A Journey of a Shutdown Heart
I grew up in Hungary in a divorced family and was raised by my grandparents. At age 17 my dad and his family left the country and came to the states. A year later my grandmother who raised me passed away, and two years later my mother died. I had to take care of everything for everyone who was left behind, and I did shut down my heart just to survive. I did survive college and married a man who helped me during all that loss. All I knew about marriage is that your spouse should be supportive and helpful, but that did not work out as I had expected. In my struggles to find love, my shutdown heart continued in anger against God: “How could you let all these things happen to me?”
After coming to the United States, disaster after disaster continued, as it always does when we make decisions based on our emotions. Anger against God, desperation in everyday life, and search for love is not the best way to make decisions in life. But that is what I did for years. When I arrived to the lowest point of my life with no other hope at all, I finally cried out to God: “Why can’t you give me at least one person who loves me? I don’t want money, riches, success… just love!” So He showed me the love He had for me. The love that was willing to sacrifice His own Son so I can be reunited with Him. So I can call Him Father. So I can be clean of all my sin and be forgiven.
See, all this time I believed many lies about God: He is a God who doesn’t care; He is not there in all my heartaches and pain; He doesn’t love me, and I need to find love on my own.
And yet, you know what God was doing during these years of pain? He was gently inviting me to encounter Him, to discover the life He has for me. He sent people to my workplace to invite me to get to know Him and He gave me friends who already knew Him. He showed me that He did give me a person in Jesus who did love me, and loves me continually with an everlasting love that is enough in all circumstances of life.
My first Bible Study was Experiencing God – how perfect! He made sure that through that study I got to know Him enough to start searching for a person inside myself to see who He created me to be.
Through the years, God through His Word and His Sovereignty slowly opened my heart toward Him and toward others.
I have been reminded of the condition of my heart over the years as I have been preparing for this study. Here’s what the author reminded me of:
“Let me assure you of one thing: when the Creator of the universe took the extreme care that he did in fashioning you, He made you unique and precious, and He gave you the power of choice. Nothing that has happened to you since then – not even the pain of abuse, betrayal, or failure – can take away that power from you. If events beyond your control have caused you to shut down without giving it a thought, you still have a choice of what you will do with your future. No one can take your God-designed, alive heart away from you. Only you can hand it over. And only you – with God’s gracious help – can take it back. “ Denise Hildreth Jones: Reclaiming your Heart
Join us on a journey on reclaiming your heart!
- Watch the video on https://www.rightnow.org/Media/Series/2549#1 Denise Hildreth Jones: Reclaiming Your Heart – Introductory Session
- Make a comment below to let us know you joined our study and also what encouraged you the most from this week’s lesson.
Women's Ministry Director