" If my heart could talk, it would tell you how I feel.” Those sweet sentiments were spoken to me by my childhood sweetheart … my first love. Well, in time I learned that the heart does talk - it speaks loudly - through words spoken from our mouths and through our actions. Luke 6:45 states, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
I was raised by a single mom with a shy nature and a sweet gentle soul who rarely spoke the words “I love you.” Interestingly, her actions communicated very loudly that she deeply loved each of her children. When I flew the nest at age 18, I was thrust into a world that spoke a different language than Mom, and it took its toll on my heart.
After entering my first “real” job at age 19, I excelled in the department by creating new systems and trained every new hire. Yet, the Division Manager spoke “through his actions” that I wasn’t good enough to receive promotions because of the color of my skin. It was never communicated verbally, but the new employees who I trained were all of a different race and were all promoted to higher positions and salary grades. After accepting Christ as my Savior during that same timeframe and experiencing major transformation in my life, former classmates and some relatives rejected me. Their hearts spoke loudly that I was no longer loved and accepted by them. Years later after experiencing verbal and emotional abuse, neglect and betrayal from a former spouse and significant people in authority, the compounded actions and words of these individuals spoke PROFOUNDLY that I was not loved, respected, appreciated, significant, or valued - and eventually life broke me.
But the true lover of my soul put the pieces of my broken heart back together. He first told me to detox with Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” He followed with a heart vitamin found in vs. 32 giving specific instructions, “And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Taking that vitamin daily healed the pain of rejection, abandonment and betrayal, and prevented revenge from setting in to contaminate my heart further. And finally, God extracted the most potent vitamin from His own heart - HIS LOVE, and infused it into mine with 1 John 4:16, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” This purest of all vitamins restored my self-worth and reinforced my identity as His beloved. My heart is healed and I know that I am deeply loved. No longer am I offended by those who wounded my spirit because I understand that their heart issues have nothing to do with me… but are scars from their own life experiences that are in need of heart vitamins. Now, as part of my daily morning regimen, I take these two vitamins to keep my heart healthy, 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins;” and John 15:9,12, “As the Father loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love. This is My commandment, to love one another as I have loved you.”
Deborah Lee Barrett