Archive for November, 2013

STOP and DIG: What’s Happening in Your Own Heart Today?

As an adolescent therapist, I have the privilege of listening to teens as they share their deepest and darkest secrets as well as their everyday complaints and concerns. In the midst of many of these conversations I will gently ask the teenager to “stop and dig” for just a minute. They quickly learn that this phrase invites them to stop talking about the dirty details of the dilemma in order to take a moment to purposefully explore what might be happening in the heart and mind beneath the surface. What are they (or even the other people in the situation) really wanting or needing?   What are their expectations of themselves, the others?  Could God be allowing this struggle for some greater purpose in their own lives?

In these pauses, kids are encouraged and taught how to tune into the deepest desires that might just be dwelling, bubbling and even burning in their heart.  I ask them to connect these longings with the unmet expectations they are experiencing and/or their own strategies, devices or demands to get these needs met.   When they begin to understand what their heart really longs for and how they lean on others or themselves to meet these needs, many begin to see critical patterns in their lives that are worth noting. These intentional moments often help many teens to begin to recognize and consider their constant need for a relationship with the Only One who can fully satisfy the needs of His children.

What about you mom, dad, youth worker?  What “above ground” challenges are you facing today?  What do you see happening around you?  I invite you to pause in your day, to take a moment to stop and dig.  What could be going on inside of you beneath it all?  What might your teen, spouse or even friend be experiencing as well?  As you consider whatever it is that lies before you, stop and think about what you REALLY long for?  What do you find yourself doing to satisfy those deeper needs?  Perhaps, it is a need for order, for healing, for safety, for change, for joy or maybe the salvation of your son or daughter.   As children of God, many of our desires definitely mirror the heart of God.  Still others can become idols that represent desires that are above God or come before God.  When we take time to sit before Him, God will use His Spirit and His Word God to unveil both the desires and deceits of our hearts.

Unfortunately, we often spin our wheels above the surface trying to attack, manage, or solve the problems on our own.  In the end we are left with very little fuel to dig up what lurks below.  Before today ends like it did yesterday and the day before that, I invite you, my friend, to take a moment and sit before God and His Word.  Think slowly for a minute about the problems and challenges that you are currently facing.  Then ask the Lord to expose what might be going on in  YOUR heart.  As parents of teens we often spend so much time tuned into the heart of our teens, that we neglect what might be happening in our own.  As you bring your heart before the Father, you need not fear the hands of the great surgeon.  He will lovingly listen to the cries that lurk in the crevices of your own heart.   He loves you so much and deeply longs for you to trust Him with your heart. Only He can satisfy the longings that you have, whatever they may be.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
 “I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.

Jeremiah 17:7-10



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