I was blind but now i see: a woman standing in the desert with her arms raised, praising God

I Was Blind But Now I See: The Journey of a Pure Heart

I’ve been on a journey. This journey began long before I knew it did, when the Lord said He knew me before I was even formed in my mother’s womb. 

The journey of my life has been quite beautiful when I look back upon it. But beauty does not represent ease or happiness. Not in this story.

In this journey there was pain, so much pain. Shame. Confusion. Frustration. Flailing. Falling. Picking myself back up and going at it again. Hopelessness. But there was also joy, creation, and becoming. 

That last one is still in progress. 

I don’t believe my life is past and present, rather, it’s a long trajectory with axis points along the way that dictate where I came from and where I go.

Jesus is my North Star, now and forevermore. When the journey is arduous, the nights are long, and pain is ever-present, the compass of my spirit points me back to His presence. 

Jesus is my North Star, quote by Ashley Harkey

One particular axis that made me feel alive and free was my ability to understand, accept, and feel my inner world; fully and deeply. This really only came into full force after the axis point of my salvation. 

This awareness did, indeed, begin before my salvation, in my early 20’s when I started to discover myself more; my wants, my needs, my pleasure, my pain, and ultimately – my depravity.

But this awareness had no fulfillment, solidification, or end-goal of healing & redemption until it was partnered with the spirit of the living God through my salvation.

It was just aimless wandering of the soul, trying to pinpoint and tack things on the billboard of my existence and create meaning for them all. 

Then, in one decision, one choice, one encounter with Christ – I was forever changed.

Free from what enslaved me, held me captive; shame of duplicity, bad decisions, regrets, inability to be who I wanted to be, inability to be who others needed me to be.

Free from addiction that had become my solace for the hopelessness around me, the chaos of my inner world, the disappointment of each corner I turned.

I suffered greatly in my sin. And a large part of that suffering came from the fact that there was an eternal piece of existence within my heart that God had set in motion from the beginning of time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that was so hungry and thirsty to be fulfilled and unleashed from the monotony of just a pure fleshly world; dry, disillusioned dead ends.

I wanted more than what I was experiencing and it seemed that it did not exist. 

But it does exist

And so I’ve contemplated and pondered; how did I get here, and why me? 

Many people are completely oblivious to their pain and the way it dictates their life. Like a magnet beneath a board that moves them along a trajectory of wherever it wants to go. 

It’s simply this: I wanted nothing less than the fullness of what God had for me, I asked for it, and the Lord gave it to me. 

Ask and you shall receive. 

Seek and you will find. 

Knock and the door will be opened. 

I wanted a purity of heart and hands so that nothing would cloud my ability to see, know, and love others. My compassion is one of my greatest gifts, and I was able to recognize the way it was stunted by my own pain and disillusionment. 

The journey of understanding yourself & walking through inner healing is not a selfish one. It’s quite the opposite.

Who you are dictates who others will be. There is not one in the Kingdom of God without influence. You are the light of the world, the city on a hill. The purity of your heart is directly related to the destiny of others. 

What is selfish is staying stuck in the sand, withholding your surrender, and neglecting the call of the Lord to mold and shape you as his own.

Your life is not your own. And as all things in the Kingdom, when you allow the pruning and refining work to unfold, you will find beauty for ashes. 

It is for freedom you’ve been set free.

My personality has always been attuned to the deeper layers of life, yes.

I find it particularly difficult to participate in what is superficial, yes.

Listening, compassion, and contemplation are all gifts that I’ve been given, yes.

These things made me attuned to a life of contemplation and upward growth that awareness brings.

But without the supernatural oversight of the Holy Spirit, I was still inauthentic, insecure, and struggled to make sense of it all. 

I was blind, but now I see. 

Emotional Healing, Upward Growth, & a Life of Clarity

the need for control is the root cause of an anxious woman. quote by ashley harkey from mindful manna

I’ve learned so much about the ways in which we disassociate, neglect, and completely negate our experiences, emotions, and in turn, our inner thoughts and feelings.

I’ve learned this from my own experience, and from the experience of the many women’s hearts and souls I’ve traversed through in my coaching calls. 

We have not been taught to be honest with ourselves or with others. 

It’s scary to be honest.

It’s hard to stick your finger in wounds.

It’s sometimes exhausting to be deeply aware.

And it’s an overwhelming act of surrender to allow God to mold and shape the places within you that feel rather stuck and unmovable. 

And yet, it’s the only true pathway to being powerful, rather than powerless.

Honesty, awareness, healing.

These pathways are the journey of the soul that allow you to bypass formalities, and pride, and ego, and instead – bolt right into the meat of the thing with vigor and intentionality.

I believe this journey is the most important way that we learn to understand ourselves and our God.

We are made in His image. Born in His likeness.

As a born-again new creation, the spirit of Jesus lives within you. The true journey of the soul is knowing God, so that we may know ourselves, and allowing that to be the catalyst for complete and total freedom in a world that is so bound. 

When we are unable to be honest with ourselves, we will find it very difficult to be honest with others.

When we are bent on hiding things out of fear, we will be captivated by deception.

If we have no healing for our pain, it feels oxymoronic to offer it to others.

Perhaps one of the biggest grievances is those who lead others but do not have a sense of emotional freedom or understanding of their own heart and soul. You cannot be a lighthouse that beckons hearts home if the fog of your feelings is too thick to penetrate. 

Emotional health is a facet of human life that is critical for all followers of Jesus, but particularly for women.

So much of our discernment comes from the heart space, from the small whispers of the spirit through our experiences, and from the natural ability we have to see deeper than surface level. Clarity is key.

These are the most common areas of disconnection & pain for women in emotional health that I have seen over and over again in my coaching business:

  • Connection to self  (needs, wants, desires)
  • Pride / Ego 
  • A controlling spirit that is not fully surrendered 
  • Childhood pain and current impact
  • Shame surrounding emotions
  • Beliefs held surrounding the feminine nature 

These are what I call the ‘root’ causes of surface level pain that come up in day to day life.

For example, women that struggle deeply with anxiety often grip tightly to control in their life. This looks like gripping to control in areas such as their schedule, money, husband, family members, exercise routines, or their job/life path/career.

The need for control is the root cause of an anxious woman. 

The main takeaway when traversing the journey of emotional health is to remember that all pain has a root cause; whether it’s shame, anxiety, or a mean inner critic.

And as a follower of Christ, you have the Holy Spirit to guide and show you where these roots have settled in your heart.

All you have to do is begin asking Him to reveal, have a humble spirit that is open to growth, and create more stillness to hear from the Lord. 

Even now, I would encourage you to close your eyes and ask the Spirit to reveal a pain point in your life that He would like to heal and set you free from. 

My prayer for you is that in the places you once felt blind, by the grace of God, you will now be able to see. 

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