Wholeness: Real, Raw and Relevant by Jennifer Hetland
About a month before our Kingdom Gathering in Castle Rock, CO, I asked the Lord what I should speak on. I felt like He said Wholeness, so I put together a good teaching, (I thought) on comparing the heart to the soils, and how to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts as that is a Whole Heart to me. A couple of days before I was to speak, I was rehearsing and felt like my whole talk, was just that, a good teaching, something more suitable for a school of ministry.
And I said, in desperation, What NOW GOD? I heard Him say, how about speaking on brokenness? I said, that is the opposite of wholeness, and He said, is it?
So began my journey on reconstructing an entire talk on brokenness. We consider our feelings to be connected to the human heart, but they actually take place in the brain. But considering I had a whole heart as the image for my talk, we are going to keep it in the widely accepted feeling center of the heart. Our hearts are actually muscles. I had been going to the gym rather frequently until I busted my ankle and then only a few times before the Corona Virus hit. Many of you already know how to develop muscle, but for those of you who don’t, muscle is developed when used and stretched, and through a series of small tears, or fractures. These small tears grow back together and when doing so, increase the size of the muscle. When I thought about that, I realized that wholeness does come through brokenness.
It doesn’t seem fair, that brokenness can give us a stronger heart, but it is metaphorically true! If we don’t use our hearts, if we don’t love unconditionally, we will never grow. And yes, when we do love unconditionally, we are always making our hearts available to be broken. And then we take the broken pieces to the Father, where he helps us put them back together again, and then we use them again and make them available to be broken again, and the cycle continues.
After a powerful Sozo a few years back, I felt like God had given me a new heart, He even told me it was Strong, Beautiful, and Huge! After that Sozo, I wanted to take my heart and keep it safe, like maybe put it in a box, inside another box, and bury it in the yard. That should keep it safe, and yep, you guessed it, I allowed it to be used, seen and even admired and that silly heart was broken again in just three short days. I went back to my counselor and told him, “No fair”. It was new, it was pretty, it was strong and it’s already been cracked. He smiled and said, yes, that is what can happen when you use it!
So, what happens if we make the decision to not allow our hearts to be cracked, broken? We can do that as well. We have all met people who have such brokenness that they struggle connecting on a human level. We can do what I like to call, “Make pets out of our pain”.
When we turn our pain into a pet we allow it to have so much power and control.
Like with natural pets, they command attention, “Feed me, pet me, show me off”. We give our pain pets names, often the name fo the one who caused the pain- and then we buy it cute outfits, trying to make our “pet” more presentable, somehow less scary. We bring our pets (as one is not enough) along to parties and to gatherings so we can show them off and then people will “understand” our failures, our weaknesses- as if sympathy and empathy become salve for our wounded souls rather than strength and dignity! We make cute little slings to fit in the backpack of our hearts to make carrying more convenient without realizing we are adding more weight/cement to our “pet” project! And oh the day when a gracious guest takes and removes the cloaks off our “pain pets” and the reveal is so clearly death-, grotesque and putrid as that is all our pain carries.
Our pain is not life-giving- it is a reminder of people or things we have given control to. We are human, we may not forget, but let the pain go! The enemy is more afraid of freedom and you being set free! Exchange the pain for stronger armor. Take the grace that is so freely given, to give the same in return!
Spring is a time for new beginnings, new life. We all have the opportunity to choose to pursue wholeness. It can be scary as the pain was familiar, we knew how to operate out of brokenness, but to walk in wholeness, to invite the Holy Spirit into each and every second of our day feels daunting. I promise you, the weight of the pain was keeping you tied to a cement block, letting it go lets you fly, not trudge! Be at peace, enjoy the seasons.