In my freshman year of college I worked for a semester in the cafeteria dishroom. It was pretty nasty, as you may imagine. I don’t remember much about it except the gross things college students do with leftover food, the steam from the dishwasher, one epic food fight, and an odd conversation with a cute upperclassman.
He observed correctly that I had never been in a relationship before. After confirming it was true, I asked how he could tell. It was a badge of shame for me rather than something to be excited about. Of course I’d wished to have dated in high school, but no one ever seemed interested in me that way.
His response has always stayed with me: Because I didn’t have any walls up as I would have if my heart had been broken.
A few years later, I finally understood his comment and then how I wished I could go back to those innocent, pre-wall days.
Everybody has walls. At least, everyone who has been in relationship with other people has built walls around their heart. Even by my freshman year, I had some walls from girlfriends who betrayed me or left me.
When we are hurt by course words, betrayal, careless actions, and sinful behavior from people we are close to, our gut reaction is to build walls to keep ourselves from being hurt again.
Those walls, however, end up preventing our hearts from opening up to others. The walls we build to protect ourselves become barriers that keep us from loving and being loved. Through Jesus, we can learn to love the people who hurt us.
I’m reading through The Wall Around Your Heart, which will be released in October. In it, author Mary DeMuth takes us on a journey using the Lord’s Prayer as “our treasure map. The obstacles are our hearts and the pain inflicted by others. But the outcome will be freedom, joy, peace, healing, hope, and our fortress wall broken down.”
Who doesn’t want an outcome like that?
Would you join me here each Monday as I blog through the chapters of the book and we work together to stop being wall builders? You can also pre-order the book on Amazon.
Here is Mary’s hope for you as you read this book:
My heart for you in this journey we’ll be taking together is this: be loved. Be wildly and audaciously loved. Give what you receive. See others as Jesus sees you. Settle your worth. Rest in God’s compassion. And as you choose to believe His favor, your life won’t be able to help spilling love, compassion, and forgiveness to everyone you meet.
I’m linking up with: