As I continued to read in the story, I was inspired by her determination to remain free from sin and close to God, but brokenhearted for her as she struggled against her very own heart. One morning as she sat numbly and hurt, she asked God to show her what to do. Letting go was the obvious inevitability, but the more perplexing aspect of it all was how. Her face wet with tears, she began confessing to Him all that she thought, felt, and desired. "Here, God, here it is. I confess!" she choked through sobs. "Now, what? What do I do with all of this? Do I just keep fighting the temptation to love him? Closing doors? Re-opening them? Can I even wish him a happy birthday or happy holiday when times arise? How do I stop thinking of him, wishing for him," and then she paused. She didn't want to finish the line of questions because she was afraid of the answer, but with heart braced she forced herself to go forward -"how do I stop loving him?" In an instant, she felt the answer fill her spirit, and she began sobbing harder than before.
She knew God would answer her prayers if they were asked with a sincere heart, and though she knew what He was wanting her to prayerfully ask, she didn't yet have the words. "Just give me a minute, Lord," she softly pleaded. In that moment she saw both the beauty and pain of the love she had for this man and she reconciled that no closed door would ever be enough. Because of that, she knew she had to ask. "Lord, I love you so much that I want You to change my heart for this man. Change it so that I'm never tempted to do something that will keep me from You. Change it so that the love I have for him is transformed into something else that doesn't threaten my very relationship to you. Change my heart, God, in whatever way necessary to bring me closer to You." And with those words, she knew the Lord was already at work. She again began to sob, or maybe she had never stopped.
In the story's end, she prayerfully and peacefully let go and unbound her heart's ties to everything about him. Though she loved him for the rest of her life, that love, over time, had been changed by God into something so pure, so sacrificial, and so beautiful that it made every ounce of her pain shine like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:5-6). God never intended for her to stop loving him; He simply wanted her to start loving him with His heart, with His motives, and from His truths - not hers. I found this story to be much like what we all go through in our daily walks. How often do we simply need to ask God for a change of heart? So much of what we're fighting against can be conquered with a transplanting of His heart for ours, but it's reaching that point of willingness where we often get stuck. We know what God wants us to do, but we stand paralyzed with fear, gripped with pain, or firm in rebellious unwillingness. We say we want His heart, but we cling to ours. We boast of our righteousness, yet forget to let God into the deeply hidden matters of our heart and soul. Though it's true that we receive His spirit and His heart when we accept Him into our lives (Ezekiel 36:26), it's also undeniable that our sinful nature effectuates the need for constant heart attention from the Doctor above.
What are you needing to let go of today? A loved one? A broken heart? An addiction? A wrong pattern of thinking? An affair? An abusive mindset? A need for control? Whatever leaves you sobbing on the floor or throwing objects across a room - give it to God. It's not easy undergoing a heart transplant physically or spiritually, but it is sometimes necessary. In all procedures and matters of the heart there is a time to heal (Ecclesiastes 3:1) so don't give up if you're still fighting against your own mind and heart after you've surrendered it to God. You wouldn't expect a medical patient to get out of bed and start jogging the day after a heart transplant so don't expect yourself to be running spiritual laps of euphoria the minute after you decide to give God your heart and take His in return. Just trust Him that He's seeing to your heart's care, and if there's anything in your life today that you know needs to go, but to which you don't have the strength or willingness to say goodbye, then ask Him for a change of heart.
"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard." --Isaiah 58:8
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