Spiritual Lessons from My Heart Surgery
I had open heart surgery to address a blockage in my left main coronary artery at the age of 51. Statistics indicate fewer than 3% of individuals requiring this surgery are under 54. My blockage was called the "Widow Maker" due to its potential severity. This procedure was crucial to restore proper blood flow to my heart and prevent a potentially life-threatening heart attack.
This surgery, known as Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), involved opening my chest, temporarily taking over my heart and lung functions with a machine, and creating a bypass around the blockage. Fun times.
Stress was the root cause of my blockage. I was enduring an abusive marriage, striving to connect with God, and dedicating myself to raising my children in His ways. I sensed something was amiss, yet I couldn't pinpoint it. Over the past 15 years, I've been on a journey of healing from codependency.
Spiritual Parallel This physical obstruction in my heart mirrored a spiritual blockage that can impede the flow of the Holy Spirit. Just as my physical health suffered, spiritual health can deteriorate due to sin, affecting our attitudes and behaviors.
Identifying the Root Problem Frequent temper outbursts or ongoing negative attitudes can be symptoms of a deeper issue—spiritual blockage. To overcome these challenges, it's crucial to examine the underlying causes, such as unresolved bitterness or deep-seated beliefs, that obstruct the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives.
The Heart and Spirit's Vital Flow
- Physical Heart Function: The heart is an essential organ designed to pump blood continuously throughout the body without rest, showcasing God's incredible design.
- Spiritual Holy Spirit Function: Upon accepting Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome sin and grow in spiritual maturity, producing love, joy, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit.
- Physical Symptoms: Before my surgery, symptoms like extreme fatigue and breathlessness due to the "WidowMaker" blockage in my left main coronary artery drastically reduced my quality of life.
- Spiritual Symptoms: A lack of spiritual fruits—such as love, joy, and peace—signals a blockage in our spiritual life, leading to negative emotions and behaviors.
Finding and Addressing the Blockage
- Physical Diagnosis: After numerous doctor visits, a detailed examination, including a nuclear stress test and cardiac catheterization, identified the critical blockage necessitating immediate surgery.
- Spiritual Diagnosis: Recognizing a spiritual blockage involves introspection and acknowledging sins or hurts that hinder our relationship with God. Prayer and seeking God's guidance are key to uncovering and addressing these spiritual issues.
Removing the Obstruction
- Physical Recovery: The successful bypass surgery restored blood flow to my heart, significantly improving my health and energy levels.
- Spiritual Recovery: Spiritual healing involves repentance and addressing the sins or issues causing the blockage, allowing the Holy Spirit to flow freely again.
Conclusion: Guarding Our Heart and Spirit Just as maintaining unobstructed blood flow is vital for physical health, ensuring an unimpeded flow of the Holy Spirit is crucial for spiritual well-being. By identifying and removing physical or spiritual blockages, we can experience renewed health, deeper faith, and a closer relationship with God. Embrace the healing and spiritual growth journey, safeguarding your heart and spirit against any possible obstructions.
This post is from the archives, originally written in 2007 (I'm still here!)
Illuminating a Woman's Heart Bible Study
I'm writing a book on guarding your heart, due for publication in late 2024. It aims to explore the depths of a woman's heart through the lens of Scripture, highlighting how God illuminates and transforms it for His glory.
In A Woman's Heart: A Codependency Bible Study, readers are invited on a transformative journey to explore the delicate balance between loving others and maintaining healthy boundaries. This insightful book is designed for women who find themselves lost in the cycle of codependency, offering them a path to rediscover their worth and strength through the wisdom of Scripture.
Structured as a comprehensive Bible study, this guide delves deep into the biblical principles of love, self-worth, and resilience. It addresses the struggle many women face in distinguishing between selfless love and unhealthy attachment, providing readers with practical tools to guard their hearts without closing them off to the genuine connections that enrich our lives.
Through a series of thought-provoking chapters, readers will explore:
- The biblical understanding of love and boundaries draws from both Old and New Testament teachings.
- Personal stories of women who have navigated the journey from codependency to healthy, God-centered relationships.
- Reflective questions and journaling prompts encourage deep personal reflection and spiritual growth.
- Practical exercises for setting boundaries, improving self-esteem, and cultivating a relationship with God at the center.
- Group discussion guides to facilitate meaningful conversations in small group settings or Bible study groups.
A Woman's Heart is more than just a book; it's a companion for those seeking to heal from codependency and embrace a life of love that honors both God and themselves. Whether you are beginning this journey for the first time or seeking deeper understanding after years of struggle, this Bible study offers a beacon of hope and a testament to the transformative power of faith and self-love.
I'm working on this book now. Lord willing, it will be in print and Kindle in 2024.
From Chapter 1: A Woman After God's Heart
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