I was that little girl at the park that loved to exuberantly ask everyone, "Do you want to be my friend?!" Without words, this did not just mean, "Do you want to go play?!", but it meant, "Come! Be my friend! I have kindness for you! Let's go on an adventure!"and off we'd run! Sometimes they'd say no and I would say, "OK! If you change your mind, I'll be over there!" Usually, they would shyly inch over there or stare until I waved them over and they'd run over, since that's what they were contemplating anyways! There was no judgement there! We could say goofy sounds that meant nothing or say that I picked a booger and we would laugh to our hearts content! Even if someone said, "Eww!" it was still funny and we both knew we were in a safe place!
We were probably all on one side or the other of that scenario when everything was pretty simple and you loved or wanted to be loved!! There was no status, no facades, no walls because we just didn't know better yet!
I love to watch this in my two year old now! Toddlers may have to be taught to share and be kind, but they don't know how to go after a friendship for complex manipulation or to befriend you to gain something they are missing inside only to soon try to upgrade when it does not work! They do not think, just yet, of how to sabotage a relationship of someone they love so they can gain the trust of someone else or because someone breached the comfort zone of their heart! They don't know how to fill their gaping holes and hurting places with friends like a drug in subconscious hopes that it will fill them up and numb the pain! They just want to play, explore, love, and be loved! What happens to that?!!
Sin... Pain... Rejection... Selfishness... Fear...We all learn as the thorns of this world invariably rip our heart to pieces by other little hearts that are hurting too or even by other little people that have not been loved enough to be imparted the attributes of life giving friendship, that we had better learn fast to toughen up or even become what has hurt us!
Sometimes those thorns even gnash at our tenderness from siblings, parents, or loved ones, yet in these very first encounters of what love and a safe place should be rooted in, there is no truth to be found! There is no life giving love to be taught and only lessons of betrayal and love you must deserve are handed out like tainted sunglasses that carry a skewed view and chart an early path of untruth and destruction! Sometimes, it's even a life long journey trying to fit every puzzle piece into our hearts to fill this love need, but all the knock offs eventually fail and only further break our hearts!
The definition of that path and the shapes of the puzzle pieces all look different for all of us, but what is the same is that the only thing that our love is made perfect in is HIS LOVE! Invariably, we are all affected by the muck and stain of our sin filled world and we need the Father initially for His salvation, but what we sometimes don't realize is that washing us of our sin is also washing us of the affects of sin! We can't do it on our own and that's why we, just like Paul wrote, do the things we hate! That's why we promise to ourselves that we will never ever do something again and yet we do! We fall harder and harder and it springs back stronger the harder we pull just like a rubber band that only stings more the harder you stretch it!! Salvation from our thoughts and the renewing of our mind only comes by the reading of His word as we dig deeper into the Father! We overcome by His blood that was paid and as we proclaim His testimony in our lives as living worship! When it wakes you up like refreshing waters, you feel like you take a huge deep breath after you forgot to breath for a while or when you couldn't take a breath because you were under water!!
See, I lost that little girl! She's still there with a heart that loves to reach out to others and do what she was made to do! I love to open a window and pour out His love! I love to reach out and impart the beauty God has designed a sweet girl with who just can't see it! I love to laugh like there's no tomorrow and share my greatest struggles as He crosses my path with others, but what happens when I know that someone is breaching the wall around my heart?! What happens when I'm sitting there and I realize I forgot in my joy and God given friendship that I accidentally opened the door and not a window?! What happens when I know God is drawing me to a life giving friendship in answer to a prayer and they remind me of someone who stomped on my precious gift of love because I was too stupid to see their true motives?! How do we walk the line of wisdom and not throwing our pearls to swine, yet impart His love to this world through the only true means, our heart!
Oh, the levels of TRUST He calls me to higher and higher! You see, He's showing me how to listen to that whisper and follow that peace! He's showing me that He mends my heart even if I miss that voice! In pain and much to Satan's joy, I built a wall that when seen through the eyes of truth, is really a prison with bars! I thought this wall would protect me! I finally said, "I don't know why people hurt me and use me, but they won't do it again! I will protect me!" and, brace yourself, I said to my sweet, sweet Father, "I did it your way and I am a puddle of pain! It failed! It didn't work! See?! This is more than I can bear! This turn the other cheek stuff means everyone can treat me however they want! I am protecting me now!" I know, it's painful to write and so painful to remember, but even as I do He says, "It is gone! My daughter was hurting! You never asked me to leave and I never did!" See! I have no words for that awesomeness! I truly stand in awe! I throw Him rejection and He stands by me in love, carries me in His arms, and nurses me back to health! He knew I was lost in pain and He answered my call! His love is so much more that we can ever conceive or wrap our human minds around!
Now, one by one, with every request to follow Him in love, receive love, and give my love whole heartedly, He says, "This one, can I move this brick away here?" I answer Him, more and more easily and ,with trust, I am learning from Him to say, "Yes! please do!" Guess what?! Those bricks didn't protect me! They blocked me from the fullness of His blessings, love and joy!! No arrows are coming through where my bricks once were! He is trading my heavy bricks for His wisdom and blessings and I feel like dancing! I feel like that little girl because when He says, "Now sweetie! Let's dance!" I know I can trust Him and I answer to my Daddy! "Yes!! Yes!" Dancing is so much more fun than shackles and bars and loneliness behind a self-made wall!! Dance! When He asks in His love, answer in trust, "YES!":)