Growing up I was always fascinated by the houses with the big brick walls surrounding them. The idea of who might live in them, what kind of life they might live, and the mystery of what was really behind that tall wall that driving by or walking by I could not see over.
Listening to Proverbs 17:19 a portion of the scripture just kept calling out to me. Anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster. I realize that in Old Testament times that there were walls built around cities to protect them from being invaded and that this scripture likely refers to those in the city only placing their trust in the structure around them for protection, but God spoke so much more to me through it. Even as I tried to ignore it, I just kept hearing those words, as if the other words in the verse and chapter did not exist.
As an adult, I have learned about a different kind of high wall. These walls were also built for protection, but for self-protection. Like the walls we build because of hurts caused by people we care about, and even those we don’t. The walls that we build to keep people out, because we don’t think that they can really handle who we truly are. The walls we build because we just know that if we are disappointed one more time, that it will destroy us. We build those walls to keep others out, but we don’t realize that our walls limit us. We end up being caged in by the very walls that we build to protect ourselves.
I admit, I have walls. I didn’t realize how closed off I had become. I didn’t realize that not everyone is as intrigued by walls as I am. I first realized the walls protecting me in a casual comment made by someone who I was intimidating. When I questioned my family, they told me I could be and that I often came off as trying to be even to them. Ouch! It is my personality, and although I have learned to temper it and build up the other parts of my personality, I am still a very dominant choleric (Find out your personality temperament here). I think a lot of the time while God was trying to tame this lion, I was busy building walls to avoid hurting others or being hurt.
I also loved old graffiti walls. Those that told a story of what had happened in that area, the people who had been there. I loved the old-time advertisements that were painted on the sides of buildings. There was something about the history told by those scenes that captured my attention.
Other people’s walls have always intrigued me, and as a counselor, I love to pull down those walls and learn about people’s history. I am not intimidated by the walls, I find them a challenge. To learn what hurts caused them to build up the walls, the stories behind the graffiti and to help them see that it is so important to let others in. It is through connections that past hurts can be healed.
Over the past few months I have realized that something I have so openly taught to others, also applies to me. We each have our own individual gifts and talents, personality and history that we need to share with the world. Walls don’t just keep others guessing, they keep the beauty inside the walls from being shared as a gift to the world. I don’t want disaster to come upon me because I have trusted only in high walls. I realize that having other people in my life brings protection. People who will call me out when I am doing something i shouldn’t, who will encourage me when I am down, and who will challenge me to put forth my best in every situation.
We have to put our trust in God and in people. Sometimes it is those that you least expect that can breach the walls and really get through to you. Those who will take the time to hear the stories you thought no one could handle, and love you anyway. Those who would let you be you, in all your uniqueness and pull on your talents and gifts, not for selfish reasons, but to help you become the person that God wants you to be. Those who would speak life in to the dead places, and dare you to dream again. Those who would brick by brick help you tear down the walls as you make peace with yourself and the past that caused those walls to be built.
I am so grateful to those who have been beside me these past few months. God blessed me greatly when he brought Rapha Center into my life and connected me with such a wonderful group of women. I had no plan to let those walls come down, but God had other plans. Thank you for being part of His plan!