We see it all the time. Hurricane Katrina was devastating after the levee could not contain the onslaught of the storm. It caused massive devastation in its wake. We see dams straining and breaking under the pressures of massive flooding. It’s horrible to watch things that were built to protect us, being destroyed by mother nature.
What about the walls and dams we have built up in our own lives? How do we deal with the strain life puts on these safety devices we precariously put together around our hearts?
We all get hurt in life. It’s not a matter of if we get hurt, it’s a matter of when. Life is hard. People hurt other people sometimes intentionally, and sometimes unintentionally. We become stressed and we lash out at loved ones. We don’t know how to deal with things emotionally, and it becomes this force that destroys any bit of protection we put in place. But who is that protection really for; us, or the people around us? I’ve put up walls around my own heart. I’ll never allow somebody like my mother into my life on purpose. That’s what I tell myself as I build this wall of protection around my heart. Nobody is going to wreak that kind of havoc and devastation in my life again. But, as life goes on, I begin to notice the buildup of pent-up emotions and instability begin to gather on the inside of my wall. The wall was built to protect me, but instead, it keeps my emotions inside and when I don’t allow myself to show emotion and feelings, eventually my dam breaks and those emotions come roaring out of me wreaking havoc in their wake. I yell at my sons and my husband. I become easily frustrated and angered. Whatever self-control I felt I had, becomes a distant memory. I am not used to having to deal with my own emotions because I’ve kept them locked inside this wall for so long that when they come pouring out of me, I realize it’s finally time to deal with things and I don’t know how to.
I have always considered myself to be straightforward. I’ll be honest, I don’t understand what you’re saying to me if you’re beating around the bush. It’s like another language to me. My husband is fluent in this language, so generally after these conversations take place, he has to decipher what someone was saying to me. Anyway, I cannot seem to keep myself from some of these rabbit trails, so lets wind back to my topic! Self-control is not putting up walls so you don’t have to deal with things. Self-control is about dealing with life and your emotions with grace and mercy. It’s about not allowing arrows of deception into your heart by keeping your eyes on God.
Let’s not build walls around our hearts. Let’s build a strong foundation in our lives and live them according to God’s word. This may be another one of those moments where God is trying to teach only me something, but I have a feeling there are many of us out there that have built walls around our hearts in order to not let any more pain in. I say we learn from each other and grow with each other and truly be available for one another. We learn to deal with pain and emotional trauma. We allow God to heal those places in our hearts and learn how to overcome with His grace and His love. Let there be no more devastation left in our wake when the dam breaks, because there will be no more dams!