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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Borrowed Hope

At the Smalley Marriage Intensive we attended in early March, one of the counselors said something that set the course for our time together. He said, "We've seen miracles and I want you to borrow the hope we have because of what we've seen."

I did.

And God more than restored my hope. He's truly healing my heart.

I've already shared some about the fear cycle we all dance around in and the way of escape through personal responsibility, taking care of your heart, and hanging out with the Lord. I'd like to elaborate a little more on what all that looks like and add another vital part of the journey... forgiveness.

All too often, we’re rushed to forgive before we've really done the necessary heart work with the Lord first. It's like pouring water into hard-packed and rocky soil. The water alone doesn't make the seed produce a crop because there’s no place for roots to take hold. In the same way, trying to pour in truth about your value from God and apply the Scriptures about forgiveness when your heart is full of rocky lies and hard-packed heart messages yields little fruit. (Matthew 13:3-9 and 18-23)

We live out of what we believe.

And we believe what is written on our hearts.

When our hearts are full of messages from the enemy, lies about who we are, we will live our lives doing the dance of fear and inviting people to join us at every turn. Forgiveness will remain a brass ring we keep missing every revolution around the carousel.

There is a better way.

It starts with realizing it's your job to get out of the fear cycle. Don't go down the dead-end road of "If he or she would just change, everything would be better."

No it won't.

Because if your heart is still full of the enemy's messages, you'll just keep dancing to the tune of fear.

You see, the enemy knows who we are and fears us. So it's his effective plan to keep us in the cycle of fear, adding more and more messages and wearing us out as we try to live according to God's Word but fail more than succeed.

Come, borrow my hope, and learn a new dance.

Step one: Run to God. When you realize you're starting to dance to the tune of fear, step out of the fear cycle with its ineffective coping mechanism, like anger and avoidance, and climb up into your Heavenly Father's lap.

Ask, "What's written on my heart, Lord?"

In other words, when you get alone with God, let the story of your heart pour out. Acknowledge the offenses against you and the pain you feel, then ask God to identify the heart messages. Ask what the hurts and memories say about you. Together drag the messages out into the light.

Remember, it's your job to attend to your heart. It's you and God ~ that's a powerful combination.

One caution: Don't should yourself. Let go of the "I shouldn't feel this way." "I should have known better."

Ask the Lord what's going on in your heart. Don't try to figure it out. Because any time the mind and heart skirmish, the heart always wins. You will live out of what you believe in your heart, not what you think you should believe.

Step two: Hang out with the Lord. Feel the pain that you stuffed into the dark box along with the messages the enemy scribbled on your heart.

Picture yourself as a child nestled safely in the Lord's arms.

And listen.

Ask God what He says about you, what He sees. Ask your Heavenly Daddy what He values about you specifically.

Then listen closely. He has a beautiful song to sing about the wonder and joy He feels toward you, His dearly loved child. (Ephesians 5:1; Colossians 3:12)

Step three: Do good self-care. Remember the two greatest commandments. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself."

Love and take care of yourself. It's the best gift you can give to the people around you.

Guard your heart. Take care of your bear. Get full by doing things that fill you up emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. When you do, your heart will overflow. That kind of life won’t come from all the striving you do to give and serve, but from the fullness of your heart, streams of living water will flow.

Step four: Forgive from the heart. When you've spent time listening to the Lord reveal the lies you've lived from and then sing His truth in their place, forgiveness flows naturally. A heart cleared of the enemy’s rocky messages and full of the Lord's truth no longer needs to keep a strangle hold, demanding repayment from those who have wronged it. A full heart lets God heal the hurt and take care of the hurtful person in His way and in His time.

A full and forgiving heart also comes to the place where it can pray like Jesus, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing."

Be aware, this is the hardest journey you will ever encounter. But it's also the most fulfilling.

It's what you were created to experience.

Intimacy. Fullness. Abundant life. Forgiveness.


You can have the Life you long for in your heart.

Please feel free to borrow my hope like I borrowed hope from the wonderful people at the Marriage Intensive. In borrowing their hope, I found my own.

And it's awesome!


upwords said...


Sounds like the intensive was just that...intense.

And wonderful.

I'm glad you had the chance to attend and to share.

Mary G.

Amy Wallace said...


Thanks for reading and posting!

The Intensive was truly intense and totally incredible! I'm excited about all that God is doing in a marriage that for the past ten years felt more hopeless than hopeful.

Borrowed hope is an amazing thing. I'm glad I can share the hope I've found and maybe provide that spark for someone else to find their home and healing in the Lord.


Amy Wallace said...


Thanks for posting! I'm so glad God spoke through my words and reminded you He's the same awesome God we've studied in the Bible. His miracles and His mercy are new every morning. ;-)


Amy Wallace said...

You are very welcome, Terry! Thanks for posting.


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