What Joy, What Joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord,
What Peace, What Peace for those whose confidence is Him alone.
-What Joy (Psalm 126) // Generation Church
Joy and peace are not the words I would use to describe my life journey. In fact, I think I would put anxiety and fear before these things. Fear of pain. Fear of failure. Fear of losing the faith that I held so dear. As such things overtook me, I slipped further and further into my defense mechanisms of cynicism and intellectualism. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of cynicism (it keeps things real); there is something wrong with seeking to be cynical about anything and everything you encounter. There is nothing wrong with intellectualism either, for that is how I was made. Yet I was using these things in order to hide from the fact that I was not purposely and fully engaging God’s grace. I had walls; walls that were exemplary at keeping out anything and everything that required any element of trust from me.
See, one doesn’t just build walls for the fun of it. I’m human and have felt the pain of betrayal. When you open your heart up to a friend and pour yourself out to them, betrayal feels like a hot knife being driven deep. I’ve had specific experiences I can point to and say that, “There is where that section of wall was built!” This wall protects, insulates and defends. This wall hides, isolates and starves. I’ve gotten really good at making my apparent lack of emotion seem to flow from the fact that I love logic and all things rational. Often I even had myself convinced, saying that I wasn’t heartless; I was merely objective. Yes, I wasn’t heartless. I was just lying to myself and others; that’s all. Showing emotion, in some sense, breaches the wall. One crack leads to another and parts of the wall start to come down. As soon as the walls come down, however, that made me vulnerable. If hurt again, the walls get built higher.
So where does that leave me? Recently, I have had people that have been willing to pour into my life. People that have trusted me, even when I have been hesitant to trust back. People that have been willing to love me, even when I am hard to love. That love and trust has been slowly cracking my walls and breaking those wall’s foundations.
Wanna know something funny?
As soon as those walls started to come down, I started to allow God to work in my life. To bring joy. To bring peace.
That’s good news.