Remember the Connect the Dots worksheets we did in school or at home when we were kids? It was a fun exercise that grabbed our attention in discovering something new. A worksheet with seemingly random dots would eventually reveal a picture—a story would begin to take place on the page. Connecting the dots engaged our mind to what was possible, recognizing the outcome or finished picture as we came close to the end. A simple process but a great way to learn.
Let me ask you a question: have you been able to connect the dots in your life? We all experience times when we know something is true, but we don’t feel it. Or, we feel like something is true but we don’t know for sure that it’s true. We all have been there.
What I’m talking about is connecting our heart with our mind. These are two of the most powerful things about the human experience. When these two areas of our lives become connected, watch out!
In Pure Desire groups, when we are able to connect our heart and mind, we start to see great things happen. We’re finally able to break the chains that held us captive in our addiction. We begin to live the way God intended. We learn the truth about healing and discover what it feels like to walk in freedom.
Now connecting the dots is never easy. Why?
Many of us in group feel the pain of our situation—whether we have experienced betrayal or addiction. We know what we should do, but may not feel like doing it. Or we feel it—the pain and trauma of our past—but refuse to let ourselves go there. We resist letting anyone get close, reinforcing the emotional walls we built to keep others at a distance.
Facing the pain is challenging. It means we have to walk through it, again, working in the pain of our past—a place we swore we would never return.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.Revelation 21:4
Now I am speaking to myself on this one. For so long, I felt like I couldn’t trust God or any man for that matter. Although I felt God tugging at my heart and knew I needed to trust Him, I felt so much fear that I put a wall around my heart. I was afraid of being hurt.
I know it’s a little crazy to think God can hurt me, but this is how I felt. I knew I needed Him—even felt like I needed Him—but I was not ready to fully open my heart to Him. I refused to connect the dots between what I knew to be true and what I felt: there was a disconnect between my heart and mind.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6
When we are in the midst of healing, we don’t understand the power that comes from connecting our heart and mind. In the moment, our feelings take over—the emotional pain and trauma is too much.
And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'Matthew 22:37
Through the healing process, when we are able to connect our heart and mind, we begin to see the blessings God has for us. We start to see things come together. We learn to trust others and lean on them for accountability and support.
The thing we feared most—creating authentic relationship with God and others—has become the very thing we need in our lives. There is no longer a battle between our heart and mind because we’ve done the work necessary to connect the dots.
Our heart and mind are working together as one—they are finally connected.
For most of us, this is a first-time experience. It’s an amazing feeling to know God in our mind and feel Him in our heart.
My encouragement to you: take risks in relationship with God and others. I know it can be difficult (for me too) but it’s so worth the risk.
It takes time, baby steps for some of us. But, when we start connecting the dots between our heart and mind, and begin to experience what God has for us, what we thought impossible becomes possible with God.
You can trust Him. He’ll be there every step of the way.
Rich is the International Men's Groups Coordinator (IGC) for Pure Desire. He has been involved with Pure Desire for over 20 years and is a foundational piece to helping churches start a Pure Desire group ministry. Rich is also the author of The Silent Battle: One Man's Fight for Freedom.