My 14-year old daughter told me that I embarrass her because it seems like I’m drunk.

Her comment just cracked me up because I cannot recall that last time I even had a drink. I knew she was referring to my overflowing joy that keeps me grinning from ear-to-ear, randomly laughing out loud and spontaneously singing off-key songs of praise worship. I suppose it would look like I’m crazy to a 13 year-old.

I thought to myself, “If she only knew what God has brought me through and how the fact that I have a clean heart is a miracle.” Having experienced being hurt by men so many times that I stopped counting, having a father who criticized me three times for every one time he encouraged me, having to leave friendships behind, and my daughter’s father marrying another woman while I was 3 months pregnant with his child, brought on yet another random burst of laughter as I am so thankful that God showed me the steps to fully heal my heart – no matter what.

While I began doing emotional healing work twenty years ago, God has more recently brought me a full understanding of just how important our hearts are to Him. Your heart was designed to be clear and free for God to use you to fulfill His purpose in your life. When your heart has even a remnant of unforgiveness, resentment or emotional hurt still lingering, it leaves God less capacity to utilize.

A clean heart has no resentment, emotional pain, hurt, suffering, anger or bitterness whatsoever. Whether you have been hurt from past romantic relationships, friendships, family or church hurt and even sexual violation, you can have a heart free of heaviness and pain – a clean heart. Not only is it possible to have a clean heart, it is a requirement for you to move into all God has for you.

God has literally created a tablet in your heart that can either be filled with clean things or unclean things (Proverbs 7:3). It also shows that while you can appear to the world to laugh and be okay, your heart may still ache from past hurts (Proverbs 14:13). Unforgiveness literally blocks your blessings. A clean heart is a requirement to fully love and serve God.

Yes, there is a process to clean your heart and release all emotional baggage that is hindering you. With the following steps, you can erase emotional baggage once and for all:

  1. Confess. Acknowledge that incomplete pain is present.
  2. Allow Yourself to Feel. Fully realize the depth of the pain you have been carrying. Despite what you might have heard, healing has nothing to do with time, you can only heal to the extent that you acknowledge and deal with your pain.
  3. What did you make it mean about yourself? What conclusions did you draw about yourself? Did you make it mean that you aren’t good enough or worthy enough?
  4. Express your pain. Bring completion to the situation without doing harm to yourself or anyone else. Write it. Speak it.
  5. Pray! Pray! Pray! Take time to give your burden to God. Release it. Ask God to take the pain from your heart and spirit. He will.
  6. Choose to Forgive. Be specific about the situations of unforgiveness to which you are still holding on. Declare that you forgive yourself and the other(s) involved.
  7. Make a New Choice and Be It!!! Decide who you are going to be from this moment forward and walk in it.

These steps work without fail when you follow them. Remember to go through these steps every time something occurs that causes you emotional hurt so your heart remains fully available to God.

With Love, Ericka