MY ‘HEART’ ATTACK
In the late summer, early fall of 2008, I had a heart attack. No it wasn’t one for which I had to call 911 and be rushed to emergency, but it was life-changing, none the less. You see, I’d had a heart disease all my life. Turns out it was a birth defect. I was born with part of this disease. Some of it I’d inherited from my parents, and their parents. Some of it I got from my siblings. As one of (next to) the youngest of 7 kids, I felt they were older, wiser, funnier, more popular, better athletes, than I was. Even my little brother was more popular with the girls than I was. Not their fault, just the fact that we lived together caused that part of my problem. Some of it was caused as I made choices in how to live my life. The world in which I lived had a lot to do with my sickness. A thoughtless childhood prank in my 6th grade class at the age of 11 tore a hole in my heart that created an unresolved emptiness and loneliness throughout my life. The death of my mother in March of 2008 served to bring the hurting in my heart to a boil. The enemy of my life had taken advantage of my insecurities and tried his best to destroy me.
As my condition worsened, I began to realize – once again – that I needed help. I’d sought help before, but had found none that provided anything more than what I thought was only a temporary, partial treatment of the symptoms. What I needed was a heart-transplant.
I needed radical surgery. But where was that available?
I’d done all the research of possible treatments for my disease. Those included books, tapes, therapy, preachers, church, self-examination, blaming others, even praying and more intense personal efforts on my part. But I never found the permanent cure I hoped was available.
It was a dark, dreary Saturday morning when the final attack occurred. The darkness was in my soul.The dreariness was in my heart. I was at the absolute end of my efforts.
Nothing and no one could help. I’d tried it all.
As never before, my spirit cried for relief.
The Surgeon answered my cry. He made a house call. He said to me: “My son, I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve watched you trying. I’ve seen the intensity of your efforts. I’ve heard your cries of ‘why’? I’ve been there when you wanted to give up. I’ve been waiting because I knew you had to come to this desperate place before you would accept the level of help I can provide for you. I have the healing you seek. You don’t see it yet, but
your treatment has already begun.”
He quickly taught me that I was desperately trying to do my own treatments.
I was trying to be my own doctor.
I’d gotten it all mixed up. He’s the Doctor, I’m the patient!
He has His part, I have mine.
One of the first lessons the Doctor taught me was that the Surgery had already been done. You see, I’d asked the Doctor to move in with me as a very young child. I knew who He was. However, I thought He wouldn’t, couldn’t live in a broken house.
I didn’t know that He would abide in a broken heart.
I didn’t recognize His Presence in my broken life.
I thought I was responsible for fixing the broken places so He could Love me.
He taught (and is continuing to teach me) about His Love for me.
In that Love, I have found the healing I sought.
The Doctor is performing a miracle in me. He has taken the damaged areas of my life and is transforming them. He’s led me to a place – called Celebrate Recovery, where I feel safe. He’s led me to a group of people with whom I can share those damaged, hurt areas of my heart and find comfort. He’s showing me the promises He has made in His Word that brings His peace to my path. I’ve learned that He can take the chaos of the pain in me and work it for good.
He’s taking the insecurities of my life and teaching me to rest in Him.
The Doctor continues to show me the healing process that is occurring in me.
He’s showing me that Yes, I do have a part in it. BUT –
He has removed from me the responsibilities for HIS part.
He has His part, I have mine!
The more He and I get that straightened out, the more I am learning to rest in Him.
The follow-up care is important and available. But I must avail myself of it:
It’s vitally important:
– that I have on-going checkups
– that I let Him examine my heart
– that I submit myself for expert monitoring
– that I keep my daily appointments. With Him
– that I read the heart-care directions He wrote for me. In His Word
– that I guard my daily intake. ……..and it’s crucial…
– that I seek group sessions – with other heart transplant patients.
I need to do all these things because it allows Him to continue to address the areas of growth He has planned for me.
One of the latest notices I received from Him? – Listen close, because, for ME, it’s one of the most important notices of this entire process!! All expenses for the Surgery, checkups, on-going treatments, and follow-up care have already been marked… PAID IN FULL! The Surgeon gave His Son the bill, and He paid it – on the Cross! …More than 2000 years ago.
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jim catlett 1.17.2010