A New Heart

*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…

I continued regularly going to Dr. R for the next 1.5 years.  I learned SO much from her. Most all the supplements, foods, and other suggestions that she had me implement into my lifestyle were helpful.  However, these didn’t get to the deeply embedded root of the problem, so my symptoms were still present.  I was certain my health was in a chronic stage.    

Dr. R had talked to me about “…healing in ALL aspects.  This means, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Kelly, you can have a perfect all-organic diet, but if you haven’t healed from your past(traumas/hurts/etc), you won’t ever be truly healthy.  You can’t expect to be well without dealing with your past and the hurts that life brings.”  She paused continuing to look me deeply and directly in the eyes.  “Have you dealt with your past, Kelly?  I’m not asking you to answer me.  I want you to think about this.  Kelly, you can’t truly heal if you aren’t willing to look at each of these different aspects individually to become whole and healthy again.”

If you’ve been following my Blog, you’ve heard me reference God and my faith.  As my journey and story continues, you will hear much of the same.  In order to fully understand what I believe and my relationship with my Papa, God, I need to be REAL with you about how my life has changed.  But first, I’d like to say:

1) I’m not trying to make you believe what I believe nor do I intend to push my beliefs onto you.

2) I’m not religious and have no intentions to be.  I simply share my faith/relationship with my Papa God with you so you can better understand me and where I’m coming from in my journal entries/JE and daily life stories being told.  In order to understand my relationship with God, I’m going to give just a brief summary of my growing up years.

As a child, I (like most kids) was brought to (an institutional) church, meaning a  building where people come together to worship on certain day(s) of the week.  I very much disliked going to church.  I didn’t care for many of the people, and especially the hypocrisy I witnessed.

As I grew into a teenager, our family became very involved with a local church in our hometown.  At this time in my life, I despised church even more despite having to spend more time there.  I was resistant, angry, and bitter.  Truthfully the basis of all these emotions was because I couldn’t stand watching school classmates put on a church-face, acting a certain way on Sunday and Wednesday nights, and then during the week at school be their totally different real self.  Coincidentally, these were some of the same kids that bullied me and demeaned me, making me feel inferior to them.  Yet, I was being taught/called to LOVE them.  Wrapping my head around that idea was tough.  My parents helped and guided me and my brother in situations that would come up in life, and this for me was one of those areas I needed guidance with.  Those fellow classmates hypocrisy was enough to continually push me further and further away from wanting anything to do with religion.

Eventually, during my 8th grade school year, our family stopped going to church all together.  I was super glad about that!  However, bible studies continued.  Church/fellowship meetings were replaced with home group meetings, so I wasn’t quite off the hook.  Long story short, I continued to be bitter and angry.  It came to the point that my parents realized that I was not coming any closer to God with consistently being around/in the midst of “religious activities”.  They decided to allow me to make the decision to be a part of meetings, bible studies, etc. if I wanted to.  Most of the time I passed.  But sometimes I’d go because I’d feel obligated.

Fast forward to December 29th, 2011.  I was 19 1/2 years old.  This is the day that my life changed for the better, literally becoming a new person.  Let me explain by going back to that cold, dark, frigid winter night that was no different than any other night.

Mom, Troy, and I were downstairs at our home together.  I don’t remember what we were doing, but Troy was “lovingly” teasing me, again.  Growing up I felt like I was always teased by people, and was very common coming from Dad and Troy.  I didn’t like getting teased, and that night I’d had enough of it.  I voiced my thoughts. “STOP picking on me, Troy!  I’m sick and tired of you guys picking on me.  You do it all the time.  I’ve had it with all your teasing.  STOP!”  I angrily shot at him.

Troy looked at me, bewildered that I was angry.  Mom turned her head and looked at me saying, “You guys?  I wasn’t picking on you, Kelly.  And Troy, he was just loving on you in his own way.  He wasn’t teasing you or making fun of you.”

“Yeah, Kelly.  I wasn’t picking on you or making fun of you.  I’m sorry if you interpreted it that way,”  Troy chimed in.

I angrily got up, grabbed the blanket that I had wrapped around me and threw it on the couch and turned, walking only a few steps into my bedroom.

“You don’t need to throw things because you’re angry, Kelly.”  Mom stated.

“You don’t get it,”  I curtly said to her.  “I’m sick and tired of being the one who gets teased, picked on, and made fun of.  I ALWAYS get the brunt of it.  I’m not putting up with it anymore.”  By this time, I was in my room talking through an almost closed door.

Troy then said, “Kelly, I wasn’t intending to pick on you.”

“Well you were picking on me.”  I said, unrelentingly.

“I’m really sorry, Kelly.”  Troy had stated.  Then I heard him say to Mom, “I wasn’t picking on her, Mom.”

“I know Troy.  It’s not you that’s the problem.  It’s her heart.  She needs a change of heart.  She needs a new heart.”  Mom replied.  The two were talking softly so they thought I couldn’t hear what they’d said… but I did hear them, clearly.

“Bull!”  I muttered under my breath.  Tears started forming in my eyes.  The lights went off in the living room and they both went to bed.  And me?  I did not go to bed. 

If there are two sentences that can and have the ability to forever change a persons life, they are:  I love you.  And, I forgive you.

It was after 10pm.  I was alone in my bedroom.  I knelt by my bed and soon broke down.  My gut wrenching sobs were muffled by a pillow.  The sobbing was deep, and it was going deeply into my inner being.  My heart was broken.  It was time to talk.  I cried out to God, utterly broken, for the first time in my life.  My heart and whole being hurt.  I needed peace in my life.  For the first time, that night in my bedroom, I was aware that I needed forgiveness.  I didn’t hear God, and I didn’t see God.  However, I could feel God’s presence.  It was like I was being held in a warm hug.  Between sobs I spoke to God, apologizing for many things I knew were wrong.  I told God, “I’m angry, bitter, unhappy, have a hardened heart, am holding un-forgiveness towards others… and the list goes on, Lord.  I need your help, God.”

Immediately upon speaking out, I felt a peace deep inside my heart that spread throughout my whole being.  Never in my life had I felt a peace like this before.  It was unreal.  To this day, I still have that peace and I thank my Papa God for it.

The next morning, I got up feeling peaceful.  I wanted to tell my parents and brother the good news because they too, had had similar experiences in their lives.  But, I also wanted to see if any of them would notice how peaceful I was!

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Pictured at right is a gift that was given to me years ago.  The woman that gave me this has no idea how often I would go to read this both during the day and middle of the nights when I couldn’t sleep when I was sick.  I’d stand tracing its letters, being reminded that I was never alone, and loved more than any person can imagine is possible.  In the days, months, and years to come it was something that I gravitated towards for comfort, a reminder, and to be with my Papa God.  

To the woman that gave this gift to me: Thank you.  I truly treasure it, and you.  Thank you for your kindness, prayers, friendship and love. 

Over the course of a few weeks after that night in my bedroom talking to God, I became a different person(and still am).  I was happier, less moody, talked more, laughed and smiled more often, and became more pleasant company.  I was peaceful and didn’t react right away when I got upset.  I even apologized for being wrong at times, which prior to that was unheard of.

I still remember the day that I told Mom about this new, wonderful, change in my life.  We were going to have a family prayer meeting that was “optional” for anyone to be present or not.  Now as I said before, prior to this new change I would more than likely not show up, but on that night right as the meeting started I walked through the door, much to everyone’s surprise.  Towards the end of our time together, I took a turn to pray.

Later that night Mom asked me privately, “What’s going on with you?  What was that,  you’re prayer?  That wasn’t the Kelly I know.”

“I’m not lonely anymore, Mama.  I’ve got Jesus.  He’s with me all the time.”  I said, smiling.  She looked at me in wonder.  I said no more, until moments later when she and I were standing in the kitchen cleaning produce.  I turned and said, “Do you think there has been something different about me lately?”

Mom smiled while looking at me saying, “Why, yes!  Troy and I were just talking about that recently.  I’d told him, ‘It’s almost as if Kelly’s a new person!’  Dad and I talked about this too.”

“Well, I AM!”  I stated.

“Oh, KELLY!”  She dropped the potato she was washing, water flying as she grabbed me into a big hug and kissed me.  Happy tears poured down her face and we stood hugging one another.

William Paul Young, the author of “The Shack” says, “In order for forgiveness to take place, something has to die.  If you make the choice to forgive you have to face into the pain.  You simply have to hurt.  Forgiveness is so difficult because it involves death and grief.  In order to forgive we must embrace love.”

Young states it well.  Forgiveness is so hard because it means we do have to face into the pain.  On that cold December night, I became a new person with a new heart, receiving true unconditional love and forgiveness for the first time in my life.  Do I deserve it?  Absolutely not, but my Papa God loves me more profoundly than anyone ever will, and more than any of us can know.  Child-like faith.  It’s truly that simple.  My child-like faith is sweet, innocent, direct, simple, and pure.

Everyday of my life is a hands down beautiful dance with my Papa God, my best friend, and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything.  All these years since that night, my relationship with my Papa God has grown to much more than I could have ever imagined.  And you know what?  It’s rarely dull and never religious!

Dr. R’s gentle reprimand for healing in ALL aspects to be WHOLE hit close to home that day at her office.  I’d gotten right with my Papa God a few years prior to seeing her that fall of 2013, but in the days/months/years to come, forgiveness and healing were going to continue.  It’s like peeling the layers of an onion.  Some of those deeper layers that I hadn’t even known existed were going to surface.

 

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