I am currently living in Gaming, Austria while studying abroad with Franciscan University of Steubenville. I find myself surrounded by new things: a new bed, a new classroom, a new language, a new lifestyle, and a new community. Adjusting to the new atmosphere definitely takes its time. Throughout the changes, I have realized the most important part of my life has not changed. Christ’s presence in the Eucharist and the Church does not change. The Holy Spirit poured out upon us does not change. God the Father, full of love for His children, does not change. The continuous call to conversion remains the same no matter where we are in life. God wants to bring us closer to Himself to experience the fullness of His love. God desires for each of us to become united to Him.

Throughout the season of Lent, I want to prepare my heart for the Lord to receive the fullness of His love. In the process of preparing my heart, the Lord is leading me to discover the depths of my own heart. In the past, my own heart is a place I have feared going into. I still face fears every day, but am learning how to surrender my fears to the foot of the Cross so Jesus can bring life out of them on the day of His Resurrection. I desire Christ to change my heart.

Let Our Hearts Be Changed

None of us are meant to be complacent–to stay where we are at in our faith lives. Letting our hearts be changed means that we must go beyond the known places in our hearts. Often times, I stumble away from going further into the depths of my heart because I am afraid of my own brokenness. My fears are results of being hurt in my past. Most of the time, I don’t want to face my fears because I know the pain that comes with them. I am afraid of living in pain, even though I know I won’t be living in pain forever. Christ has the ability to heal. I know His healing power because I have experienced it, but I am still afraid.

I am determined to not let my fears hold me bound. I am determined to break free from my fears and let Christ heal the wounds surrounded by my fears. Recently, I have discovered one of my fears is the fear of being known because I have been rejected and hurt over and over throughout my life. This fear of being known infringes on my relationship with Christ. I am determined to let Christ change my heart–to let Christ heal my heart.

I know I am made for greatness, not brokenness. I also know that God does not want me to experience pain, rejection, and fears. He allows me to experience these things so that He can make something far greater come out of them. In all honesty, if I have not gone through pain and suffering, I would not know the greatness of God’s love, mercy, and healing. During this season of Lent, I am determined to let my heart be changed. I want to encourage you to walk on this journey with me. To enter the depths of your own heart with the Lord. He wants to bring you out of your complacency and out of your pain, to bring you healing. Let our hearts be changed by God who holds all healing in His hands.

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

© 2018 Emily Pillatzki

Photo Credit: Emily Pillatzki