When that Heart on Your Sleeve Tells His Story

May I confess something to you?  I’m a heart-sleeve wearer, and always have been, although my motives have changed over the years.  As a teen, I’d share my heart hoping someone would hold my secrets tenderly, love me unconditionally, and promise to protect me forever, which was certainly a by-product of inheriting a legacy of dysfunction.

But now, I wear my heart on my sleeve, not because I’m looking for something in return, but because I have something I want to share — a story of God’s amazing, extravagant, wildly transforming work in an ordinary life.

I’m not who I was 20 years ago, when God rescued me from a life destined for destruction, and revealed to me a different way to live. My desire to travel the world and pursue a life of corporate success was laid down in favor of marrying a Christ-with-skin-on type of man who wanted to lead a simple life as a high school teacher and raise a family together.

When that Heart Tells His Story

I’m not who I was nearly 15 years ago, when God poured out His grace in the life of our firstborn daughter — a miracle considering the life I lived during my early college years.  God continues to show me evidence of His touch, as I mother all four of our children — but by His grace.

I’m not who I was seven years ago, when God took my mask-wearing, good-girl living and said enough through the words of truth-tellers speaking with love who challenged me to become more than an angry, hurting, yelling mama. It was time to deal with the guilt, shame, bitterness, and unforgiveness that had overtaken my heart and was overflowing hurt onto my family (Ezekiel 36:26).

Even as a passionate go-getter type of woman, with a whole lot of hutzpah as my Jewish grandmother would say, I couldn’t fix my issues on my own. I needed God more than ever before, even for the courage to walk into that counselor’s office.  It was there that God showed me how years of Scripture study and wet-eyed prayers were not wasted. He burst forth in me a season of radical healing, as learned how to trap my thoughts, and my memories of the past (2 Corinthians 10:5), and give them over to Him so that He could transform them — and change me — with the truth (Romans 12:2).

I’m not who I was, and I’m not yet all that God has created me to become. I’m work in progress, but that doesn’t mean I can’t yet tell of His story.

Philippians 1:6 NIV
. . . being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God continues to move His Spirit into untouched places in my heart, as He writes His story of extravagant grace and wild transformation. That’s why I go forth with my heart on my sleeve — not to show how much better I’ve become, but to point to the One who changes lives from the inside out.

I want women to seek God for themselves and to know the impact their changed lives will have on the next generation. {click to tweet}

I’m finally becoming the wife and mom I wanted to be and that’s because of God’s work within my heart, mind, and soul.  All that I do is an overflow from what He is doing in me — whether I serve as a mom and wife, as a life coach or mentor, as a writer or speaker, as a ministry leader at More to Be or as I engage with the community right out my back door. It’s because of God’s changing work in my heart and all for Him to use His way and in His timing.

Friends, I’m hear to say it’s true:  When we give God access to our heart and surrender to living in light of the Truth, He will change our thinking and thereby change our living. He will change us from “as is” into that new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) we long to become, so that He can use us to impact this world, starting with our families, for His glory.

Because of Him,

Elisa

moretobe.com & elisapulliam.com

This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

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Comments

  1. says

    Yes, Ms. Elisa, it’s only because of Him why I can talk and am not afraid to sing His praise.

    However, I too have a confusion to make, a few years again I took my heart off my sleeve and hide it away in a very dark place in my life. Why? because the more I tried to share what God was doing for me, in me and through me, the more the devil, through people, took it as me boosting or action “holier’ then them.

    Simple things like how God can allowed me to pay my bills when no money was coming in, became a problems for people. So I stop sharing, stop caring and just keep it all hided away. But no more,
    these days I am slowly pulling out my heart and showing and sharing with only those who want to hear.

    Peace to you always.

    • Elisa Pulliam says

      Elissa, I pray that God will give you the courage to share your heart while protecting it at the same time!

  2. says

    There’s so much HOPE in this post Elisa…for what is possible with Christ and through Him.
    I am very thankful for your friendship and your wisdom/input in our writing group…I love reading about the difference He has made in your life. So encouraging!!! Love, K

    • Elisa Pulliam says

      Thank you, Kara, for the sweet words of encouragement! You have a gift in being able to make others feel appreciated and loved! I pray you feel that today!

  3. tiredmama says

    I feel like I am currently in that ‘mask-wearing, good-girl living’ stage and I am definitely an angry, hurting, yelling mama who needs to find her way out of the dark and into the light again. Thankyou for the wisdom, not just Elisa but a lot of the bettermom posts, I’ve been copying memory verses, seeking wisdom and generally being uplifted by what is written here. Now I need to put that all into action and spend much more time being saturated in His Word so that I can lavish my family with grace and peace. I do struggle to ‘trap my thoughts’ and ‘hand them over to Him’ – i’m not sure exactly how to apply that in the everyday, I know the ‘theory’, the right thing to do, but when I am in the middle of it I fight my inner voice, I fight the ‘theory’ and give way to the yelling mama. Is the answer simply diligent prayer and bible reading?

    • says

      Oh Tiredmama, I applaud you for owning exactly where you’re at in your parenting and confessing your struggle to us. The Lord hears you, too, and meets you right where you are today. He is working in you, transforming you one step at a time, as you seek Him and ask Him — through prayer and in the Word — to make you into the momma you long to become.

      Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process, with miss-steps and u-turns. Yes, I believe the answer begins with diligent prayer and time in the Word. But I also think you need a friend or two, or a family member, that can hold you accountable and cheer you on — on the good days and bad days. I’ll be praying for God to bring that person into your life, or show you who that person is in your life, even if you’ve not recognized them that way before. Press on sister! It’s worth your effort!

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