Saturday, September 28, 2013

Refine my Heart

Sometimes I ask God to refine my heart, or to make me more like him. What does that even mean? It sounds like a simple prayer. Lately I've been learning that it isn't so simple. A few weeks ago I texted two friends that I felt like I was completely falling apart. One responded, "that's ok, sometimes you have to be broken in order to know how to put the pieces back together correctly" and the other responded, "because God wants us to be more like him and he has to break us to refine us. i wish the answer was easier and simpler." (yes, i have some pretty cool friends)

I do struggle with depression and I have this awful notion that I have to be "good enough." In lots of aspects of my life I don't feel good enough (I've written about this before). When I feel broken or sad or like a mess, my first instinct is to curl up on the couch and feel sorry for myself. which usually helps nothing.

It's in these times that lies from Satan creep in. and it's in these times that I let them. I let myself believe them. and then it makes it worse. its an awful tornado of lies, belief, sadness, despair, and hopelessness. I know during these cycles the Holy Spirit tries to whisper to me, but with all the "noise" surrounding me, I don't hear it. When I fill my life with gossip, negativity, and fleshly desires, there is no room for the Holy Spirit to be heard. It's in these times that i need God most, that I tend to push him away most.

all these pregnancy and post-pregnancy hormones make life difficult to deal with sometimes, especially since I tend to have depression anyways. My depression shows up in irritability and laziness for the most part. and then when I've been lazy for awhile, I start believing the lie of I'm not good enough again. If I were good enough, I'd get up off the couch and be a better mom, wife, friend, etc.

So what am I missing here? I'm missing the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, friends.  I googled, "what is grace" and google says: the free and unmerited favor of God. 

Mind blowing, really, that Jesus offers us FREE, UNMERITED favor and we miss it, forget it, don't let it in. Let Him in. Back to my original point (sorry.. been awhile since I blogged, I'm long winded), I have been asking God to refine my heart. And he has been, because He is a God who answers prayers. This refining, though? It's painful. I'm learning a lot about myself that I don't particularly care for. I'm glad that my eyes are being opened to these things though, so I can change them. 

I'm going through a bible study called Stuck - which is amazing by the way - and this week's lesson is about being broken. In the video, she narrates the lesson while you watch a potter form clay on a wheel. It was in that instance that it clicked. In the bible, we are compared to clay so often but it just didn't click til then. I am asking God to refine me and make me new. In order to do that, he needs to break me down and put me back together correctly, JUST like a potter with clay. 

But what I need to remember, is that when I'm broken, I'm not STUCK laying in a heap of pieces. As I 
learn and grow, I'm being formed again, more like Christ, in his likeness. He is making me new, better, and in my mind I think "shinier and prettier".. but maybe that's just because I like glitter.

So as I pray these words, "Lord, refine me", I am learning more and more of what that really means, and also what it looks like. I might not be pretty in the meantime but I'm so excited for how he is so 
carefully molding me.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
 after you have suffered a little while, 
will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10