Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hi. My Name's Sarah, and I'm a Wallbuilder

"Wallbuilder"....pretty sure that's not a word in the English dictionary. But it is the word that describes me. I knew I was so careful to protect myself from pain before Kyle and I got married. But during our marriage counseling with the pastor that married us, I discovered I was more protective of myself than I thought. I've always thought "hurt me once, shame on you....cause you won't get a second shot," but our pastor found that trait in me to be stronger than I thought was visible.

"Sarah, you are a wall builder. You have to be so careful of that. And Kyle, you have to learn to help her build up her wall of protection, but get on the same side of it as she is.You can't stop her from building it, you just have to prove to her that you want her protected--even from things you say."

That small paraphrase actually took the majority of one counsel session. I cried. It hurt to know it was so visible to him, and so detrimental to my husband if I built those walls in our marriage.

From the time I was little I didn't like to be hurt. If I got hurt by someone or someone I loved was hurt, I built up a wall between myself and the guilty party, if only for a short time. I would rather be behind the wall and safe from a hurt heart than be open and vulnerable.

Perfect example: my freshman year of college was so very painful for me. I made friends that, in the end, hurt me deeply. The summer break between semesters was one of spiritual and physical change in my life. When I went back for my sophomore year, I never talked to them again. They tried to call, and I sent it to voicemail. They texted me....and I ignored the messages. It caused pain to us all, but I couldn't make myself vulnerable again--after all, "hurt me once, shame on you....you won't get a second try."

My husband has sought to avoid emotional walls between us, just as I have sought to keep from building them against him. He can always tell when I clam up and start to build a wall for protection. The signs are so clear: I close my mouth, cross my arms protectively across my chest, and often place distance between us literally. When that happens, he refuses to let me close myself away, and we will talk it out, even if it means a more heated argument than would have ensued had I been silent. I love that about him. I'm learning I'd rather fight it out than hold it inside of me.

I thought I was getting over building walls toward people.

Ha. Sin dies hard, sometimes.

My friend Rachel has a sweet way of pointing out areas of my spiritual walk that need correction--without being harsh. We were talking about issues happening in our lives, and I shared some struggles I've been having against some friends of mine who play a big part in our family.

Rachel looked at me and said, "Sarah, I think you are building up walls in your heart toward them, am I right?"

I was silent. She had pointed out a sin I had denied was present. "Yeah, I guess so. They haven't done anything to make me trust them."

"Sarah, you can't build the wall, sit on top, and say 'Shame on you for making me build it.' You have to trust in God and tear the wall down so you are right before Him spiritually. And those walls need to come down before your baby gets here."


I'm going to admit it here....I'm afraid of tearing down my walls. I'm afraid of getting hurt. The walls I build up aren't always just around me--but I try to build them up around my husband and my family too. I want to protect us from those who don't respect us or seek to somehow influence our decisions that we make for our child. I'm afraid if I tear those down, I am made vulnerable to being changed.

You see it, don't you? That's the problem right there. Walls are a sign that I don't have faith. The walls I build are a sign I don't have faith in God to protect my heart, or my husband to protect our family. Having faith in someone else makes me vulnerable. It makes me trust on Someone else--someone who actually holds my future and knows how our family is to be run.

I guess I'm being vulnerable by posting it here, but the truth must be told....I'm tearing down walls, one little brick at a time. It's done in little text messages I wouldn't normally send. It's done on my knees daily as I beg God to rid me of this crippling sin.

Are you a wall-builder too? Do you protect yourself by shutting others out?

From one wall-builder to another: it's less painful for the moment, but a lifelong detriment to you if you maintain those walls. They will only get stronger, never weaker unless you allow the God who loves you to be your protection. It takes faith.

Could you possibly break down those walls that hinder you as well?

I'm praying that it will be worth it, for both of us.

1 comment:

Irene said...

This is my favorite post and will be for...ever. lol thanks for being vulnerable It's the hardest thing I have ever had to do.It's nice to know that we have something in common.