Breaking Down Walls
It was broken.
The intimate details leading to the reason for the brokenness are not nearly as important as the fact that it was, indeed, broken.
I had fallen into life’s rhythm, not knowing that I had something broken. My eyes were blind and my brain was concealing. To my amazement, I began to realize that my broken trust-er was quite evident to those around me.
Through my elementary and teen years, I developed friendships, but I kept people at a distance. It wasn’t until college that I found true friendship in a fellow trust-broken young lady. We became like sisters.
While in college, I began to attend a nearby church filled with hands-on, loving people. They invited me to share in their food, their relationships with one another, their passion for following Jesus, and so much more. After spending time with them and thinking that I was doing this trusting thing pretty well, a precious friend looked at me and said, “When are you ever going to trust us?!” Shock. I thought I was!
After careful consideration and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I realized I had carefully developed my own protective walls around my heart. My thought was I will let you in, but only so far. Besides, even if I really did let you scale the wall, you wouldn’t like the real me.
You see, fear was inhibiting me from developing close relationships. I was especially afraid of the kind of relationship where it feels like your heart is sitting on the table as you discuss the issues connected to following Jesus. Those long, deep conversations that leave their marks on your soul.
Not only were interpersonal relationships a struggle, but I had constructed my own view of God void of scriptural reference.
My version of God was one who was strong, elusive, powerful, and manipulative. As strange as it now seems, I liked this version of Him.
It was comfortable and fit my pain like a glove. When faced with the fallacy of my picture of our gracious God, I’m sorry to admit my resistance to this new way of thinking. I remember thinking, “But if God is so good and kind and loving, that’s going to affect my relationships with others.” My chubby little fingers wanted to hold onto the right to keep that first picture.
I’m forever grateful that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I began to realize the layers of protection I had placed around my heart. Upon my request, He faithfully began peeling away what I had placed there, showing me every day through His Word more about His Character.
Years have passed and my understanding has continued to grow. My former life of self-reliance continues to blow gently on the breeze like the Midwest dandelions in late summer. Each separate piece as it is revealed is surrendered to God and He removes it so faithfully.
Surrender. What sweetness is found there!
He is still at work today. My trust-er isn’t completely healed yet, but I have found many benefits to allowing God to work on it in my life:
- Relationships have moved beyond the surface, “I’m fine,” level into authentic, God-honoring friendships that point me to Jesus.
- As God has helped me demolish some of the carefully constructed walls, I am learning that He uses it for His Kingdom. He was unable to use a fortified structure, but He can use an open, broken person.
- Our Christian journey works best within community.
- There are dear friends who have seen me completely (character faults and all) and they honestly, truly love me.
So, what about you, dear reader? Do you have your own unexamined walls of protection around your heart?
I urge you to take that nearby sledge hammer and begin to hack away at them. You won’t be sorry. When you get tired, Jesus will make up the difference.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
When things get tough, your sister-friend is over here cheering you on. Just keep going, my friends, Jesus is working though you and in you and conforming you to look just like Him.
Don’t give up. I know it gets hard. I know there are people who hurt you, but find your sufficiency in Him. Once our value is couched in the One who created us, this whole trusting God/trusting others process becomes much easier.
No longer am I protecting. Jesus is taking care of this in my life.