken system dealing with the incurable condition of being human. Our system may be broken, we may be broken, but God isn’t.

My friend, I understand that this life is difficult, that’s because we living in a broken system dealing with the incurable condition of being human. Our system may be broken, we may be broken, but God isn’t.

I know that sometimes we will face disappointments that seem almost impossible to recover from, but God loves you. He has good plans for you.

I encourage you to open up your heart to God. I know it’s scary. I know it seems like the currents are nipping at our feet and that the frame is frozen right there, but in him we find a hope and a future simply because he loves us. In upcoming weeks I will continue to share with you more and let you in on some of my darkest moments from dealing with an alcoholic parent, depression, thoughts of suicide, heartbreaks, addictions, and so many currents that have tried to pull me under and away from my purpose, but also on how God showed himself to me in ways that I never imagined. I want to share with you the God of love, peace, and hope. And I hope that you are encouraged in knowing that God is concerned with your well-being and He will not let you get dragged away by the currents that lie underneath the surface. Let me give you a spoiler alert, at the end of the movie, you live!

This Week’s Prayer

Father, I come before you with an open heart. Sometimes, I feel like giving up. Sometimes, I feel like I just can’t do this. Sometimes, the current is so strong that I feel like I am only seconds away from my last breath, but Father I call on you right now. Come to my rescue. My heart is open to you for you to be my salvation. I choose to trust you and your plans over my life. I choose to believe that there is no current that can or will pull me under because you are my hope and my salvation. I will not give up, I will not give into the fear, but I renounce all fear in the name of Jesus. My mind and heart is in your hands, align my thoughts according to your will. Amen.

The Blooming Heart Journal Questions

  1. In Psalm 143, David says, “Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me…” Identify a time where your spirit failed? Did you feel as if God hid his face from you? How has this message encouraged you?
  2. The key to not being pulled under by the currents is to not panic, but to trust. Do you feel as if you trust God? If you don’t, why do you think that is?
  3. How do you think trusting God with an open heart will change the way that you live?

This Week’s “A Blooming Heart” Challenge

For this weeks “Blooming Heart” challenge I want you to identify the currents underneath the surface. Don’t be afraid to open up your heart to God and tell him what you are going through. I challenge you to trust God and know that He will not let the currents pull you down. “A Blooming Heart” will not panic, but places it’s trust in God.

*Note: If you are currently going through a really tough season and feel alone, please feel free to reach out to me. I will pray with you and for you. You are not alone. This is a supportive community where everyone is welcome no matter the circumstance.

For the busy bees who don’t have time to read, here is the audio for this weeks message. Enjoy!

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