Restoration of the Heart, Part One

On this week’s podcast, Dan Allender sits down with his good friend, John Eldredge, to reflect on the themes behind the Restoration of the Heart conference, a joint venture from The Allender Center and Ransomed Heart. Restoration of the Heart, March 4-5 in Colorado Springs, will engage the questions and challenges that emerge when we dare to believe that true healing and restoration are possible for even our deepest wounds.

Dan: “The hope of the gospel is that we actually can walk into the damage of trauma. […] Trauma is the doorway that evil generally uses so profoundly to bring that sense that there is something evil and dark, something broken and ugly, within me.”

To invite restoration into our lives, we must be able to name the places in which we are broken, the ways that old wounds continue to mold how we relate to others and move in the world today. What are the unattended places in our hearts, the ways that we continue to act out of the pain for which our younger selves have not yet found healing?

Dan: “The idea of shalom implies that there is a kind of brokenness, scatteredness, and we know that’s in the world, we know that’s true with regard to the holidays and trying to deal with our families, but why would we not presume that that would be true of our central sense of self? We see it broken in the world, but we’re broken people. Opening the door to addressing the parts of us related to significant heartache, trauma, loss, shame, actually ought to be part of the redemptive process that we see as not finished at any one point, but a progressive movement—recapturing for us our humanity and allowing us to become more of who we were meant to be.”

When we begin to name our woundedness and pursue healing, we will inevitably encounter shame, discouragement, and a sense of hopelessness. Part of the hope for the Restoration of the Heart conference is that we will be invited to look at our brokenness without shame or judgment, but with thoughtfulness and care.

John: “It’s not a source of shame that we are broken—all of us. Of course you are, dear one. Your heart and soul was made for Eden, was made for Paradise. Your heart and soul was not made for this war-torn world. While the heart and soul are on the one hand extraordinarily resilient things—I mean, it’s just staggering what people go through and can come out on the other side—at the same time, the heart and soul are very tender, beautiful things, and frankly, easily broken.”

Dan: “The hope is that people will actually come to believe that restoration is possible. It may seem that simple, but I think in many ways my own heart has felt at times so discouraged, that if at core my heart wants Jesus, why am I still suffering and struggling with certain things that just feel interminable? […] That’s what evil wants: for you to feel discouraged and ultimately to question the power of God. […] He has done good work in my heart. But there is so much more of redemption.”

If all of this is inspiring to you, if you feel that longing for healing stirring up in you, you won’t want to miss the Restoration of the Heart conference, March 4-5 in Colorado Springs. Learn more here.