I have been silent for the last few months. The truth is that so much has happened during the last part of 2019, and I was not really prepared for everything that came my way. I have been trying to process and understand what was happening during these past few months, and I realised that the biggest reason why I felt unprepared was because I had dropped my guard.
Let me explain.
While driving out of our home one day, I saw a bright flash of light from my right eye. It was only a split second, and when it disappeared I ignored it, thinking that it was my imagination. A day or two later it happened again, and this time I knew I did not imagine it. Soon afterwards, black spots appeared before my right eye, obstructing most of my vision. I was still not sure what was happening, but after a another day, my husband André took me to the optometrist, who immediately sent me to a specialist. The specialist told me that my retina had detached, and if it was not treated immediately, I could loose my eyesight in my right eye permanently.
The doctor was able to re-attach the retina, but during a follow up examination after 7 days, they discovered that the bottom part of my retina also had a little hole in it. After another procedure to fix the hole, I was told that my left eye was at risk too as the jelly inside the eye was unstable. All of a sudden I was confronted with the reality of my own vulnerability, and for the first time that I can recall, I allowed despair and hopelessness to enter my heart.
Usually my first response to any bad news or situation is to speak life into that situation. I never allow negativity or bad news to influence me, but this time, it was as if I was unable to speak or respond from a place of authority. I felt fear and over time I allowed it to take up residence inside of me and to linger in the recesses of my heart, slowly spreading its tendrils of anxiety and panic into every thought. I started living in the land of What- If?
Those who knows me, will confirm that I have made it my life mission to oppose fear in my life. I grew up in an environment where fear was always present, and from a young age I was able to respond in faith rather than fear. It is not something that I had to learn, it was a gift from God that I did not even understand at that time. As I grew older, and especially in my Christian walk, I was able to use this gift of faith and apply it in ministry and in business.
That is why I immediately knew that faith was not present when I was confronted with loosing my eyesight. I felt fearful and afraid, and no matter how many times I said I trusted God for healing, doubt was always present. It took a few months for my eyesight to clear and to reach a point where my sight is almost normal again, and even now my sight is not yet 20/20.
During the holidays, God started speaking to me about why this incident caught me off guard and true to His nature, He gave me a message for this season. The fact that it is the year 2020 is very prophetic and I believe God wants to restore many peoples’ vision again.
My way to restoration was through my heart . I realised that it is not my gifts, or experiences or skills that matters. My heart matters most of all. The scripture in Proverbs 4:23 became a living word for me.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”
Our hearts are extremely valuable.
You don’t guard worthless things. When we take the garbage out at night, we don’t need to put a guard next to it to protect it. Why? Because it is worthless.
Not so with your heart. It is the essence of who you are, your authentic self – the core of your being. This is where all your dreams and desires and your passion lives. It is the part of you that connects with God and other people.
Just like your physical body, if your spiritual heart dies, so does everything that your heart represents. This is why Solomon says “Above all else”. He is telling us to make it our top priority.
When he says “it is the wellspring of life”, he is saying that it is the source of everything in our life. What you keep inside your heart overflows into thought, words and actions. A natural spring must be unpolluted for good, clear water to flow from it. In the same way, if our hearts are made unhealthy by what we allow in them, this has an impact on everything else in our lives. It threatens your family, your friends, your ministry, your career, and ultimately, your legacy. It is therefore crucial that you guard your heart.
Our hearts are under constant attack. When Solomon says to guard your heart, he implies we are living in a combat zone – one in which there are casualties. Many of us are oblivious to the reality of this war. We are confronted daily with news that is aimed to bring fear. This can be through listening to the continued flow of bad news, or like in my case, a bad report concerning my health. It can be that you are going through extreme financial challenges, or a painful experience in a relationship. Whatever it might be – the aim is to attack your heart so that what will flow from your mouth and thoughts will not be from a place where life and hope is released.
When I realised that it was my heart that was under attack, and not so much my eyesight, I followed the same principal and aftercare prescribed when your physical heart is under attack. I rested. I took care of myself by focussing on my wellbeing. I realised that I had strained my spiritual heart by allowing fear and anxiety to pollute the well of my heart. And just like cleaning a natural well, I decided to take out all the “debris” that I had allowed to enter my heart. I repented – which simply means asking forgiveness for not trusting my loving Father. I meditated on His word and promises for me daily. In Proverbs 4: 20 – 22 He tells us “My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my saying. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all your flesh”
I still have no guarantees about my eyesight, but the One who created my eyes told me to trust Him. As I again filled my heart with focussing on His goodness and faithfulness, faith began to rise up in me. Like before, I am again able to speak life, even in the face of death. I do not walk by sight (pun intended). I walk by faith in the One who holds my future and because of that I have 20/20 vision even if I should loose my eyesight!
I want to encourage you. Go to a place of rest. Listen to yourself and to what comes out of your mouth. Is your heart and your well polluted? Do you agree with what the Father is saying over your life, or have you come into agreement with whatever the world is sending your way?
My wish for you and me is that is this next year and decade we will be diligent in guarding what goes into our hearts. When we do that, what comes out of our mouths will align with what heaven has in store for us.