Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Other Side of the Wall

Our church uses half of a school gymnasium for services on Sundays. There’s a temporary wall with a doorway between halves. At a certain time every week, the worship team and other leaders meet before service to pray in the “quiet” half. This last week, I went over just before our appointed time. No one was there yet. So, I headed back through the doorway to see where the other leaders were. They were attending to last minute things. I sat down, chatted with one of them. Then we went over together.

It’s lonely on the other side of the wall.

Sometimes we get hurt and then erect walls. We fear rejection, but we wear an expression of “do not come near me,” which other people read loud and clear, and they give us what we want—space. Is that really what we want?

It’s lonely on the other side of the wall.

What we really want is to belong. To be loved. To know we matter and that people accept us. To know we’re making a difference right alongside friends who have the same purpose. That’s what’s so powerful about being part of a team.

But it’s our choice.

If you use guards to protect yourself, analyze them. Maybe you don’t need them any more. Maybe they’re actually sabotaging you, and keeping you from having your real needs met.

Maybe your walls are obsolete.

• Are you attempting to be your own guard, to protect your own heart? God wants that role. In the Psalms, David refers to God as his defense over and over. Yes, we guard our hearts and minds from evil, but we weren’t meant to block out all people as if we can live without them. (We can’t.)

• Do you feel vulnerable? Commit yourself, spirit, mind, and heart to God. Entrust Him with you more fully than you may have done before. He’ll be your guard. And when you get hurt (not if) go back to God and let Him comfort you and have His way with the other parties.

• Are you a sensitive soul with a tender heart hidden behind that wall? Jesus is ever-tenderhearted and He had no walls shooing people away. To be Christlike is to be like Him in that way. (I know, scary proposition.)

• If your walls are due to bitterness brought by unforgiveness, ask God for grace to forgive. You might find after you have forgiven that you feel so light you’re ready to risk relationships again.

But you have to ask yourself: is loneliness really better than a mix of joy with occasional stinging interactions with other broken people? I’m guessing the answer is no.

Come out from behind that wall. It’s lonely back there. It’s not where you belong. God has good plans for you on this side. And rather than continuing to “confirm” the lie that you are always “rejectable” by rejecting others first and watching them take clues from you and pull away, try being a giving friend who cares for others. That kind of lifestyle will come back around to bless you.


Miawa said...

These are wonderful words, I so enjoyed reading this and felt a need at present which this words were meant for. Thank you for posting.

Annette M. Irby said...

Thank you, Miawa. I love when God gives us just the encouragement, just the insight we need when we need it. He's so good to us! God bless you.

Dancing Foal Farms said...

What a wonderful posting!

Annette M. Irby said...

Thanks, DFF. I'm surprised how often the theme of this post has come up this week. :) God bless you!