Search me O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
When overcoming your past circumstances, relationships, hurts, habits and hang ups – I like to refer to recovery as gaining tools for your tool belt and keeping them sharp and always using them. If we keep our tools in our belt we have a great chance of relapse. When I am speaking of relapse I am not limiting that specifically to substance abuse. Relapse comes in many shapes and circumstances. You may have to fight being an isolator, finding comfort in food, dismissing your feelings, compare yourself to someone else, control and manipulation, codependency or promiscuity. Whatever you are are overcoming at one point or other, it is possible to find yourself slipping back into an old habit. A great way to keep relapse in check is to reserve daily time with God and do a H E A R T check. Heart check stands for hurting, exhausted, angry, resentful and tense. When we experience any of these symptoms we are vulnerable and are easily tempted to act in an old habit — our guard is down. I suggest that you reserve daily time with God and do a quick heart check, pray the prayer in Psalm 139 and ask God to search your heart and reveal anything that you are harboring in your heart. Who am I angry with? Am I holding resentment towards anyone? I am tense please help me to be loving and patient with my loved ones today. I realize I am exhausted, help me make right choices and strengthen me against any temptation. Lord, I am still having mental arguments with him/her — is there still hurt lingering in my heart. The second part of this scripture leads us to ask ‘create in me a clean heart’. There is a part of healing that only God can do and that is a deep cleaning of our heart. Always make sure to ask for God’s attributes when going through a daily cleansing. If you are struggling with anger and hurt, ask for God to remove those feelings and ask him to replace those with his forgiveness, mercy and grace – as an example. The heart check is key or using a tool from your tool belt that will help with any type of relapse. Keeping your heart clean and emotions in check will be vital in staying free from relapse and will empower you to have a grateful attitude and great relationships. God wants you to win in everything you encounter in life.