The Strength of My Heart

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26

My in-laws invited us to lunch today and, even though I haven’t seen them in months, I just can’t do it. It’s not a food problem anymore because I simply wouldn’t eat, which is a non-issue for me now. But my sound and motion sensitivity wouldn’t be able to handle the commotion of the restaurant and I wouldn’t be able to sit unreclined for that long without becoming lightheaded. At times like these, I find myself heading down the road of “my so-called life”, as in, I don’t very often believe that I actually have one. I have an existence. There’s a lot of evidence to back me up on this, depending on your perspective. I can’t accompany my husband anywhere – church, grocery shopping, restaurants, etc. Talk about feeling like a failure. I can’t remember the last occasion I spent time socially with anyone besides Jason and my parents. I’m serious. I sat here for a long time trying to recall. I also can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to the other side of the parking lot because it’s too far away for the fainting potential. And the day you see me with a new haircut will be the day you know I had enough strength to sit upright long enough to let them do it. Until then, long live the ponytail. Sitting with these thoughts deeply depresses me. So I felt the need to share that these thoughts are not what have governed the last week of my life, and I’m fighting hard not to let them govern the week ahead.

Honestly, I had a pretty rough week health-wise. I felt awful most of the time and had quite a bit of toxin build-up. It would be easy for me to look back on this week and see only the failure of my flesh and heart. But I talk so much about the negative things that I needed to tell you that what I actually see when I look back on this week was one of the best weeks I’ve had in a very long time. My flesh and MY heart failed… but God was the strength of my heart and my portion. I wish that I could tell you about each precious moment from this week that I will hold dear in my heart forever, but I feel that they are too sacred to talk about. They belong to me and to God, and to the few people who shared in some of those moments. For a short but very blessed time, I felt happy. I can’t tell you the last time I was able to feel that emotion. I was physically miserable, but I was happy… and not for myself, but for someone else. How can this be?

I have been praying for a long time that God would awaken a pure love in me, and I believe He is answering that prayer. And this week I have opened a door to Jesus more fully than I have in a long time. I have constantly invited Him to love me, something that does not come the slightest bit easy for me. I have felt His presence as I’ve poured out my heart in complete honesty to Him. It was over four years ago that I wrote a song about my panic attacks, asking God to open me up, to break my seal in order to bring healing. But I think it has taken me this long to actually be almost ready for it. Maybe that’s why the panic has been unbelievable this week. God carried me through, and will continue to do so. Instead of tightening the lid on my heart, I’m untwisting it little by little, very slowly releasing some of the pressure and pain out into the world and into Jesus’ arms. I feel exposed, but exposure is necessary for healing. The overflow is happening, and I pray I don’t push it back down. I find it so beautiful that I’ve been asking Jesus to breathe for me this week, and then I was reminded of this song today, a song asking God to breathe new life into me. God is certainly replenishing me with Himself. How beautiful.

Even though the details are too holy to share with the whole world, I wanted you to share in my joy as I look back on a week with gratitude. My flesh continues to fail and my heart still hurts, but when I let God be the strength of my heart and my breath, I am overwhelmed with His goodness, and I can’t help but smile even in the pain. He is healing me.

Song I’m feeling: Replenish, gifted to me by God so many years ago, knowing how much He would bless me with it again today. What a beautiful Creator.

Lord, what is happening to me?
Sometimes I feel I can’t even breathe
Shaken to the core ’til I can shake no more
I close the lid on my heart

Won’t You come and break my seal?
Expose me so that I can heal
Anoint the altar of my shattered dreams
And replenish my supply with You

The question’s always, “how are you?”
Why can’t I tell them the truth?
A simple, “I’m just fine”, though I’m dying inside
Tightening the lid on my heart

Won’t You come and break my seal?
Expose me so that I can feel
Anoint the altar of my shattered dreams
And replenish my supply with You

Afraid to overflow, I keep pushing it down
My breath is running out as I start to drown
God, please pour me on the altar of my shattered dreams
Accept these broken pieces as my offering
Please breathe new life into me
And hold me in Your arms ’til I can shake no more
And replenish my supply with You

I am healed by only You

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Author: Karina Baker

Hello, my dear friends! Glad to see you here. Thank you for reading about my beautiful rubble - my struggles with life, faith, and autoimmunity. Feel free to share your stories in the comments. My love and prayers to all of you!

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