Restoration of the Heart, Part Two
On this week’s podcast, Dan Allender continues to talk with his good friend, John Eldredge, about their upcoming Restoration of the Heart conference, March 4-5 in Colorado Springs. Be sure to check out the first part of this conversation if you missed it.
John: “The presence of Jesus actually does bring not just an ability to manage your brokenness, but actual restoration.”
Restoration of the Heart will engage the deep belief that true healing is possible for even our deepest wounds, and that intentionally wrestling with our unique stories and wounds can lead to the wholehearted life for which we were created. In some ways, John says, this conference feels like a culmination—like so much of the work Dan and John have done over the years has been circling around the content they will present together in March.
John: “George MacDonald has this beautiful line where he says, ‘Gather my broken parts into a whole. Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart, and make it a whole, with light in every part.’ That’s what we want—we want whole-heartedness.”
Dan: “What a sense of hope that brings for me, even as we’re talking now. I know some wholeness. I know what it is to be very broken, and to be brought to a new level of connectedness, that there are parts that are coming into the wholeness of who I’m meant to be.”
Moving toward wholeness and integration demands that we face—without accusation, condemnation, or contempt—the darkness of evil and warfare in the world around us, in our relationships, and in our own hearts.
Dan: “The events of the past form us. And those formative moments have a chance to really be changed. But you can’t change the past if you don’t engage it. […] You’ve got to open your heart to being able to name some of the damaging events that evil has used, but also your own part of resentment that has allowed that foothold to take place. It’s a frame of repentance that opens the heart to the kindness of God.”
This is where The Allender Center’s core commitment to deep, transformative story work comes into play. As we look at our past experiences, naming both our woundedness and our goodness, drawing out themes, making connections, we are able to change the trajectory of that story and live into a more integrated being. In that movement, we are participating in the larger, ongoing story of God.
Dan: “It’s so hopeful to know that the heartbreak of our past, God intends to bring goodness out of it. […] Weaving into our lives this tapestry of heartache and yet hope, it allows us to live death and resurrection in a way in which we invite, through our story, into the larger story.”
John: “We’ve been given a very propositional Christianity. We have a body of truth that is so precious to us: ‘Here is what the cross accomplished. Here is your hope of resurrection. Here is the assurance of forgiveness. Jesus of Nazareth really is the son of God.’ We have these core truths that we cling to, but we forget that when God tells all of that, he tells it in the form of a story. […] God is a storyteller, a story maker, and we are as well.”
At Restoration of the Heart, Dan and John will continue to unpack all of this, as well as the connected themes of trauma, attachment, warfare, and more. The conference will also feature live demonstrations of what it looks like to walk another person through engaging the fullness of their own story. “What a rich experience it’s going to be,” says John. “I really hope you can join us.”