Friday, October 21, 2016

on guards and walls...

Hi, my name is Kristi, and I am a Feeler.
It's hard living life as a Feeler. Being a Feeler means I filter life through my heart, not my head. Being a Feeler means I bear my burdens and the burdens of others in a very serious way. Being a Feeler means I am quick to trust and quick to love; it means discernment and gut instinct over fact and formula. I tend to love people and things when love doesn't make logical sense. My heart carries a lot within it, and by a lot I mean A FREAKING LOT. I like this about myself, I truly do, but sometimes, having a big heart means you need to install big boundaries. Because when you wear your heart on your sleeve, when you love everyone and everything with all you have, you are exposed to a serious amount of pain, rejection, and false hope.
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"...sometimes, having a big heart means you need to install big boundaries..."
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Recently, I can feel myself beginning to install walls around my heart; big, hefty, Home Depot-type walls. The walls are being laid brick by brick, sort of haphazardly and unintentionally. There is no rhyme or reason, there is just construction. Where once there was liberty to hope, there is the beginnings of a hedge. 

The Bible speaks of the heart as both a wellspring and as wicked. In Proverbs 4:23 we are warned to guard our hearts and in Jeremiah 17:9 we are told that we aren't to trust it. A wellspring bent towards wickedness, that's our heart. Wellsprings and wickedness and walls... What do we do with all of that? (Seriously, asking for a friend myself.)

In an effort to try and understand my own heart and my own hopes, I am resting in a place that says guards are healthy and needed. Guards are healthy, walls are not. Guards are meant to keep something safe while walls are meant to close off. A guard allows my heart to be protected, a wall confines my heart to be hidden. In my plight to keep myself safe, sometimes I end up closing myself off completely, and that is not a tendency that I want to cultivate. 

We all want to be safe. We all want to be protected from pain, from embarrassment, from shame, from false hope. Friends, there is nothing worse than a false hope, of this I am absolutely sure. And this is why I want the walls... I want the walls because earthly love does fail. Earthly love disappoints and expects too much, it has too much potential for pain.  But, in the fear of false hope, we cannot lose all hope. While I was listening to the words of Ellie Holcombs "Love Never Fails", my prayer echos her words: "Oh Lord, help me to live like love never fails..."
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"...in the fear of false hope, we cannot lose all hope..."
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I want to live like love never fails, because real love is unfailing. I want to live like love never fails, because love itself offers as a wall of protection. I want to live like love never fails, because I don't want to live like love fails. When we live like love never fails, we love without fear and without expectation and without walls. 

His hope is secure and His love is unfailing, I am praying my heart finds solace and comfort in that place, and that I allow His secure hope and unfailing love to act as guards, protecting me and softening me from the walls I continue to build.

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