Whether it’s a stranger or a loved one, cruel words can cause such heartache. Wendy van Eyck, author of devotionals, shares how she prays when someone hurts her.
Overcoming Heartache: How To Pray When Someone Hurts You
By Wendy van Eyck
Today is my last day at a job I've been at for six years.
I never expected resigning from a job would be so tough on my heart.
I anticipated my staff to be upset, and knew I'd feel sad to leave.
In the midst of all this there were moments of kindness and rejoicing about the future job I've chosen. My new job moves me into the realm of non-profit marketing and to a rental home in Italy for a large portion of next year.
It's a new start for my husband and I after two long years of blood tests and chemo and doctors.
Yet, in all the excitement it's the mean words that have stayed with me.
I didn't expect to hear nasty things spoken about me. Whispers of untruths that even though I know are not true, hurt so badly I found my husband in the middle of a workday just for a hug.
It is the lies that have pierced my heart that have made me want to run away, and protect myself from hurt.
Overcoming Heartache: Avoid The Walls
I've been reading Mary DeMuth's new book The Wall Around Your Heart off and on since before I resigned. Right from the first time I read the title I knew this was a book for me. I battle to trust, and when I do, the first sign of hurt sees me retreat, protect myself and build a wall. A book that speaks about how to live with an open heart spoke to the person I want to be.
Yesterday as I read her book a passage of scripture stood out for me from 2 Kings 19. It's a prayer that Hezekiah prays after he receives a horrible attack on his character and Israel prior to a possible invasion.
Hezekiah doesn't speak badly about the person who attacked him. Or run to his friend and tell them how nasty that person is being. All things, I'm ashamed to say, I've done in this situation.
Instead Hezekiah goes to God and prays. Oh, how he prays:
God, God of Israel, seated in majesty on the cherubim-throne. You are the one and only God, sovereign over all kingdoms on earth, Maker of heaven, maker of earth. Open your ears, God, and listen, open your eyes and look. Look at this letter Sennacherib has sent, a brazen insult to the living God!
...But now O God, our God, save us from raw Assyrian power; Make all the kingdoms on earth know that you are God, the one and only God. 2 Kings 15-17, 19 (MSG)
His prayer is full of cues about how big God is in the situation.
I love what Mary deMuth says about these verses, "Hezekiah remembered who God was and reminded himself of who he needed to be in the situation."
Overcoming Heartache: Take Your Hurt To God
I wonder if Hezekiah focuses so much on the glory of God in his prayer, because he needed the courage to believe that God could be trusted, not only to resolve the situation, but also heal his hurt heart.
As I read this prayer I realized that I've failed to take my hurt heart to God.
I've made the hurt bigger than God, and allowed fear and anger to shield my heart, instead of letting God fight for my heart.
As I leave today I'm praying about the situation.
I'm praying that my big God will fight for me. And I'm asking him to heal my hurting heart and help me to live without walls even as I learn that trusting God is the only way to learn to live with an open heart.
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