This is a line from one of my favorite Robert Frost poems and on this day it echoed in my heart. I sat on a beautiful day in the warm sun on my new deck chairs doing what I love….reading. These times seem to be few and far between, time swallowed up by circumstances and situations. It was one of those times that life had just gotten completely out of control. You know the times. I am certain all of you can recall a moment or season like this. I had not taken much soul time to refresh me. But today was the day I purposed to take a moment to breathe amidst the mess of my life and breathe in deep the thing I loved the most.
I sat reading an amazing book by Leeana Tankersley called Begin Again. Chapter 7 grabs my attention and brings me to a pause and leads me to paper and pen and I begin to write. I am reminded of my favorite line from a Robert Frost poem “the only way out is through”. And suddenly I feel His presence and I feel that knock on my heart. Then the thought comes, “you have been avoiding.” I gasp not wanting to surrender to this moment of self awareness but He is present and calling me to hear and I must choose to listen and not dismiss.
As my eyes scan the words on the page of this book it becomes the YES moment I need and I acknowledge and surrender to being fully aware of what God what trying to show me, about me. On this specific page Leeana is talking about all the ways we cope when life hits us unexpectedly.
She shares how we actually entomb ourselves by stacking stones of self-protection all around us in order to deal with and get through the hard times, the painful times and the times that we simply couldn’t bare one more thing. What happens is time after time, situation after situation we lay those stones until we completely barricade ourselves and we build a wall of protection around our own hearts.
This is our natural human response to pain and distress. But in doing it we not only protect our hearts but we completely cut ourselves off to God and those around us. So I began journaling. This was me. This was what I had done to deal with the pain in my marriage and the loss of a close friendship and my church. He showed me my own heart that day and that in order to deal with the pain I had stacked stones around me to protect me but now I was completely cut off and He wanted to be back behind those stones again close to my heart. He wanted me to love again, reach for others again, hope again and dream again but as long as those stones remained stacked around me that wasn’t going to be possible.
I continued to read and Leeana went on to explain that we had to CHOOSE to will away the stones that we place around our own hearts. We place them there so we must CHOOSE to tear the wall down and open ourselves up again. I heard what God wanted me to hear that He needed me to remove the stones I laid out of self-protection and trust Him again. I sat numb and afraid because this had become comfortable. This was how I could believe that ending our marriage was the best thing. This was how I could believe I didn’t need anyone and I was totally self-sufficient. These were all lies that had become entrenched into my heart because of the stones I laid around my heart to protect me. That the only way out of any situation is through. It is to face it, walk it out, be present, pray and press on. Too many times we self protect, avoid and suppress in order to deal with the pain.
Sisters, God wants us to examine our hearts (2 Corinthians 13: 5) and just like this day it was hard to face what He exposed in me but it very much was for my good. This became the opening to my heart that He needed to gain access again to begin revealing truth to me to defeat the lies that had entrapped my heart.
I feel that there are so many that out of self protection stacked stone after stone around their hearts and today God wants you to pull away the first one and let Him in again. It wasn’t Him you were trying to avoid but in not wanting to face the pain or situation you built a wall. He is ready to work with you to tear down that wall and see all the lies destroyed and truth to fill your heart so that true healing can come to the deepest of wounds. The only way out is through. Let’s move through this together today. We are here for you. You are not alone. Do not be afraid. This is the beginning of something beautiful. Surrender with me my sisters.
These are the words from one of my favorite songs “Tell Me The Truth” by Steffany Gretzinger:
If we’ll be honest
Expose our weakness
We’ll find we’re strongest
So tell me the truth
Even if it hurts me, even if it’s ugly
My heart is open
Tell me the truth
Without the self-protection
Love can mend what’s broken
In me and you
Psalm 71: 1-5 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Romans 8: 35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jeremiah 31: 1-40 “At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lordappeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit”
At His Feet,