The same fence that shuts others out shuts you in. ~Bill Copeland
I spent a large part of my life distrusting people. I built a wall around my heart so high and so thick that not even the people worthy of my trust could get through.
I felt safe behind my wall. It was there that kept me free from fiery arrows from a loved ones mouth. I was protected from the sting of a blow to the face I might’ve been deserving of. It kept me from having to make eye contact with the ones whom I was certain I was letting down.
But you know what? The chamber I sheltered myself with was just false safety. The inside of that wall wrote a different story for me to read each and every day. A story that wasn’t necessarily accurate but one I chose to absorb for years. The wall told me that no one could ever be trusted again. The wall told me that if I reach out my hand it will get burned. The wall repeatedly whispered in my ear that I would never be good enough just like all the others had said before. The wall said that if I went outside I would get crushed under the expectations of others. Why bother? Stay inside where you’re safe.
The wall…It lied.
While it was me who built that wall, it began evolving into a life of its own. A life full of misery, regret and shame. And the wall knew that if I gained enough courage to walk beyond it I would eventually discover all the beauty and truth it had kept me sheltered from. That wasn’t safety. That was a slow death.
Funny thing about all this – I lived most of those years behind that wall while “trusting God”. I mean, a lot of years. In one breath I declared that God was enough and bigger than my hurts. And I used the other breath to run back behind my wall of safety.
I suppose one day I realized that it couldn’t be both ways. I don’t remember that defining moment. But I do remember slowly choosing to chisel my wall away. Oh, it hurt. It made me sweat. It made me nervous. It made me want to hide indefinitely. But I continued to chisel. One piece at a time till enough bricks had fallen over to reveal what really was on the other side…
They had been there all along but my vision had been impaired and redefined.
Shutting myself in shut the truth out. I shut potential out. I shut healing out. I shut safety out.
I shut God out.
Sure, God could have knocked down that wall with one flick. But I needed to discover my need to tear down that wall on my own. I learned a lot in my false safety chamber. Much of which I have spent years unlearning. I wish I had scheduled demolition a lot sooner than I did. But this is my journey. And perhaps its purpose is to encourage you to knock down your walls.
Look around you. Are you surrounded by voices telling you that you’re not good enough? That you can’t be honest with someone? That there is no hope? The voice is your wall. Maybe it’s time to knock it down.