I pick up my copy of The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. My highlighter bleeds on nearly every page. One line echoes off the page and seeps into my soul. And the tears spill. And my heart is rent in two as I remember. Because I
“was the friend who has slapped up cold, guarded walls to protect her heart at the cost of anyone else’s heart, the woman who’s been more interested in self-preservation than anyone else’s situation.”
I remember the moment that wall went up. I was walking down the hallway towards the students that would be my new classmates. I was terrified. I tried to hide behind my notebook. A voice without reason whispered they’re going to hurt you to. I didn’t want someone’s words to hurt me again. So my 10 year-old self picked up the bricks that had already been hurled at her in the form of words. Bricks stacked one on top of the other held together by a mortar made of lies formed a wall to protect the shattered remains of her heart.
It was 13 years later that I realized what I had done. That the wall didn’t protect my heart. In building that wall I not only hurt myself but I hurt other people. It literally took a woman kneeling on the floor in front of me, begging me to just say hello to her (you know who you are), for me to realize it. It’s true, hurt people hurt people. And I hurt so many people without realizing it until that day.
That day began the process of trying to find a way past the wall. The prison cell with no doors. A self-made prison is the worst kind and the hardest to escape from. It took Jesus to break that wall down, He’s the only One that could, the only One that held the right key.
Some days it’s hard not to rebuild the wall. It’s a daily struggle to live vulnerable. A struggle to keep my heart guarded enough that the lies don’t get back in but un-guarded enough that the love does. It’s a struggle to find the balance between guarded to much and not guarded enough.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”