Walls…everyone has at least one firmly in place around their heart ensuring protection from the hurt in the world that creates a fear only felt after experience. People make a decision to build those walls in the name of safety. Slowly, brick by brick, we put up walls around our most precious possession…our hearts. Hearts are the strongest muscle, but so easily broken. Every heartbeat is vital to a human’s ability to live. Too often we allow the hurts and history in our lives to shape who are. Walls do have the ability to keep danger out; however, they also keep things in and hidden. Without even realizing it, we erect walls for the purpose of protecting us, but in doing so we are hiding our true identities. At each person’s creation, God carefully shapes us, building us from the inside out, instilling our personalities, quirks, and character. Most importantly, God takes a piece of Himself and embodies us around that one beautiful element. The loving Father puts His heart in our chests to be our own. Each heart beats uniquely with the love and identity of the individual and God in them specifically. It is no wonder, we feel the unexplainable need to protect it and allow walls to form around us. After all won’t we be happy if we are safe and the ability to be hurt is eliminated? But this is not the case, the damage has been done. Our hearts are battered and bruised by experiences from childhood to friendships to hurtful words to insecurities to broken trust to broken families. The walls are too late to save us and happiness is not attainable from behind brick barriers. When we hide ourselves away, no one can hurt us further because no one is allowed close enough to love us and oppositely, we cannot truly love people from behind the wall. No love in and no love out. Life lived this way is not life at all because the purpose of life is love, as demonstrated by Jesus.
Matthew 5:48 “You must therefore set no bounds to your love, just as your heavenly Father sets none to his.”
Now I don’t remember the circumstances that first caused me to build a wall around my heart, but I recognize the results of those beginning hurts in life. Over time, more pain and more hurt, no matter the size elicited the same effect…add another brick or two. At some point, walls no longer seemed safe enough so I began to lock pieces of my heart in a treasure chest. If no one could get close or really know me, then I would not be hurt or rejected. Eventually, my whole heart was stowed in the treasure chest and raised off the ground in an impossibly tall tower surrounded by walls…here I found myself. While my heart and I may be safe from new hurts from people, the past and old hurts haunt my thoughts; my heart is not able to function. The funny thing about treasure chests is they are meant to protect the most priceless possessions, but in doing so it keeps the treasure from being enjoyed or benefitting anyone. Priceless treasure is a useless belonging when locked away. When a friend told me in a moment of love and honesty that I could have more walls up than anyone she knew, I couldn’t even deny the fact. The worst thing was I didn’t want to change it. I knew the truth and had adopted it as part of my identity. Everyone has some sort of distinguishing trait, whether a positive attribute or flaw that people can recognize them by. So I would be the girl with all the walls, I would trust no one, let people only within 21 yards of my heart, maintain a bit of mystery, and conduct my life safely from my tower. One day I was considering how deeply one of my friends cares about me and loves me and I asked God if love the way He intended was supposed to be so deep. 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” If I desire to impact anyone, I have to risk letting them know me. God impressed upon me that He desires for me to love people that deeply and impact people with love that can only be rooted in a God-given identity…I cannot do that from my treasure chest in my tower behind my walls.
God, the gentle Daddy, has promised to put my heart back together and in my search for His love, He has showed me that He will be restoring it piece by shattered piece. God has given us the beautiful responsibility of guarding our hearts and the Holy Spirit will make it clear what walls should be turned into gates and what walls need to fall like Jericho. Frankly, not all people deserve to know our hearts and we need to keep those who will not value our hearts on the outside of our gate. God will always value the real us and will never hurt us, I have let Him into the inner courts of my heart and He has promised to walk me through the renovations. Nothing terrifies me more and I couldn’t be more excited.