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20 January 2009

Light in the Darkness

Enclosed by self-erected walls, I can almost physically feel my soul folding in on itself. In the presence of others, I am hauntingly alone - a master of the facade. Reaching out only causes pain, and the folds get sharper with each turn. There are two methods of escape: death, or life. (written 26 Sep 07)

Stepping outside my comfort zone this past weekend, I accepted a dinner invitation. Though the conversation was nice and the company pleasant, I felt trapped. The fear of being hurt kept me to myself, sharing only things that any stranger could easily know. A friend told me "you worry too much," and rightly so. Putting so much focus on what could, and probably will, go wrong keeps me from looking forward with optimism.

Lying alone in the dark this morning, the undulating warmth of the hydrobed massaged my spine in rhythm with the tumbling mayhem of my thoughts. I have to control my self-inflicted heartache by the most difficult method of all - opening myself to allow others in. It is easier to suffer in silence! The facade is strong, few can detect it. Some who know my pain have chosen to distance themselves from it. It isn't their pain, after all, nor their problem.

Paula Sandford says in her work Healing for a Woman's Emotions that we must deconstruct our walls! Tear them down and trust in God to make us whole. We each have our own destiny. If we are to fulfill that destiny, we have to allow Him to work his grace in us. Contrary to cartoon characterization, tearing down a wall is far harder than building one. Emotional barricades come apart piece by piece just as regular walls do, but each piece holds a bit of your heart and soul. Each crack in the structure upon demolition must be filled with love and caring to avoid spiritual meltdown.

I can only open up so much before shut down occurs. The slightest indication of apathy, indifference, or ridicule will add more layers to the wall. It is very, very difficult to let go of the security of my walls. More so than the proverbial security blanket, emotional walls can be breached only by the utmost patience. God has that patience. With each brick I remove, he encourages me. Each piece of my soul exposed is wrapped in His love, fortifying me to continue. I trust His guidance, and am slowly learning that I can trust myself. Much as opening a door into a darkened room will let in the light, God's love will surround the hurt and envelop it, freeing me to be whole again.

Lord, one brick at a time. You could demolish the wall before I could even consider thinking about it, but you are guiding me with your strength. Thank you for taking this wounded soul into the shelter of your love. The beacon that is your love has shined into my darkness, and shown me that you are the way into the light. May I grow into the ability to shine my own beacon for you.

"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD's wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness."~Micah 7:8-9 NIV

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