Posted by: karanoel | October 18, 2018

Knocking down walls

As Cole’s birthday approached last week, my heart had a throbbing ache and I shed, as he would have said, “a goodly amount” of tears. While talking with my mom, she said “Of course you’re hurting over your boy and I know that God is going to touch that, but I think He is also using this pain to get into other places of your heart that need healing too.” This is something I’ve witnessed in her life and experienced in my own, so it resonated as true.

fortressMy greatest grown-up fears have been of pain, failure and losing a child; all of which have been pressed hard through Cole’s death. But honestly, I’ve always been afraid. A fearful heart tends to build walls around itself so it will feel safe. The problem is that walls don’t just keep out the bad things; they also separate us from the love and connection we crave and the help we need.

The Bible is clear that nothing can separate us from the love of God – not death or life or even the greatest fortresses we can erect. But He will never, ever force us to receive it because love doesn’t work like that. It is always at the ready, but requires an open door; an invitation. Since an open door can feel like a foolish vulnerability and a threat to our safety, we often keep it closed and dead bolted or even walled over with bricks.

Although I’ve lived much of my life in this way, I’m coming to see that safety is overrated. It is based in fear, depends on itself for protection (which is exhausting!), and requires a particular outcome to be okay. And let’s be honest, we can’t really protect ourselves from all harm anyway. It’s security that we really want. Security is based in rest, depends on someone stronger and wiser for protection, and fears no outcome because of its trust in that person’s ability to comfort, heal, repair, strengthen, restore, redeem… or just set all things right in the end. And let’s be honest, Jesus is the only one worthy of that kind of trust.

idol.jpegThe worst of the worst happened. My greatest fears were realized. My walls didn’t keep me from harm and they’ve been as helpful in my healing as mute idols of stone. But my mom was so right. Because of this earthquake of pain, I find myself completely dependent on Jesus, moving into a place of deep security, and rising up stronger than I was before. The freedom I am gaining goes so far beyond the hurt of this loss… because that’s how redeeming Love rolls. That immovable, isolating fortress that made me its prisoner is being replaced with the otherworldly armor I’ve been given (Eph 6), which allows me to move about this life freely and boldly, unfazed by the potential hazards. After all, I was created for this adventure, and equipped for it too. And because of this terrible loss I have experienced – and survived, I have seen that God is worthy of my trust and can tackle anything I will ever face.

So I’m flinging open the door and shouting a big ol’ invitation for more and more of His love to come in. And you’d better believe that Jesus and I… well, we are going to have an outrageously fun demo day knocking down these walls and letting all that light in.

demo day.jpeg

Apparently Jesus and I look a lot like Chip and Joanna 🙂

If you have a free hour, this is a teaching on bravery by Sarah Mittman, given last week at Chosen, a women’s group I’m part of. There is so much good truth about standing in God’s promises that I believe it will encourage you (even if you’re not a woman). I hope you get a chance to listen.

 


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