This summer I was hurt deeply by someone who I care deeply for and who cares for me. It cut me to the core & I've been struggling with relationships ever since. It has made me question the believability of people & realize even more deeply the humanity of those I love & surround myself with. I realized that there is no one who is 100% reliable. We are all human and unless we choose to share our deepest thoughts and feelings w/ another person, they don't know our every thought and action. We all have secrets. Things we hide from each other. Things we'd be mortified to have come to the surface.
My human side builds up walls to protect myself. I'm not sure when this started for me... but I've done that as long as I can remember. I pull back, sharing less & less of myself w/ people I don't feel 'safe' with. (And believe me, there are few people I feel fully safe with.. few that I feel have my back no matter what I share with them. Who love me the same no matter what. Who will keep my secrets, pray for me & help me in times of need. That is a 'safe' person for me.) I put up walls between myself & the Lord as well. I guess in some ways I put Him on the same level as the rest of us. I know, intellectually, this isn't right, but it's hard to throw myself into a relationship with someone who isn't tangible when those who are tangible are unreliable. I find that it's hard to reach out to Him & let myself be loved by Him. In a lot of ways, I think I 'punish' myself, feeling I'm not worthy of the love He is so graciously giving to me. And I'm not. That's the beauty of grace, after all. Not being worthy of His love, but being given it freely anyway.
And so I struggle... As a Christian, I am to extend the same grace to those around me. Building up walls of separation is the opposite of extending grace. It may make me feel protected, but I'll never know where the Lord can take a friendship if I don't allow myself to be vulnerable now & then.
As Thanksgiving season approaches & the Advent season comes right afterwards, I'm thinking a lot about what I have to be thankful for. There is so much... but for today I'm thankful for Grace. The grace the Lord gives to us. The grace friends & family have given to me. The grace I'm learning to give to my children, my family, & my friends. Grace...