From My Heart: The Place That Can’t Be Touched

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do a lot of writing to process the past (and the present, for that matter). I fill pages and journals with Scripture, prayer, and my own thoughts. This year I’ve done quite a bit of reading about the benefits of writing down painful and traumatic experiences, and it’s inspired me to try a few new writing projects for my own personal benefit. I am sharing about this unique topic because it’s actually one that pastors’ wives email  me about daily.

They want to know how to process and heal, how to even begin finding the light at the end of this dark place, this incredibly painful place- the split that just happened, the resignation, the awful meeting, etc. How to forgive, how to move past, how to accept, how to help their children heal. I get lots of variations of the same issue, and honestly, I’ve only learned the following things by moving through the healing process myself.

This “writing down the details” thing had me stumped for awhile. “Seriously- write down the details and the names and the words and the actions? Doesn’t that seem counterintuitive to the fact that I’d like to forget it?” For years, I’ve believed that it would hinder my healing if I wrote down the details of an experience and the names of those involved and the words that they spoke and the actions that they performed. {Not to mention how just-plain-hard it is to write that specifically.} I thought that recording those details would imbed them even deeper into my brain than they already were, and that that action itself would hurt the healing process.

But I’m finding that the opposite is true.

Keeping details inside us only makes our thoughts swirl, and it keeps us from healing and having a healthy, biblical perspective. We are then MUCH more likely to get caught up in our own self focused thought patterns than we are to submit those thoughts to God’s Word and His wisdom. And we’d all agree that true healing can’t take place without His Word and wisdom.

So… in effort to write about these things artistically, I’ve come to really enjoy writing on a tree. Just a simple “tree in winter” image- googled, downloaded, and printed off. My tree has a heart on the trunk as an added bonus, but the heart is not necessary. Unless you’re like me and you adore hearts. 😉

I write on this tree, filling the branches with the details and names involved in a single experience. I also fill the branches with truth, especially the lower branches that seem to visualize “holding up” the rest of the words. I’m very visual, so the association of the object (in this case, a tree) matters when I write. The things I want to remember and the truth I want to tell myself, I write in big letters and with colored ink. I’ve  sometimes used brown to symbolize dying and green to symbolize growth. And I’ve even used separate trees for dying thoughts and growing thoughts. There’s no right or wrong way to do this type of brain detox. It’s the writing that counts. And it’s best if you spend several days- up to 21 is optimal- working on a thought pattern.

As you do this exercise, you will be absolutely shocked at what you learn and realize as you write. I’ve been floored at the things God has shown me and dots I’ve connected as I’ve worked. This part alone stimulates the brain to create new and healthy thoughts that are based in truth. It infuses encouragement and hope where discouragement and hopelessness have crept in.

Recently, as I was writing, I glanced down and noticed the blank area underneath the visible tree trunk. I’ve been reading  a fantastic book called “The Hidden Life of Trees” so immediately I thought of that space as where the root system belongs.

All of the sudden my pen just flowed, filling the root space with truth:

“God’s Word is my grounding place

Where I put my roots down deep.

No one can access my roots;

They are hidden in Christ.

They are intertwined by His eternal and unending love,

Making them utterly impossible to uproot.

People may cut off my branches and destroy my leaves,

But they cannot steal my fruit

Because it comes from the roots

Which are preserved and protected in Christ.”

It was a lightbulb moment to realize that all those things, those words, those names up on the branches- they can’t harm my roots. They  may eat  my leaves and bark. They may not notice or appreciate my fruit. They may try to spread a disease to my branches.

But they can’t access my roots- ever. Those are hidden in Christ. And all of the stuff that really matters? It’s down there, locked away, deep in the root system of the heart and soul.

Oh friend, I don’t have to think to hard to imagine the “stuff” that you may be dealing with- because I’ve lived it myself as a pastor’s wife. Ministry stuff, family stuff, personal stuff. Maybe it’s been a rough year at the church and your head is spinning and heart throbbing in pain from what you’re processing. Maybe you’re thinking this might actually be the thing that takes you down {it can feel like  that, yes?}

Sometimes,  it’s just so easy to FORGET that those people and those words and actions don’t define us. The pain screams louder than truth at times, and we just forget that there’s a place that can’t be touched! This brain detox exercise is SO good for whispering truth back into the inward parts of your soul, where you need it most.

So take heart today- As much damage can happen to your branches, bark, and leaves, NO ONE can touch your roots. Isn’t that a glorious and comforting truth?! Stay in the Word, stay in prayer, just be faithful! God is tending and growing and feeding your roots. You are hidden with Christ in God! {Colossians 3:3}

XOXO,

A Kindred Spirit

P.S. Is this a topic you’d like to know more about? Would you like a video demonstration of how to do the brain detox? Let me know via comments or email! This has helped me tremendously and I’d love to share more.

Join us this year for our pastors’ wives retreat! Last year was AMAZING- intimate and encouraging-  and God is already doing incredible things to bring this year’s retreat together. You don’t want to miss it- register today!

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About Leah {Embracing Grace}

Leah Highfill accepted Christ as her Saviour and became a child of God at the age of 18. Originally from the USA, she and her husband moved to the mission field of Canada in 2005, where she served in full time ministry as a pastor's wife for 10 years. During their tenure there, they became dual citizens. Leah and her family recently returned to NC and are currently enjoying a much needed sabbatical for the year of 2015. She homeschools her children {Small Son is 9 and Tiny Daughter is 7} and teaches private piano lessons on the side. She can be found reading, writing/blogging, playing the piano and violin, or ice skating. A friend to ministry wives everywhere, Leah has a passion to inspire hope and to encourage women in their walk with God. Her first book, Expecting Grace, was published in 2013. Expecting Grace is the story of Leah's experience and survival of a life threatening pregnancy, and of many medical and financial miracles along the way. Her second book is currently in process. Join her grace-filled journey right here at Embracing Grace!

3 thoughts on “From My Heart: The Place That Can’t Be Touched

  1. A video would be awesome! Thank you for your testimony and all that you do to encourage! You have no clue the blessing you’ve been in my life. I love reading your encouraging thoughts! ❤️

  2. Wow. Never thought of doing that. We had a horrible situation happen in a church that began about 11 years ago. It played out for about three years and although we were not the cause of it, as you all have probably experienced, we got the brunt of it. If we went one way, we made one group mad, it we went the other way, we made another group mad, so we just decided to leave. Although we have been away from there for seven years, there are still days that I cringe with the thought of some of the things that happened, and how, when we see those people now that they act like they are our best friend and nothing happened. I definitely need to do this, so yes, a video would be great! Thank you for all you do!

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