High walls. Masks, facades, and pretenses. Defenses. Cover-ups.
So many of us live that way, each of us could have passed through one another and looked into those cautious eyes. Each of us has lived stories that we’d rather forget. Some, too painful and unimaginable to tell or even think about. And we have different ways of rising up again from the ashes. For many of us, we go through life creating walls, going into our own world, putting up defenses because we don’t want to be vulnerable and we don’t want the hurt. Yes, we live in a hurting world and some of us don’t want to be part of it. But there are quite a few who are not even aware of the walls they’ve put up, of how they’ve tried on different masks and facades just to go through another day. Of how they think it is already a part of themselves and how they can no longer recognize it. It has pierced through them growing up and it is as if it’s their identity already. They have protected themselves for far too long because no one has protected them.
She hears his steps and she stiffens. She knows there will be beatings again. But more than that, she dreads the harsh, heartrending words that come with it. And she stifles her cries as she thinks of how she is being abandoned with her mom locked up in a psychiatric ward.
“Two arrows- He said. Two arrows that have been shot at while growing up. Those are arrows that have been lodged in your heart for so long and you could not even notice, recognize it. It is probably just a part of your life.”
Asking help from anyone is something I never/rarely do. I push people away when they get close. I’ve tried hard to live life as if I was alone and I grew up a little too soon. No, it wasn’t because of pride but the fear of pain. But I can’t run away from it. Neither can you. And you certainly can’t substitute it with something else- friends, alcohol, drugs or other seemingly pleasurable things- because it only breeds more pain.
Luke 9: 23- Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
To be a child of God is to take up our crosses. We can’t pretend that the wounds are not there. We can’t live life making wide circles around pain. Pain can only be taken to the Cross and given to Jesus.
“I’m healing you in your heart. I’m beginning to come into the deep recesses of your heart and pull out those arrows. There’s an arrow I’m beginning to pull. Allow me to come into your heart. Yes, there’s going to be times it’s going to be painful. When things are beginning to resurface, be not afraid. Things resurface for a reason. Even as I resurface some things, know this my daughter that I’m not there to hurt you, not to shame you, not to put you down but I’m there to lift you up, make you the best you can ever be. So know this my daughter, allow me to come, to take the two arrows out of your heart.”
Ask anyone who has had gun bullets taken out from their flesh or anyone who has had to go through a surgery of some kind and they will tell you how excruciating it is. But emotional surgery? The pain is just harrowing. And of all the things, it has always been the past that seems to scream at me and overwhelm me like crazy. It haunts me and stabs me unlike any other. The past… times when I didn’t know Jesus, yet He has given me grace after grace to endure it. As my friend said, it’s a miracle I didn’t end up deranged- something that only my God can do. Not any of my psychological training, philosophical and humanistic self-studies could save me. Only God can. The same is true for today as I’m confronting the darkness and demons of my past. I don’t want to but I’m trusting Him. No matter how I’ve buried it too far deep down that I can’t even identify it any longer, He is opening up the old wounds. He is there with me, digging it up. And I’m slowly learning that it is crucial for a complete healing. He wants my heart in its entirety. He can’t have it in pieces. And I do want Him to have it completely so I will let Him take me through this, with faith and with courage.
“But no, I will even begin to show you that it is not part of your life, that is not the calling, that is not the destiny. I have not created you to be that. Begin to let it go, let it go, let it go. I’m beginning to even lift you up, to show you who you really are. You’re going to be one who’s going to walk in the fullness of my purpose. The best years are up and coming for you. I’m restoring relationships. There’s going to be some things I’m going to cause you to leave behind, leave behind, leave behind. I’m going to give you new relationships and when the new relationships come, do not be afraid to open up your heart. And you can trust again, you can trust again.”
So I’m opening up my heart slowly. And it is not easy. Not at all. But I have learned that to be scared of being hurt means being scared of loving people. And how can I not love the people around me when the very source of Love keeps on loving me? How can I not when He has loved me even when I hurt Him and whipped those lashes at Him and nailed Him to the cross? How can I not when His love faces me every single day? And He does pour that love to His people. I can trust people because His love is in them. I’ve read somewhere that we should not reject our pain nor should we conceal or bury it, and we shouldn’t judge it. Instead, we have to embrace it as a room to grow in perseverance, character, hope, and faith (Romans 5: 1). It is for us to take the pain to Jesus. It must be nailed to the Cross. For it was on that Cross that He tied Himself to us. It was on that Cross that His heart shatters with pain. We never cry alone.
Letting go, surrendering is hard but I have to let Him refine me. And doesn’t suffering come with growth? So yes, I’m going to open up and trust. Again.
She flinches as the fists brutally touch her face. Somewhere on the other side of the country, a girl cries because her mom is locked up in jail while her dad is on the run. Yet in another nation, a mother grieves for her dying husband. A teenager sees her family falling apart. And a woman just got her trust broken and thinks her heart will never be whole again.
They have protected themselves for far too long because no one has protected them. Because they didn’t know the Savior.
Because they didn’t know the Savior. They walk alone. Fearful of life. Scared of pain. Because they don’t know there is Someone up there whose heart is bleeding even more. And here is where we come in. No, we are not going to be their savior. But we can be their prayer warrior. We can show the brokenhearted girl to Christ. We can show the hopeless mother to the Cross.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” Romans 8:28
Because we’ve been through our own kinds of darkness, we can give them the gift of light. God uses our pains to bless someone else, to heal someone else. Will you allow God to place you in a furnace of fire to refine you into gold? Will you allow Him to transform you even when it entails exploring your past?
Remember that nothing can ever separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:38) even when the pain resurfaces to the core, when the past comes back to life, when the world goes awry. Nothing reminds me of this than being in a broken place. I still cannot fathom His greatness even during seasons like this. It is this greatness (and more) that my fire for Him keeps burning. Even when the enemy keeps blowing if off, I seek for God all the more and it just rekindles every time. It is my prayer that we always always always come into our secret place with God and let Him take us into His arms as He takes care of the battle for us.
Walls down. Grace abounds. The real LOVE. Salvation. Joy.
© July 1, 2013, Wela. All rights reserved.