Family members hurt us. Friends betray us. Fellow Christians deceive us. But Jesus provides a path through the pain—the Lord’s Prayer.
In The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary DeMuth shows you that you can reach wholeness and healing in the aftermath of painful relationships by following the road map of the Lord’s Prayer. You’ll walk through story after story of hurt people who are led through biblical truth into amazing, life-sustaining, joyful growth.
Life is hard. People can be mean and petty and awful. But they can also be amazing and beautiful and sacrificial. God is good. He is faithful. You can trust him with your relationships. “He’ll send people to call out what is hard in your heart,” Mary shares. “And that’s a gift to you.”
Allow God to access the wall around your heart. Dare to say, “Tear down the bricks, Lord, whatever it takes.” Pray first. Ask for bravery—for yourself and for others. Risk engaging despite your hurt. Seek the shelter of Jesus.You don’t have to resign yourself to your wounds! You can rise above the pain. You’ll usher in a new life—an openhearted way of relating to others that expands the kingdom of God. In the process, you’ll draw closer to Jesus, be healed, and become an agent of healing to others.
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About the Author
Mary DeMuth is the author of several southern novels, including A Slow Burn, Life in Defiance, and the Christy award finalists, Watching the Tree Limbs and Daisy Chain. She’s also written four parenting books and a memoir, Thin Places. She’s passionate about the written word, teaching, and mentoring writers. Mary lives in Texas with her husband, Patrick, and their three children.
Read an Excerpt
The Wall Around Your Heart
How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You
By MARY DEMUTH
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2013 Mary E. Demuth
All rights reserved.
"Pray Like This": Pray First
JESUS STARTED HIS FAMOUS PRAYER WITH THREE WORDS: "PRAY like this." Not gossip like this. Not tell everyone else the other person's issues like this. Not stew on the issue until your heart embitters like this. Not grumble like this. Not avoid like this.
"Pray like this."
I'm typing these words after a hellacious bout of stress that's toppled our family and sent me careening for answers. Our youngest daughter experienced scary health problems, the kind that sent her to the hospital more than once. It almost seems counterintuitive to write those three one-syllable words.
So in whatever circumstance we walk, Jesus beckons us toward prayer, toward relationship with Him. The very essence of this prayer welcomes honesty, to let Jesus in on whatever stresses us out. Running to the Greek helps me (and makes my Greek-loving, theology-bent husband proud). The Greek word for "this" is proseuchomai. Pro means "to face or look toward." Euchomai translates "to declare out loud, express a wish" (I like that). In the New Testament, the word is always used in reference to God, and it sounds like the word for "worship," proskuneo. So when Jesus used this word, He communicated more than three words. We must speak to God face-to-face, sharing our hearts and burdens, and as we do, we choose to worship Him in the process. To let Him know how big He is in relation to our current pain.
But Jesus doesn't invite us only to Him in this prayer; He welcomes us into His community. I don't always run to others when painful circumstances squeeze life from me. I cocoon myself, cry, wallow, and give in to catatonic stares. I isolate myself. Although this recent trial has little to do with a painful relationship, the beckoning of Jesus remains the same. He wants to be a part of our pain, to walk alongside us through the bewilderment, to shoulder the burdens we pick up so quickly by ourselves. And He wants to invite us to community, so others can be His hands and feet when we can't feel or walk. His invitation in this prayer isn't simply to Him but to the family He created when He died on the cross and welcomed us into community.
Jesus welcomed me to Himself and to my husband (community) during a particularly difficult time in our marriage. I had a conversation with my husband about a couple we once knew. The husband had been chewing tobacco and hiding it from his wife. When she found out, she exploded. Although they were tentacled in the moment, the couple used that time of sheer honesty to start a new foundation in their relationship. I admired them, but I'm pretty sure I said, "Honey, if you ever do anything like that, I'll kill you." I said it with a smile. But my smile had teeth.
Flip forward in the DeMuth family album. For some reason, I couldn't use our minivan to go to the gym one morning, so I borrowed Patrick's truck. I needed something in the glove compartment. As I opened it, a little round can fell to the passenger's side floor. My heart fell with it. My husband was hiding his habit.
I wanted to yell. I envisioned a lot of ranting and storming about, arms flailing to the ceiling, voice attaining a high pitch. But instead I stopped in that moment, turned on the ignition, and drove to the gym. I stepped onto the treadmill, plugged in some worship music, and prayed like a crazy woman. Face forward, I let Jesus have every bit of me, every feeling of betrayal, every hot shred of anger, every gnarl of revenge. It helped that I ran fast and hard. My husband's deception, and my finding out without him first being honest, no longer felt larger than God. He would be with me. He would give me calm but firm words.
Since it had been early in the morning when I exercised, my tobacco-chewing husband was asleep when I arrived home. I watched him for a minute, wondering if there were other unsolved mysteries between us. And then I crawled in next to him. I placed my arms around him and said, "I found your can of chew in the glove compartment. Want to tell me the story?"
Oddly, we had a civil conversation. I didn't explode. I'd been one of those wives who had secret fears, particularly this one after our friends had walked through it. I thought beforehand that I couldn't bear up under that kind of trickery. But I did. By God's sheer and available grace.
Patrick apologized. He felt relieved, actually, to be found out. And he kept chewing but no longer in secret. The power of the secret faded, and he kicked the habit without me nagging or ranting or threatening.
Please don't think me a saint in this story. There are plenty of other stories where I bent my anger, angled it right at my husband's heart in the grip of rage. But in this instance, I chose to "pray like this," and it made all the difference. I focused on Jesus. On that treadmill, I thought of the cross, how Jesus suffered innocently for the wrong we did. His suffering gave me an invitation for kinship with Him. Still, I felt betrayed, lied to, and deceived. The weight of my husband's sin felt hot and sticky, and I suffered under it.
But in giving every single thought to Jesus in that moment, I opened the door for healing in my marriage. I can easily see how that one instance could've ushered us down a destructive path. And I realized that if my husband could deceive me, I truly couldn't change him. The only thing I could control was my response when I found out. I won't stand before a holy God and be judged for others' sins. Only for my own.
We forget that sin tends to abound, to grow, to flourish in the midst of angry arguments, where we can blame someone for the terrible thing he or she did. Our ungodly or uncontrolled response can add more sin to the mix until it becomes a volcanic sinfest. By taking my anger to Jesus first, I settled my heart, gave it some space to process and grieve, and experienced an odd sense of peace.
We tend to wall off our hearts in the aftermath of pain. Praying this way is preventive; it prevents the walls before we take up bricks. Prayer is proactive, restorative, and rejuvenating. And it begins with Jesus—who He is. Shane Claiborne emphasized the action portion of prayer when he wrote, "I've learned that prayer is not just about trying to get God to do what we want God to do but about getting ourselves to do what God wants us to do. Training us to be the kind of people God wants us to be."
At the genesis of the Lord's Prayer, we're reminded that we have to start somewhere after pain. What's essential? Why? And how can we begin to respond well?
Begin with Jesus
WE START OUR JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION WITH THE GOD-MAN who spoke the words of this prayer. Asking yourself Who is Jesus?—and being truthful in your answer—is the most important question you'll ever ask. Why? Because how we frame our answer determines how much we allow Him into our pain, whether past or present.
After a traumatic childhood, where God's name was a swear word, and my pleas to go to Sunday school were ignored, I had no idea how to begin with Jesus. I honestly didn't know He existed.
What I did know: something about me felt fundamentally broken. I had no safe place to talk through the devastation of my childhood, no one to tell about childhood rape at five or to talk about my father's death when I was ten. More than that, I believed I was a walking mistake, a fluke of a girl who shouldn't have been born, meant to be in the way—a nuisance. I didn't experience fond affection or nurturing. In almost every way, I lived alone, unable to rightly process the pain that others had inflicted my way. Had I never met Jesus, I'd have spent my entire life in reverse, reliving the aftermath year after year, learning clever ways to numb my pain, excite my life, or end it all.
In the eighth grade, the past caught up with me. I was a combustive mess, a volatile cocktail of unmet expectations, loneliness, anger, and fear. The actions of others piled on top of me, and I couldn't find hope in that darkness. I wanted to end my life.
Chances are, you've been in a place like that once or twice, where other people's actions have hijacked you. You're like Joseph from the book of Genesis whose brothers sold him into slavery. Through no fault of your own, you scratch around in an earthen pit, longing for rescue, only to be enslaved the moment someone pulls you from the hole. This is how people's lives venture into pain's path. They find short rescue only to live a lifetime enslaved to that pain.
I could not see out of the pit at fourteen years old. I didn't want to see out of it. I'd resigned myself to a sad life or no life at all.
He had other plans. He's the One who rescued me from the pit of other people's abuse so I didn't have to live back then in the fulcrum of all that pain. A year later, I heard the simple story of Jesus, told from the Gospels. Every week, the Young Life leader enticed me with more. Jesus hugged outcasts. He turned things around for broken folks. He settled disputes. He told the self-important to calm down and start loving. He played.
I could nearly see the dirt beneath His nails, hear the tenderness in His voice, and discern His laughter as He loved. Jesus changed every single thing about me because He embodied the opposite of the oppressors in my life. Where they came to steal, Jesus gave me life. Where they pushed for my destruction, Jesus provided exuberance. Where their neglect pushed me further into myself, Jesus opened me up like a gift.
At fifteen years old, I could barely contain all the Jesus stories. So I asked Jesus to please rewrite my story. I gave Him joyful permission to deal with the villains in my life, heal me from untold stories, and bring out a sweeter denouement. And He did.
Anyone dealing with feeling stuck after relational pain must start with Jesus, our empathetic Savior. Consider what Jesus experienced by the very people He created:
People mocked Him.
They abandoned Him.
They undressed Him.
Friends rejected Him and His message.
Even His disciples misunderstood Him.
Several wanted Him to be someone He wasn't.
Some spat on Him.
Many disobeyed Him.
Peter denied Him.
Judas, one of His closest friends, exchanged His life for pocket change.
Some took up stones to kill Him.
Others believed they were better than He was.
Religious people were wildly and terribly jealous of Him.
Many left Him at the point He needed them most.
We begin with Jesus because He understands. He lived through hell-on-earth, experienced everything we'll experience, and came through victorious in the aftermath. Because of His amazing empathy, we no longer need to lose heart. He who asked us to "pray like this" knew that we'd need this prayer. He knew we'd experience heartache. And He knew we would need a Savior who would "get" us.
His sympathy reminds me of this passage: "Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help" (Heb. 4:14–16 MSG).
To make it through to the other side of relational pain, we start with Jesus. And then we move to His affection.
Begin with His Affection
WE'D AVOID A LOT OF INSECURITY IF WE FULLY, WHOLLY BELIEVED IN God's wild affection for us. Once we've internalized that foundational truth, secure and loved, we begin to see that God also loves the people who have hurt us. But we cannot love our enemies until we see those twin truths: God loves me. God loves them.
In my late teens, a leader hurt me, discouraged me, and sent me reeling. Because this leader wore a ministry badge, the hurt felt even more cancerous. Isn't that how we are sometimes? We can excuse the shenanigans of others who don't know Jesus, but if the person is a Christian, particularly a leader, the pain feels deeper and harder and more perplexing. During this time as I nursed my bewilderment (and looking back on the story, I'm better able to see my dysfunction in our interchange), the leader experienced romance. I couldn't understand how anyone could love the leader. Why? How? All I could see was the blackness of the leader's sin, which made her all evil in my eyes. I defined her in absolutes, but I had absolutely no grace for her.
Immature and angry, I stewed about this for a month or two until I finally realized that Jesus deeply loved this woman. He died for her. He had fond affection for her heart, her dreams, her soul, her wherewithal. When I realized this, all my catastrophic thinking about how evil she was started to fade. I began to pray for her, see her in a different light, and eventually forgive her.
In another instance, I had an otherworldly anger toward the brothers who molested me when I was five years old. For my entire kindergarten year, they took me from my babysitter's house, pulled me into ravines and out-of-the-way places, and raped me. They asked their friends to join in. They threatened me.
"If you tell, you'll never, ever be able to have babies someday."
"If you tell, we'll kill your mother and father."
They pushed me down, placed dirty hands over my mouth so I couldn't scream, and did that awful, violating act. The only thing that rescued me that year was my ability to fake sleep and a providential move twenty miles away.
I could not see those boys in light of Jesus' love for them.
But eventually grace crept into my heart.
I realized those boys learned that behavior somewhere, whether they'd been abused by someone or found pornography that fueled their very real fantasies. I came to realize that they'd most likely been victims. And I thought about what would happen to people like that once they reached adulthood. Did they offend again? Tuck that awful stuff in a locked back closet of memory? Were they haunted by guilt? Once I explored those questions, I began to see Jesus' affection for those boys, now men. And honestly, if I saw them today, I would ask lots of questions, offer to pray, and tell them Jesus loves them. That's the work of Jesus, not me. Which is why we must begin with Jesus and His affection for the people who hurt us. And after we do that, our focus must shift heavenward.
Begin with Worship
IT'S COUNTERINTUITIVE TO PRAISE GOD WHEN PEOPLE HURT US. BUT it's the best thing we can do. When we were in ministry, Patrick and I endured deception, meanness, and undermining by people who were supposed to be Christian leaders. Some of the injury felt meaningless. We endured all of this while we walked through financial duress and culture shock, and our children had difficulty with demeaning teachers. On every level of our lives, we felt attacked. Many days all I wanted to do was stay in bed, never venturing out into the big, bad world. My capacity to bear more pain had been stretched to breaking.
The one thing that helped me through this time was a little ritual I practiced in the mornings. After we walked the kids to school or sometimes before, I jogged up the hill behind our home with my iPod tuned to worship. As I ran and listened to the words of songs extolling the beauty of God, renewal washed over me. Though my problems felt gargantuan, they shrank to their proper size in the light of God's greatness. The panic faded. The worry waned. And I found myself humming along to the melody while lavender fields and vineyards reminded me that God was a great Creator, and He was mindful of me, even when I felt small and buried beneath the sin of others.
When Jesus said, "Pray like this," He meant those words in the context of deep relationship with the Father—the Father who is worthy, otherworldly, almighty, pure, and loving. As we pray for people who hurt us, we must settle into God's worthiness in the midst of that pain. We do that by worshiping, taking the focus off our circumstances, and choosing to look heavenward to say and sing and write things about our impossible God.
It's a sheer act of will, this worship. Many of our painful relationships could be put to right, at least in the way we frame them, if we spent more time shouting about God's goodness than yelling at or about the people who hurt us. As we evaluate the difficult people in our lives in the midst of worship, we will be able to see them as gifts.
Excerpted from The Wall Around Your Heart by MARY DEMUTH. Copyright © 2013 Mary E. Demuth. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Fortress Heart.................... xi
1. "Pray Like This": Pray First.................... 1
2. "Our Father in Heaven": Live in Your Father's Affection................. 21
3. "May Your Name Be Kept Holy": Allow God to Be God.................... 39
4. "May Your Kingdom Come Soon": Walk in the Great Right Now............... 63
5. "May Your Will Be Done on Earth": Respond Like Jesus.................... 87
6. "As It Is in Heaven": Let Heaven Frame Your Relationships............... 105
7. "Give Us Today the Food We Need": Ask Jesus for Help.................... 119
8. "And Forgive Us Our Sins": Be Repentant.................... 135
9. "As We Have Forgiven Those Who Sin Against Us": Defy Bitterness......... 155
10. "And Don't Let Us Yield to Temptation": Dare to Engage Anyway.......... 185
11. "But Rescue Us from the Evil One": Be Fully Alive.................... 199
Epilogue: An Open Heart.................... 217
Appendix: Dealing with Wolves.................... 225
About the Author.................... 239
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Move from the bitter walls of your painful past to open hearted living! Some of the most painful wounds are those acquired within our own community. Whether it is within the walls of our church, our neighborhood, or our own home, the hurt runs deep. Sometimes these wounds remain deeply buried as we rush on with the urgent business of our lives. As we move on we tend to put up emotional walls for protection. Walls to keep from either feeling that pain, or from being hurt once again in any of our relationships. In The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary will walk you through the road map of the Lord's Prayer to help you find hope and healing from your past relational pain. She will walk you through that process, breaking down the wall around your heart into an open hearted way of relating to those around you. Mary teaches us all to trust God with our relationships, and in doing so we break down those walls around our heart. Open your heart to the joy of walking with Jesus...the Healer of your heart and soul.
THE WALL AROUND YOUR HEART How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You By Mary DeMuth People hurt us, people betray us, but Jesus provides a path through the pain with the Lord’s Prayer. This is what the author offers in this book. Mary takes you through each verse of the Lord’s Prayer and shows how each will help you when you are hurt and betrayed. Mary covers many situations from her own life and situations from others. Abuse, bullying, painful relationships, these are different hurts that may happen in your life. She gives scripture verses that show how Jesus will take away your pain and begin healing in your heart and help with forgiveness. There are questions at the end of each chapter for study. This healing will open your heart to Jesus and a better relationship with Him. When we can say to the Lord, “tear down these bricks that make a wall around my heart,” you will be going in the right direction. The book is easy to read and can help ease your hurt and pains of life. The main text Mary brings to light is that Jesus is there to help you and see you through your pain. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
The thing I love most about the writings of Mary DeMuth is how she tends to weave in the theme of grace-love in her words. This book is no exception. The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You takes a look at the good, the not-so-good, and the unpretty of relationships and it teaches readers beautiful truths for the heart through the scope of the LORD's prayer. With a clear style and an unhindered view of some of her life relationships, Mary shares a wealth of information that is sure to help anyone willing to give this book a try. This book would be an excellent resource for large or small group Bible study growth groups. It is practical, relevant, and helpful. If taken seriously, I believe it has the power to transform. A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The words I have expressed are my own.
“Satan wants nothing more for us than to run from God because of someone else’s bad behavior.” Using The Lord’s Prayer as a template, Mary DeMuth reveals the subtle ways we can deal with the hurts others have inflicted on us, the hurts we’ve let disconnect us from the community we need for wholeness. In each chapter, she digs deep into a phrase of The Lord’s Prayer, and offers practical suggestions on how to apply that to relational issues. Mary shares her own experiences, good and bad, and helps the reader understand conflict, hurt and restoration from God’s perspective. “We allow God access to the walls around our hearts, daring to declare, ‘Take down the bricks, whatever it takes.’ We usher in a new life, an openhearted way of relating to people that expands the kingdom of God.” Mary’s heart shines with a passion for healthy, authentic Christian community. But this teaching applies to ANY relationship, and I was convicted of some walls I’ve constructed in my marriage. Mary’s insight has caused me to reexamine some issues in other family relationships too. Even if you don’t think you’ve put up walls, reading The Wall Around Your Heart might convict you otherwise. The author/publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I loved Mary's approach and perspective in this book. We all have walls around our hearts for some reason or another, some that build up and crumble easily, some that are so large and sturdy a bulldozer couldn't even crack them. Not only is Mary's approach to pray those walls down effective because it follows Jesus' own model of prayer, it's also a proactive approach, helping us see how destructive those walls are and using that same prayer to keep from letting the wall get built again. Praying Scripture is a win-win situation every time. Praying like Jesus did can only help us draw closer to Him and know Him in a more intimate way. I highly recommend this book.
Mary DeMuth writes on the difficult topic of recovering from relational pain, especially when it occurs within the Christian community. By using the eleven phrases from the Lord's Prayer, she shares insights on learning to love beyond the hurts that have been inflicted on our hearts by others. She is very honest and relatable in her own struggles to get beyond the pain. This book is full of grace and hope that dismantles the self-protective wall. At the end of each chapter there are 'Questions for Growth,' designed to help you go deeper with the material. This book will help you move forward in the difficult relationships and step into open-hearted living.
I have had the pleasure of seeing this book changing lives, and I am also amazed at how being open to the message of this book is changing my own life. Being truly open to living in community, even when it is messy and it hurts, is a beautiful thing. Mary uses the Lord's Prayer to show us how to drop the walls that we hide behind and experience the community that God created us for. The book was written in such a way that it was easy to read, although at times hard to hear. Looking at the truth in this book wasn't always pleasant, but it is necessary to heal and transform. I would recommend that everyone read this book.
Mary DeMuth has done it again: an awesome and inspiring Christian living book. We all have experienced some sort of relational pain in our lives. That's why we tend to shut down, build walls around our hearts. But Mary shows us that there is a better way to deal with pain. It is possible to have a tender heart in the midst of hardships. In this book Mary shows the way by using the Lord's prayer. It really works. So if you're looking for a book to guide you towards openhearted living, this is it. This book is not only wonderfully written (it flows really smoothly), it is also packed with stories and spiritual gems. Highly recommended.
Mary DeMuth takes something as profound as The Lord's Prayer, line by line, to show you how to truly understand forgiveness. Not the forgiveness you think someone owes you from past hurts and lies but true forgiveness towards those very people. The bricks that build the walls to keep you safe are actually forming a prison that stops you from moving forward in God's Kingdom. Mary's personal insight into forgiveness and extending grace is a powerful reminder that God has called us all to live in community. It took me 3 weeks to finish the book because each time I set it down one of my daughters or friends swiped it!! it will quickly become part of your permanent library. Thanks to The Wall Around Your Heart I now see The Lord's Prayer in a deeper, more meaningful way.
The words of "The Wall Around Your Heart" are standing ready to pop off the pages like BB's to shatter the fortress that has built up in us, sealing our emotions into a prison of suffering. Mary DeMuth's book is a must-read for anyone who has experienced brokenness in relationships. Her words offer the key to unlocking our healing, leaving the door to our prison cell swinging on broken hinges, daylight streaming in to bring new life and hope.
When I picked up this book, I didn't expect its author to perform emotional surgery on my heart. By the time I got through the first chapter, I couldn't put it down. Mary shares so many insights and personal examples that I discovered things I'd forgotten---hurts from long ago, moments I'd hurt others, and wounds I didn't even realize hurt until, at her prompting, I examined the tenderness they'd left. Nearly every page in the book has something underlined because I know I'll need that principle again. Mary's use of end-of-chapter case studies from her own life, along with questions for us as readers, make the ideas into tools we can use in our relationships right away. It goes beyond the art of grieving relational loss, beyond forgiveness, into how to live joy, hope, and love again. A great read, and one you'll want to share.
How to Heal from Broken Relationships You've heard the saying, "hurt people hurt people."Even those with the best intentions wound one another. Author Mary DeMuth knows firsthand what it feels like to be hurt by others. From childhood sexual abuse to being deeply wounded by close Christian friends. She wanted to shut down and shut others out. But knew she couldn't heal the brokenness created in community by being alone. Mary knew healing would only occur in community. In The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary reminds us how she returned to a timeless prayer, The Lord's Prayer, to help her break down the invisible walls she'd erected around her heart. Walls that kept not only the bad out but the good out too. This book is a must-read for everyone hurting from emotional pain. Join Mary and learn how you, too, can begin to allow God to break down the walls around your heart.
I read Mary DeMuth's book Everything when it released and loved it. So when I saw she had a new book out, I couldn't wait to read it. But to be honest, I didn't really think I had any walls around my heart. I'm a pretty open person, and I don't usually have a problem letting people "in." As I read the book, though, God helped me recognize at least one person whom I have put walls up against. That person is God. As hard as that is to admit, it's the truth. And I figure I'm not the only one out there who has been hurt by God. Maybe He didn't come through for you when you prayed. Maybe you prayed for a certain thing to happen, and instead He allowed your greatest fear to come true. Maybe He didn't save you from that one thing you thought He would never allow to happen. Reading Mary's book helped me recognize the walls I've build up around my heart. Walls to protect myself from further damage. Walls that I thought would keep me safe. These walls, though, haven't kept me safe. They have kept me broken. One suggestion Mary made in the book was to fast from asking "why." That's what I'm going to try and do: stop asking God why. Fast from having to understand. Fast from having to have all the answers. Fast from having to "get it." The Wall Around Your Heart was written to break down walls between people, but for this girl, the book has helped break down a wall between me and God. This is a great book to read if you've been broken by relationships (relationships with people or your relationship with God). It uses The Lord's Prayer to guide you toward healing. *I received this book for free from the author but all opinions are my own.
If you're feeling hurt by past relationships, constrained in living the life the Lord is calling you to live, or you are simply seeking the encouragement to live an unbridled life more fully to the glory of God, I highly recommend this book. I can't express enough gratitude to God for inspiring Mary to openly share her wisdom on how to heal from relational hurts in order to experience the full joy of truly loving others through the power of Christ. As I turned the pages, some of the walls around my heart were hard to see at first - I just didn't even know they were there. And until this book, I never would have thought to seek them out, or to try break them down .... to discover what I was missing. What I enjoy most about Mary's writing, is that you can feel her right there with you as you read each page - sharing her own journey and spurring you on in yours. Her ability to help her readers open their eyes to the possibilities that come when we surrender our hearts more and more to Jesus is a gift the Lord has given her to serve each of us. Mary is such a humble and gracious example of living life joyfully for the King of Kings, and inspiring us all to do the same!
A heartfelt book that will change the way you see others. Guaranteed to bring healing for your heart, if you will allow it to. Walking through one of the most recognized prayers, "The Lord's Prayer", you get deeper insight how to really engage in this prayer and live it out.
Powerful read...even if you don't think you need healing. I read it because I love the author...by page 4 I realized I needed healing. Mary does an amazing job of pouring out her heart. This book uses The Lord’s Prayer to provide a biblical perspective on practical steps for healing. This is a book that provides genuine healing. I will read it over and over again! Laura Harris
The pain of loss is sometimes so great as to take our breath away. It's the sucker punch that drops you to your knees, leaving you gasping for air and wondering how on earth that just happened. The loss can come from anywhere...betrayal of a friend, death of a loved one, change of circumstances...and even when you can regain your breath, you continue to hold it for fear that the loss and the pain will strike again. When we live through the loss, we find ourselves changed. I am changed. I am more guarded. I am less confident. I am tempted to live in the fear again. And brick by brick, we build walls around our hearts to keep from hurting and being hurt all over again. We build the wall as high as we can reach, add a door or a window just in case we ever want to look outside, and we shut and lock the door against any and all intruders. In The Wall Around Your Heart, author Mary DeMuth writes about how to live an openhearted life. By looking at Jesus and the way He prayed and taught His disciples to pray, Mary's words challenge us to take down the wall around our hearts one brick at a time. As Mary points us to Jesus, we see that He was able to live in a remarkably open-hearted manner despite being betrayed, disbelieved, and hurt by the very family and friends you would expect to be on His side. Mary's words have helped me to realize where I'm living in a closed-hearted way and have inspired me to want to live with an open heart. She offers such great practical ideas on how to make that happen as we pray Jesus' words and ask God to work in our hearts. If you want to learn to live with an open heart, buy this book and join the Openhearted Revolution today!
There are so many books written today. Some are informative. Some are inspiring. Some are cute. Some are just plain bad. But so few books have the ability to literally change lives. Mary DeMuth's book falls into that rare category. With poise, tenderness, and honesty, Mary walks us through the steps we need to take to forgive those who have hurt us deeply. She does not speak to those momentary mistakes that are easily let go of, but rather those harsh wounds that scar our soul and impact every moment of our lives. If we let them. Walking through The Lord's Prayer, she allows us to see the wisdom of Jesus in a fresh new way. A freedom-giving way.