Wounded for Life – A Captive of Fear
Some of us get wounded and then choose to remain in that condition for life. Even when we know the right thing to do is to let go of the pain, we choose not to do so, and we refuse to forgive. We refuse to forgive “them,” we refuse to forgive Him and we refuse to forgive ourselves. We just flat refuse to move on. We refuse to confront our past, even when the pain we experienced was self-imposed. We refuse to lean into That One Who can comfort us and tell us Truth. After time, our hearts become hard, and we forget that the reason our hearts are calloused is because we refused to let go of hurts, betrayals, mistakes. Because of our choices, we learn to live hidden where no one can find the real us – we remain inside our cave of isolation.
Cave of Protection
I know this to be true, because it was my own safe haven – this wounded captivity was my cave of isolation for many years.
I lived inside a cave of protection, and it became my safe place of self defense – my cave of isolation.
My mom got very ill when I was a teenager. She had cancer, and the doctors told us she was going to die. I really did not know how to handle what my heart felt. I lived at home, and I remember listening to her moan from the pain at night. I helped her go to the bathroom, even wiping her behind, because she did not have the strength to do it herself. I remember taking a shower with her, because she was too weak to stand up alone for very long. After a while, I began to shift my emotions to the back burner, and I denied any pain in my heart. The result was that I began to treat my mom as a patient instead of my only dear and precious momma. I took care of her with diligence, but I refused to allow my emotions to engage in anything that made me uncomfortable. I retreated into a cave to protect myself, and I built walls up as my source of defense. I coped and shut down emotionally, and because of it, I missed out on a time in my mom’s life that I can never retrieve. I have regrets. We never cried together about her upcoming move to heaven. We never talked about how much I would miss her and how much I truly loved her. I could not comfort her in her fears or her questions because I felt no compassion or pain regarding her condition. I was afraid to feel anything, and I became captive to my fears inside my cave of self defense.
Unfortunately, my self-made walls made my cave a safe place emotionally – I would not have to give love. On the flip side, it also prevented me from receiving any love.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore, be imitators of God – copy Him and follow His example – as well-beloved children imitate their father. And walk in love, esteeming and delighting in one another as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God for you so that it became a sweet fragrance
I could not imitate God. I could not copy God because all I knew and understood were the self-made walls from childhood that prevented me from experiencing pain and suffering. I would not let Him in, so I could not walk in this love. Since I could not walk in this love, I could not esteem or delight in others either. Oh, the web of deceit that entangles itself around us when we choose to shut out life. My walls prevented me from loving or being loved. I was trapped inside my cave of self defene.
Have you ever thought about the purpose of walls? You erect them so you will feel safe. You think you will be safe from getting hurt, because you think you are untouchable behind a wall. However, the thing we don’t consider when we build walls is that we don’t just shut out pain. We also shut out joy, love and the experience of life. I had walls for many years – they were walls of self-made isolation. I was a recluse in my cave from pain and rejection, as well as joy, love and friendship. Held captive by my fears of loving and of being loved, I ceased to live. I chose instead, only to exist.
I thought if they knew how much pain lived inside of me, they would laugh and call me inadequate. Who are THEY anyway? I wonder why we let THEY control who we are and what we think about life? Do you have any idea?
Regardless, our God loved me even when my mouth was out of control. He loved and pursued me even when my heart shut Him out of my life.
Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us. Even when we were dead and slain by our own shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ. He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for it is by grace – His favor and mercy which you did not deserve – that you are saved and delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation.
Even with my walls 100 feet high, He still died for me and still loved and loves me! That very thought just stops me dead in my tracks. When I think about how unloved I felt most of my life, when I think about betrayals and painful relationships, I could stay inside my cave forever. But, when God touched me and poured Himself out on me, I had to choose to live, and I had to choose to come from my safe place into His safe place. I just want to say that I have never regretted the decision to follow God outside of my safe-walled cave of isolation.
Can you remember a time when you protected yourself from being hurt or wounded by another? Have you ever retreated behind the walls for protection and live inside your wall of self defense – your cave of isolation.
God, I admit I have been protecting myself for years, and I have been desperately afraid to be hurt by others. I change my mind today and say I will not run from pain any longer. Instead, I run to You! Lord Jesus, I need You. Be my Protector and be my Friend. I am having a change of mind right now about the cave I have lived in and the walls I have erected to protect myself. I relinquish my need to defend myself over to you and ask You to teach me how to trust You with me. I love You and want to know Your love for me. I love You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.