Have you felt it? You’re standing there talking to someone and you feel it, sometimes almost tangibly. You know that the person you’re talking to isn’t the real her. She has put up a wall and is hiding behind it.
Sometimes the wall projects out about 10 feet and it smacks people down as she moves around the room. Sometimes it has spikes.
You may even sometimes feel like you are that woman. I know I sometimes do.
I’ve met very few women in life who don’t have a wall of some sort. I myself have a wall. It used to be much bigger and stay up much longer. Now that I’m aware of its presence, I can feel when it goes up. Sometimes I leave it there and sometimes I struggle to take it down or let it fall.
Have you ever met a woman without a wall? It’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget. You walk into her presence and you immediately feel welcome, even drawn in. Her smile is genuine with nothing behind it but life. She’s not perfect and she doesn’t expect perfection from you.
It’s possible you’ve never met such a woman. They are rare. In all my life, I can probably count on two hands or less the number of women who I would categorize as “wall-less”.
I met one of these women recently. She’s a new friend of mine. She has a sweet spirit and a gentle smile. Within about 10 minutes of meeting her, I was hooked. I wanted to know her better and hang out with her, which is saying a lot for me. It usually takes me a while to really warm up to someone to the point where I want to spend time with them.
She’s also young for a wall-less woman. I wondered how one so young could be so wall-less already.
One day, not long after meeting her, I saw a Facebook post by her that gave me the answer to my question. She had been broken and the Lord had met her there. Met her in a real, tangible, unequivocally “God” way. He had showered her with His love and her heart had soaked it up.
Walls fall down when they encounter that kind of love. Almost across the board, I have found this to be true of wall-less women.
They have come to the end of themselves, been broken, and then filled to overflowing with Him as the power of His love consumes their hearts.
Being filled with Him leaves no room for the construction materials needed for building our walls – insecurity, selfishness, pride, judgment, anger, hatred and more.
Being filled with Him breaks our walls down from the inside out as His love lays waste to them.
Why, oh, why, do we build these walls?!
So many of us have broken hearts, hearts that have been trampled on, stabbed, broken, and torn to pieces by friends and family alike. Is it any wonder that we’re a bit protective of ourselves?
Here’s the thing I’ve learned, though, beloved. My heart is not my own when I belong to Jesus. I am not my own, I was bought at a price.
It’s not my job to protect my heart, it’s His. I am called to be a vessel of His love to those around me. This means laying my wall at His feet, being vulnerable, and allowing Him to pour His love through me.
It’s hard. I’m not going to lie. The first time I even became aware of my wall was when reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. I came to realize that all the reasons I had built my wall were common to other women.
The Lord met me in that place of understanding. Compassion arose in my heart and my wall fell for that moment as my focus shifted from myself to others.
And therein I learned the key to letting my wall down.
A shift of focus from self to others.
As my focus shifted, my heart didn’t matter anymore because my heart was no longer part of the equation. It didn’t matter what others thought of me or how they might hurt me; my focus was on them, their heart, and a desire for them to walk in the fullness of what the Lord had for them, to be set free from the lies they were believing, and for them to know they were fully loved.
I struggle to keep this focus, but I have found that truly wall-less women aren’t focused on themselves, on protecting themselves from you. They almost seem to have lost their “self” awareness and simply “are” as their spirit rests at the feet of Jesus.
I have another friend who fits that description – she is simply at rest. She’s one of my favorite friends and I’ve told her so. When I’m with her my wall disintegrates because there is no reason for it. Her heart is filled with Jesus and she makes me want more of Him rather than feeling the need to protect my heart or try to be what she might expect me to be.
She brings out my truest self – the parts of me that I can only seem to find when I’m filled to overflowing with Him, the parts of me that live deep in the wellspring of His spirit in me and that often get buried in the rubble of daily life. The gift of her friendship is something I truly treasure.
I want to be a wall-less woman. I want to be that kind of friend. I think sometimes I am. More days than I wish, though, I know the wall is there, keeping me more focused on myself than on the hearts of those around me.
I want to live from that place in me where His spirit lives – in that purest place where only He is and all the sinful parts of me are disintegrated in His love. I want His love to pour through me rather than being blocked off by the wall of my “self”.
I want that for you, too.
So how do we conquer the wall?
The only way I’ve found to truly conquer it is to keep my heart filled with Jesus, to sit at His feet every day, and keep my eyes on Him rather than myself. He is the Wall Destroyer. He is our Sustainer and Strength and Life.
Will you join me on the journey to becoming wall-less? Will you make the choice to let your wall crumble, to be vulnerable and real in the face of everything this world will throw at you? Will you let Jesus be your protector and sustainer and let His love flow through you into the hearts of those around you?
I pray you will.
P.S. Starting my day with worship is one of my favorite ways to spend time with Jesus. These are two songs I love that speak to the heart of what I’ve written above and help me in keeping my heart focused on Him. I hope they will do the same for you. 🙂