I set my coffee mug down on the table in front of me and reached for my Bible. Finding the frayed brown ribbon that “marks the spot,” I located the place in Psalms where I had last finished reading. I fastened my eyes on Psalm 27 and forced the ancient words into focus. But halfway through the chapter I realized I had yet to truly engage with David’s powerful prayer.
My heart was too heavy to drink in the Word of God. Like a sponge already full of moisture trying to soak up a spill, my heart was too loaded with grief to absorb the hope in front of my eyes.
I pushed my Bible aside, assuring myself I’d return to drink it in shortly. I’d try simply pouring out instead for now.
Grabbing my coffee cup, I headed to the back porch where I often enjoy sitting on my glider and taking in the majestic mountain view. Here I would simply drink my coffee and unleash my heart to God.
But no words came. The only thing that flowed freely were hot tears and feelings of discouragement, sorrow and despair.
I couldn’t even pray.
I Bet You’ve Been There
Have you struggled to engage with God during the times when you needed Him most desperately? I know how dysfunctional that feels. My inability to engage makes me feel all the more broken, isolated and hopeless. If I can’t reach Him, how will He heal me? How will He soothe my hurts and bandage my wounds and break my chains…if I can’t even verbalize what aches.
I believe our all-knowing, all-powerful God is more than able to reach us even when we can’t seem to engage with Him. He knows our thoughts before we voice them, after all. He sees right through the pretense to the real problem. He examines the heart and reads the mind. He was there when the careless words were slung across the room, when the precious was stolen, when the shocking was revealed, when the venom was poured, when the cherished was cheapened, when the love was lost, when the breathing breathed no more. He knows. In fact, He knows more than we do.
Still, we long to engage. And we know that, to really heal, we must engage. We must be able to listen, to lean in, to learn. We’ll need to read and meditate on what we read. We’ll need to speak it and mean it and hear ourselves say it. We may need to write it. We’ll certainly need to obey it and walk in it and trust it. And, yes, we may need to memorize it. We’ll need to engage.
Someone to Go with You
I’ve had several friends and family members face difficult medical diagnoses lately. I can only imagine how immobilized they may have felt when they first heard the hard news. But before the shock wore off, they had to garner their wits and sit in a doctor’s office to receive a treatment plan. In each case, my friends and family members followed sage advice: they took a trusted friend or family member with them to the physician’s appointment. They needed another set of ears to hear, another mind to think through, another voice to ask appropriate questions, another body to sit beside and walk with.
And that’s exactly what I needed when my heart shattered into a million little pieces. I needed someone to go with me to see my Great Physician.
I asked them to sit with me. I took them to lunch. I texted, “Help!” Then I let them pray. I let them speak Truth to me. I let them make me get up and get moving.
God can heal our hurting hearts. But we will have to engage with Him, our Great Physician, if we truly want to walk out well. And sometimes, especially in the beginning, we will have to lean on others to help us begin the process.
The 10-Day Prayer Journey for the Wounded Heart
I remember sometime in my healing season coming across a few opportunities where I could receive daily encouragement, instruction or prayers in my email inbox for a limited period of time. I don’t really even remember now what they were titled or what they focused on. But I do remember this. They helped me get on my feet. They engaged me when I couldn’t engage me.
It felt akin to someone driving me to my doctor’s appointment. I simply had to open the email and engage to the degree that I could. The sender had gathered the appropriate scriptures, penned the prayers, asked the soul-searching questions, provided some encouraging and practical resources. These simple email services made it easier for me to begin the work of healing.God can heal our hurt hearts. But sometimes we need someone to take us to our Physician. Click To Tweet
A good while back I compiled a simple prayer journal for the wounded heart based on Psalm 27, a psalm that eventually became one of the most meaningful to me during my heart healing. This beautiful little journal takes the reader through the powerful verses of this Psalm over the course of ten days. I’ve provided prayers based on the scriptures and a few questions for journaling. I packed up the loose leaf pages, slapped a $3 price tag on them to cover costs and put them on my resource table at my speaking events. They sold like hotcakes at the Pig’n Pancake!
And that’s why I decided to forget the slick packaging and the $3 price tag. I want you and anyone who is hurting to have access to this simple little journal. You may not need it right now. I’m so glad if you don’t. Honestly, I am. But if you know someone who is hurting and who is struggling to engage with the One who can heal, I’d love for you to send her a link to this page. Because she may need someone to go to her Physician’s appointment with her. She may need this little prayer journal.
You can find out more and register for the 10-day email service here. (And it really is just ten days. After that, you won’t receive more emails. This is a gift, not a hook. Really, it is.)
Have you had seasons when you found it difficult to engage with God and His Word…even though you knew you needed to and wanted to? What did you do to overcome the obstacles? I’d love to hear from you.