Thursday, November 6, 2014


The tears started hard and fast in the carpool lane. A wave of sadness and loss that I didn't expect, had no inkling of, and couldn't hold back. I was holding my rosary, praying for those both in and out of my life. And grief swelled like the ocean in my soul. 

So I cried. Behind my glasses. Big sobs and hard tears that felt....awesome.

I've been living behind a wall. A huge, crushing, brick edifice I built myself. I put it up, stone by stone, out of self protection and fear. 

Sometimes love seems like an invitation to pain. An outstretched hand to a crushing blow. An offering that will surely, one day, be rebuffed and rejected. 

So I built this wall to keep everyone out. With evey instance of pain and rejection stone went higher. 

Until I was insulated, isolated. 

Safe. But alone. 

This is not how God designed me. This is not being true to the nature Christ died to give to me. I am not meant to hide my love, to squash my feelings, or to turn my back.

I've been led here, to this point, by life. But that doesn't make it right. 

I've been crushed. What I thought was true and good and whole has been lost. What I created and nurtured and strove for- relationships of depth and mutual care- have been removed from me. 

I've been pruned, down to the very bottom of myself. 

And lately when I pray I have asked God how much more I have to lose. In return I have lost more. 

I have asked Him when it will end. In turn it hasn't. 

I've asked how many times I can get back up. In turn I have struggled back to my feet more times than I can count.

Pain is not easy. Pain stretches the parts of yourself that have never seen the light. It brings forward all of your deepest fears and worst flaws. It shines light on your beliefs and your hard held bondages. It frays the edges of your faith, and then unravels it.

Until you build and edifice to live behind. Then you are protected. From the world. From others. 

But what I have realized is that this edifice is also between me and God. Between me and the best parts of myself he has given me- my heart for love and service. My desire to always be the first one to help, to give, to serve, and to nurture. 

My heart has been so hardened, so angry, and so numb. I could stay that way forever. I could keep others out and enjoy the solitude of my tower.

But I would be denying myself the very best parts of life in Christ- freedom to love. To love and know when you are hurt or rejected by the world, that God is always and forever the balm and healing for that devastation. 

I can live in the freedom of knowing hurt will come. Pain will surface. I won't be protected from what life has to give- but I will be healed of its injury.

I don't have to be afraid anymore. I don't have to be scared of rejection. I don't have to worry about others opinions. I've lost it all. I've experienced it all.

And I'm still here, with a God who will stand outside of my wall and knock. Who will remind me that this is not who I am, or who I was designed to be.

I've locked my heart up, refused to cry. I've stored up feelings of hatred and disgust and deep betrayal. It has kept me safe from having to feel. 

I don't want to be like the world. I don't want to hold myself away from others out of fear. I don't want to be scared. I want to live. I want to serve. 

So I prayed for the wall to come down. And in turn, I began to feel again.

To soften. To mourn. To hurt and to grieve. 

To cry in carpool. To cry in the shower. To cry at Christmas music and diaper commercials. To begin to say, again:

I love you.

I am here.

I am open. 

I began to soften back into the beauty of this life, to allow the horrible and the perfect and the mundane to effect me again, and not numb myself. 

To say everything, no matter how silly or sentimental I may seem. To be vulnerable. 

Because behind that wall is who I am slowly leaving behind. The person who hid and raged and stopped caring.

Outside there is a chance of being crushed, and being hurt. The world offers no guarantee of safety or of help. 

So it's a really good thing I don't belong to the world. 

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Galatians 5:1
[ Freedom in Christ ] It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

I can't live in fear of hurt. And I can't be in bondage to what others may do or think of me. And I know I cannot love behind a wall.

So the choices are clear: to soften, and allow the love of Christ to be in me and flow through me again. To be vulnerable to pain. To offer my hand and my heart and service without being afraid of the repercussions to my heart. 

To be open to being crushed, by stepping outside of the crushed wall I've been hiding behind.