Message/Application: Today my focus was on Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else for it is the source of life.” So often I hear this scripture directed toward a stance of protecting our hearts from the damage of other people (which is obviously important) but as I read this I see it with a weight of responsibility that ultimately I am in charge of what is allowed to enter my heart. There will always be external things thrown at us that yes, we have to throw out and discard, but we are all so capable of generating our own garbage that is just as deadly (and if not worse) because we may or may not even realize that it’s happening. When thoughts come we have to be diligent about confronting the source and asking God to unmask any sneaky ideas that don’t belong. We have to be willing to separate from the emotions of our thoughts and ask God to reveal truth and even more importantly, we have wo be willing to listen to God if he in fact tells us that the source behind our thoughts are a problem. When I was in the hospital the isolation of being away from my family took a really hard toll on me mentally. All I could think about was getting home so toward the end when I was SO close I felt an overwhelming weight of frustration that it was simply taking too long. I was emotionally anguished and because of this I started to get carried away in my thoughts. I told my family I was suspicious that the hospital was holding longer than they should because they were getting paid well for it by my insurance company. My family had to ground me down in my distress and guide me out of the crazy zone. In this time I was allowing my emotions to run the show and was not allowing wisdom to speak. I had to pray and ask God to sort out my thoughts and remove anything that was false or harmful to my thinking. God is so faithful to do that. I didn’t get to go home that day but God gave me the peace necessary to accept my situation and hope for the next day. I knew that he was faithful in everything that I had asked of him the whole time and that he would not allow me to be mishandled (and neither would my family). I had to guard my heart from my own self and allow God to reveal and expose what was true and what was not. He does this with so much kindness too! As soon as I prayed this vulnerable prayer, I had a respiratory therapist and a then a nurse come into my room and tell me they were going to adjust my oxygen settings and do a walking test around the room to prepare me for the possibility of being released the next day. This was all the encouragement I needed to push through that last bit. Thank you Jesus for teaching me to guard my heart and allow you to work!!!