A Heart of Stone?

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

The waves caught me totally off-guard. There was no forewarning that the undertow was going to drag me along, ripping at my exhaustion.

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The past month had been a whirlwind of activity: a long-term subbing assignment that involved several hours of travel each week, preparing for Christmas, the annual Christmas recital and musical programs, attending our daughter’s college graduation, and the finishing touches on her December wedding, including bridesmaid dresses and hosting over-night guests and the gift-opening brunch the morning after the wedding.

Pre-planning and persistent time-management had made it possible to pull it off.

But the important ebb and flow of life had been damned behind the wall of the overflowing “to do” list.  “Reflection” or “journaling” or even “meditative silence” had not been on the list.

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So, when the emotional tug of leaving home brought tears to my daughter’s eyes, the “after-shock” hit me like an ocean breaker on a rocky shore.  It was so unexpected that I couldn’t even think. I became the stone.

Hard.

Unyielding.

Made wet, yet impervious to change.

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I helped her make decisions about what things to take, to leave, and pack into their car for her move to the East Coast.

Keep the mind and body engaged so the heart can’t be flooded.

Break-down averted.

Nearly three years later, we made our second trip to her home. On our first trip my husband and I had included our younger daughter and my aging mother, so there were many places to absorb my attention.

This second trip felt like a get-away, following several intense months of caretaking preceding my mom’s death a few weeks earlier.

No agenda.

No schedule.

One “want to see” for each day of our visit followed by whatever sounded interesting.

On Sunday morning, we walked with our daughter and her husband to their church which met in a restored movie theater. The format was different but the same Lord was being worshipped and praised.

A worship song I hadn’t heard before grabbed my attention. “Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.” A sudden surge of ocean spay ran out of my soul-windows as the truth of His love broke through my stone-protected fortress of emotion.

The power of the tsunami did not last long. By the song’s ending, the dam had broken. I confessed my lack of trust for her safety and claimed God’s promises of His love for her AND for me.

During those years, my lack of trust that God would care for my daughter and son-in-law hid behind the barrier of shelved feelings. Patiently, the Holy Spirit waited until I was ready to listen. There was no rebellion, just a lack of attention. But I still needed His work to replace that stony heart with a living, beating heart of flesh

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