Crying is not something I do.
Hugging? Not really into that.
Feelings? I may have tripped and fallen into some of those occasionally, but it’s not normal for me to experience those.
I have a whole bunch of walls. I mean, tons of them. Growing up, I was always one of those girls who found more friendship in guys than other girls. Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t a tomboy – I was plenty “girly.” I just couldn’t deal with the drama a group of girls always delivered.
My Construction Project
I think this allergy to drama must be what drove me to develop walls. I’m no shrink and I certainly don’t put much stock in “exploring your feelings,” but if I were to try to pinpoint a trigger for the wall construction project, it would be past hurts.
We all have them, the past hurts. Sometimes, like the majority of mine, they are self-inflicted from repeated poor decisions. Other times, they are a result of the mistreatment of our vulnerability by others.
Therein lies the rub.
Vulnerability. Is it wise? Is it profitable? Is it edifying? The short answer is a hearty “yes.”
On the other, more daunting side of the coin, are these questions.
Vulnerability. Is it uncomfortable? Is it uncertain? Is it painful at times? The answer to these questions is an equally hearty “yes.”
So, why bother?
The Benefit of Vulnerability
The immediate question we ask in our humanness is “Why?” Why place ourselves in a position that will cause us pain. Why knowingly walk into an experience that will most certainly be uncomfortable, and likely be gut-wrenchingly painful to boot?
Friends, let me submit to you this reason – because it’s the obedient thing to do.
If we wish to be obedient to our Lord – and we all do, right? (say “amen” here!) – then we must learn to be vulnerable with others. We must learn this mysterious art of vulnerability that alludes so many of us.
I’ve said it about a million times (I’m a fan of exaggeration, aren’t you?) – Christians must learn to be real with one another. How on earth are we edifying one another by pretending we’re perfect all the time? I have an incredible mess inside my dressed up, painted up, hairstlyed outer shell. And because I know the depth of my own utter humanness, I know you have a mess inside as well. Why do we pretend otherwise?
Perhaps I can offer encouragement and hope to you by sharing my own demolition project.
God’s Demolition Project
Over the last year, I have had many, many walls come down supernaturally. Walls I had constructed around my own heart for protection. A falsely perceived protection. In hindsight, all I was doing was delaying the sanctification process.
Let me explain. The Lord wants His children to reflect Him more and more each day. That’s the “Wine commentary” working definition of sanctification. In order to work us through this process, the Lord will bring a variety of people and circumstances into our lives to accomplish His purposes. All these experiences and people are what the Lord uses to shape our testimony and ministry to others.
Sometimes the experiences are negative by our human understanding. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less part of our sanctification process. And it doesn’t make the Lord any less loving and kind. He is the One Who both causes well-being and creates calamity. (Isaiah 45:5-7) And He does it for our good. (Romans 8:28)
Often our negative experiences cause us to fence off whole portions of our hearts from both God and others. We [wrongly] believe that if we “hide” these things, we can protect ourselves from future hurt in those areas. Nothing is hidden from the Lord. He is El Roi – the God Who Sees. Countless accounts in Scripture teach us that He is Omniscient (All-Knowing). Just read about Jonah, Job, and Hagar (Genesis 16).
Hebrews 4:13 teaches us that nothing is hidden from His sight. Rather than cause us fear, this verse should give us freedom. We can unashamedly go to our Father with these things we are harboring and holding tightly and He will give us the courage to release our grip.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)
Friends, I know that demolition takes courage. Remember when Joshua was told to “be strong and courageous” in Joshua 1:9? Conversely, in the same verse, the Lord instructs Joshua to not “tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” The Hebrew word for “dismayed” in that verse “ranges from a literal breaking to destruction, to demoralization, and finally to panic.” (Key Word Study Bible Lexicon, Spiros Zodhiates)
Are you panicked about letting the Lord tear down your walls? Are you afraid to face the fenced-off portion of your heart? I understand. I was fearful, too. I’m still fearful. I have cried more over the last year than ever in my life because I am letting the Lord deconstruct my walls. It’s not easy. But it is beneficial. And I have learned a valuable truth:
Even though I am frightened by the process, I know the One Who is never frightened. And, just like He was with Joshua wherever He went, He is with me, too. He promised. and His promises never, ever fail. (Hebrews 13:5)
Friend, God is not afraid of your mess – let Him make beauty from your ashes.