Barb Winters’ Thin Place: Draw Near

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It’s no surprise the Creator is creative in how He heals us, as Barb discovered. She shares more of her discoveries on her blogs:  Food Lies and Truths and The Father Heart of God. (Has God creatively revealed Himself to you in a Thin Place? Share your story here.)

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I didn’t want to go back – ever. When I walked in the doors, the air was thick. The greetings stiff. Consequently, I had built an impenetrable wall around my heart for protection. Part of our church family, those who had welcomed us so warmly only four years before, acted aloof. A congregational decision gone awry pitted our friends against us.

As my husband and I flew toward our much needed vacation, I realized it wasn’t just our church family that had left gaping holes in my flesh. There were other wounds that needed Jesus’ healing touch. Life was piling up.

Our four-to-six-month adoption had turned into a two-year nightmare. Finally, our daughter was home. She was adapting to her new English-speaking family easier than I was adapting to parenting a Spanish-speaking daughter. I was holding her accountable for sins she hadn’t committed because the aftermath of stories laced with deception, roller coaster emotions, and indifferent friends was taking its toll.

Additionally, my thirteen-year-old step-son had just moved across country after living with us for nine years. I hadn’t stopped to deal with my feelings of rejection because I was too busy consoling my husband. He was depressed. He had been primary caregiver of his son for eleven years. He had pastored our church with a God-fearing heart. Little by little over the past several months we had closed ourselves off emotionally to the world, huddled in a man-made shelter waiting for the storm to pass. It was a thin place.

Yes, this was a much needed vacation.

I opened Beth Moore’s Beloved Disciple Bible study. The study’s focus is love – receiving love from God so we may love others. A challenging question asked how a believer loves difficult people. I couldn’t answer. Loving others had become too hard. I read on.

“God knew that commanding us to love others sincerely would force the issue of heart change in those who truly desire to obey and please Him.” Yes that is what I needed, a heart change.

“God knows that challenges such as loving someone we find difficult will prompt us to come to Him for a constant supply of His love. We have to pour out our toxic and preferential affections so that our hearts can be filled with His affections. As we ask for our cups to overflow with agape, the living love of God will surge through our hearts and splash on anyone nearby!”

My wall had become so wide it was blocking God’s love toward me. And without His love, it’s impossible to love others. The answer was to allow Him in.

Visually (through a stick-figure drawing) I crawled toward His Living Water. I entered. Broken. Battered. Beaten. Raw. I asked Him to open my heart. To cleanse me, heal me.

I saw myself walk out the other side with my head high and my arms out-stretched in worship to my Creator. The healing process began that day. It has been a long road and the scars remain, but His love surges through my heart and splashes on others.

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