Lady Gaga’s new CD came out this week. Joanne. It’s a wonderful gift from my maker 🙂 You all know I’ve been throwing down with the Devil recently, and that I’d even gotten fairly decent at it. Naturally, this means he redoubled his efforts. No joy for the believer; no peace, no goodness, no blessings of any variety. That’s his MO. And he’s very, irritatingly good at it too.
Here’s the thing though. This time I was ready. “Victory Loves Preparation.” It’s so true. My heart has had it’s shields up for weeks now, and I’ve been improving my swordplay at a near constant rate. I have yet to let my guard down. I have yet to stop believing in God’s promises to me. And that has made all the difference.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. My heart has a shield. Not a wall. That has made all the difference. In the past, God would rescue me, set me on my own feet to fight for myself and I would immediately do my best to cower behind a large rock. Why? Because I fully understand that Jesus has gifted us all with new hearts made of holy flesh, and that makes them vulnerable.
Vulnerability is a dirty word where I come from. So defending myself with a wall of thick, stony protection has always been my go to. It’s a terrible plan really. This is the exact opposite of what God wants us to do. The exact opposite reason he gives us new hearts in the first place. They are vulnerable, yes, but they are also strong.
And that strength is born of their very vulnerability and grown by the Father. He raises us to be strong and take courage from Christ, but hiding behind a wall is how a lot of us “honor” our upbringing. Myself included. Until recently that is.
I am supremely happy to report that I have finally learned to take up my shield in defense of my strong, vulnerable, beautiful heart. My shield protects my heart while still allowing it to be free. In other words, it doesn’t prevent me from being me. I don’t shut down and keep myself from others while waging war with the enemy. On the contrary, I find I have more patience and strength with which to give of myself than ever before. I can have a difficult conversation with a loved one after a hard day and not take the day out on them. The day can be awful without ruining me for the rest of the night. Sure, after a battle hard fought, I need a moments rest. I am only human and therefor only partly divine after all. One day God will gift me with a perfect body, every bit as holy as Adam and Eve’s once were. I look forward to it. But until then, I have to recharge.
This is where gifts like Joanne come in. It recharges me. Allowing me to plug even deeper into God’s will, giving me an even larger capacity with which to use all the strength and courage I take from Jesus. It’s a wonderful system, and I am grateful for it. I am grateful for a great many things where my Heavenly Papa is concerned, but right now, that shield really takes the cake.