A Bruised Heart Full of Sprap

sprap = spam + crap

Bruised Heart

My heart is bruised. It has a specific cause rooted in the actions of others. I thought I was fine; turns out, I’m not. It hit me as I stood in a church to sing:
      Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
      Holy, holy is He
      Sing a new song to Him who sits on
      Heaven’s mercy seat
In the past when I sang this, I could always recall a new work I’d seen God do that week. I’d think about it and effortlessly praise Him with a ‘new song’—but not this time. I felt flat and disconnected. I couldn’t sing…but the song kept going. I couldn’t sing, so I prayed. “Lord, all I can tell You is I’m aware my heart is bruised and I know it has nothing to do with You. I love You, but the hurt is making me numb.” I’m not sure what I expected God to do…but before I tell you what He did, let me unpack a little about a bruised heart.

“You’ve Got Bruised Mail”

See if you can relate to this: You’re going about your life. Over time, you become aware that truckloads of junk you know you didn’t ask for are getting deposited into your life-inbox. Feeling strong, you scroll through, select and ‘delete’ that junk. You don’t open it or look at it. Out of sight, out of mind, you think you’ve cleared it away. The next day, however, the crap reappears looking exactly the same. With irritation, you take a peek, but then quickly close and trash it all.  However, it won’t go away. Crazy as this sounds, the following day more junk just like it starts to infect your mind/heart-inbox because you made the fatal error of looking at something in that sprap.

SPRAP - Spam + Crap = unwanted junk deposited into our life-inbox

facepalm

You looked at the sprap, and now you can’t shake it. The ridiculously ugly content has gotten into your head and has bruised your heart.

 

What the sprap bruised your heart?

I know the nature of my sprap. Is yours within this list?

*Degrading words
*Family dysfunction
*Abandonment
*Being overlooked
*Made to feel inferior
*Betrayal
*Broken trust
*Abuse of power
*Death
*Addiction
*Deception
*Rejection
*Prayer that seems unanswered
*Low self-worth
*Your pride alienated others

The list of human-to-human ugliness is unending.  While it’s awful, God has the power to bring something beautiful from it. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph—who could put a check mark by most of the hurts on the above list–saw God’s mighty hand at the end of many bruising years. “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Our bruises, too, have the power to help others if we’ll deal with our sprap and let the Holy Spirit begin the healing.

Healing a bruised heart
Some hearts are more than bruised, they’re broken. Healing may be a long process and require professional help before the pain can connect to God’s promised good.  Psalm 147:3 is a sustaining hope for the journey, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” My heart is saddened thinking of how uphill that path is for the deeply wounded because I’ve been there, too. What I can tell you is that those I’ve known who’ve opened their sprap and done the hard work to heal are some of the most interesting and dimensionally profound people I’ve met. Their ‘new songs’ are powerfully moving.

For me, God began healing this bruise on my heart in that worship service. When I couldn’t connect to singing a new song because my bruised heart was too numb, the Holy Spirit met me there. As the music played, I suddenly had this understanding: You are singing Me a new song. This is the first time you’ve sang to Me with a bruised heart. This is a new song and now you know what it sounds like. I receive your praise in this new song. That assurance was the beginning of my bruise fading; but it’s just the beginning.

His love gives us courage to keep moving toward healing. That’s my new song. I’m praying for all who read this—whether bruised, broken or healed. May a new song rise up and may that song point people to God’s love.

 

What are you crazy about?

It’s Valentine’s Day, or—as I mentioned in a former post—Cupid Stupid Day. While not a fan of being told when to tell the people I love that I’m crazy about them, today gets me thinking about the idea of being head over heels for something/someone.

I am crazy about all things pumpkin spice. Unlike pseudo pumpkin lovers out there—the type whose hankering for pumpkiny-goodness emerges only when it’s chunky scarves and boots time—I am the real pumpkin spice deal. My crazy is not seasonal. It’s a 365-affair. I am dedicated and faithful to my crazy.

You know how they say, “If you looked up the definition of crazy, my picture would be in the dictionary.”? Well…

Pumpkin spice (PS) coffee is my jam. Again, some people think this is a seasonal drink. Silly pseudo-PS’ers! This clovey love-in-a-mug should weave its steamy magic year-round. To accommodate my crazy, I had to find a way to ensure I could have PS coffee January-December. A few years ago, I came across the idea of ordering a year’s supply of PS coffee from Keurig at the end of their selling season. If that seems a bit much, just wait; there’s more.

The first year I did this online, I got to the checkout screen and was asked, “Is this a gift?” I thought, “Why yes, it is” and clicked affirmatively. A new screen popped up with the best question ever, “Would you like to send a gift note?” I thought, “I certainly do” and tapped a note to myself thus birthing a new tradition: To me from me. Below is 2016’s “Note to Crazy” offering…

As crazy as I am for PS I am more crazy for JC—Jesus Christ. I love Him, and on this Valentine’s Day, my heart is overflowing with wanting to celebrate the One who loved me before any others did. (We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19) I love Jesus. He is my first thought in the morning and my last thought in prayer at night. I see Him all around me—in good times and bad.

This week, I had the privilege of talking with a couple of friends as they are navigating some shocking situations in their lives. I’ve listened as they mechanically unloaded the details of their living nightmare until tears broke the stoic dam holding them back. I was overwhelmed. Their pain made my head spin. As the story unfolded, I was seeing what they were seeing: swirling chaos. What in the world could I say that would help their hurt? Answer: Nothing. However, with wisdom, I’ve learned: When you don’t know what to say, don’t talk—pray.

I prayed asking for wisdom and healing.  Each time, He delivered. THIS is Who I’m crazy about. The One who can take every hurt and cover it with peace, clean it with power and convert it to purpose. The situations are still difficult, but God—invited in for a new dose of His understanding—is the great game-changer. His loving wisdom is better than anything, and I’m crazy about Him.

I have this sitting beside my bed.

I love me some PS, but I love Jesus better than pumpkin anything. From the definition at the top of this article, I am #2 crazy about Jesus. I’m extremely enthusiastic, passionate about, enamored with, keen on and infatuated with Him. This is how I love Jesus. He’s not dry and distant. He is One to get fired up about.

Are you enjoying this kind of love with Him? If so, give a huge bouquet of grateful Valentine’s Day prayer to the One who loved you first. If not, message me and let’s get you connected to someone who can help. Let this Valentine’s Day ignite a passion that never lets you down.