Some of the most beautiful and intensely terrifying moments have been those that cause me to see the heart of God and draw closer to him.
Each person has their own individual sets of experiences and pains that lead them to a place of realizing that there is a need to guard their heart. My own had led me to a place of living and believing that not only was there is a reason to guard my heart but that no one could be trusted and that relationships just cause pain. Thus, I began many years of hardening my heart to any and all situations that would bring me to a place of healing. Instead, any situations that showed me the hate and discontent of those around me I used to keep reinforcing the idea that I was right that no one could be counted on and that people would only bring suffering.
I looked at the hurt around me and made an unmovable place in my head where I expected and saw the evil in the world around me and decided that in order keep myself from being wounded by others I would need to close my heart and mind off to them as well. And I did. I lived in a very shallow world where I could keep others away by having conversations without any depth and without any real revelation of who I was or what I believed and the far majority of the people I was around was satisfied with that…including me.
Without understanding or recognizing what was going on I got to a place where I realized that I wanted deeply for someone to know me. I recognized that I could leave this world and no one would actually know who I was. I think that was the first time when I understood that deep in me I really did want to be known and that I wasn’t satisfied with the superficial life that I had decided to live.
Psalm 109:22 “For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me.”
In the unsettling of my spirit, God continually pursued me and gently whispered my name. His Word and my new understanding of who he is greatly contrasted all those beliefs that I had used to build a wall around my heart—and I felt the draw to keep pulling those walls down piece by piece…protective layer by protective layer. I both wanted to bring them down and feared greatly to do so at the same time.
Psalm 109:26 “Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love!”
One thing that has been both a builder of those walls and a thing that broke them down has been the truth as I see it. For many years, telling the truth would bring those around me to a place of discomfort that would quickly have them walk away from me and I used that to my benefit. For many years I saw that bringing the truth was a weapon because of how quickly it seemed to sever ties of any real relationship. Though today as God would have it, the people he has lovingly placed in my life encourage me and seem to love me all the more as I let them know the truth of who I am, what I believe and the things that I struggle with…all of those things that would aggressively push others away, now have this inexplicable draw to bring them even closer.
Psalm 111:1 “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”
I don’t want eyes to see the evil around me…God help me to see the good that you are already doing.
I still enter into those desperately exposing moments with a fear that grips my heart…remembering more of the decades that I have been hurt…but God in his beauty and love gives me individuals who continue to say or show me that they are still here.
What a beautiful thing.