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Guarding the Broken Heart

In my studies this morning, I found myself in Proverbs 4. I'm actually studying the armor of God and I chased some thoughts that led me to the last few verses of this chapter. I wrote down some notes on my other study but then my mind settled in verse 13. The New Living Translation states it this way: Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.

I can only feel my situation - and my first thought was - protect your broken heart. I wondered if it was any different for caregivers than others. Probably not, really. We still need to guard our hearts and perhaps we need to be a bit more diligent about it than others. For me personally, the first two things that came to mind that I must protect from taking root in my heart was bitterness and unforgiveness. When my son first had the accident I began to pray that I would not grow bitter as things progressed along lines I really didn't want them to go. You know?

One of my first prayers was that I would move closer to God and have an amazing story of resilience. Well, maybe it hasn't happened just like that. Choosing to not let circumstances lead us down the road of bitterness is just that - a choice. Forgiveness is a choice as well. That's easy to type - easy to say, but not always as easy to do. But just because it's not easy - doesn't mean it's not do-able.

As I meditated on this verse this morning, lots of current situations come to mind. Things I need wisdom to deal with, decisions I need guidance to make, and lots more. I thought of how important it is to lean into Him a little more each day. That's what helps us guard our hearts, I think. I don't want anything in my heart that would keep me from His. Clarification - He won't move! But when I harbor bitterness, unforgiveness, and hidden sins within my heart I will step back and I won't be as comfortable in His presence. His presence remains. His love is the same. It's my own sin that makes me feel separated from Him.

Today, I will purposefully choose the path of my heart and my feet. I'll guard both so there will be no occasion to stumble. I'll meditate more on guarding my heart and what that looks like as I bring all my thoughts captive to the Spirit of Christ. I'll be busy with all that. But I will choose to rest in Him - up close and personal to Him as I guard my heart. I will re-examine myself to see if there is any bitterness or unforgiveness trying to creep in and I'll put up a wall of His peace to keep it out! Will you join me?

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