One thing I love to do around Christmastime is to snuggle into the rocking chair in my parents living room in the evenings with only the tree lights on, wrapped in a blanket sipping hot tea. I love gazing at all of the ornaments and the way the lights reflect off of the shiny wrapping paper of the gifts stacked below. It’s such a magical time of year. The wonder and excitement of it all gives me a warm, happy feeling inside.
I was recalling this the other day as I was out running errands and God spoke to me about all of the packages under the tree. Sometimes in life we alienate ourselves by our circumstances. We feel like nobody could possibly understand what we’re going through or have been through. I mean, I’ve been there. You try to explain it to people, thinking that getting it out and off your chest will resolve it, heal your heart, and free your mind from ever thinking about it again so you can move on and be happy. But, rather than feeling understood or finding that resolution, we end up just reliving the hurt over and over and become more hurt, more angry, and more bitter. We put up walls to protect our hearts from ever feeling like that again.
All of a sudden, you look around and your walls have been built, strong and sturdy, it’s impressive really. Your very own fortress. The walls have definitely protected you from the circumstance itself, that’s 100% accurate. They’ve also alienated you though (from people who love you, from friends and family, and maybe from God), and THAT is the ultimate ploy of the devil, deceiving you to believe that you’re completely alone in your struggle. The walls that were meant to protect you, are now imprisoning you. You’re alone with only your thoughts, memories, and your flesh and that’s a miserable place to be.
The thing is, the devil isn’t doing anything new. He has the same ole bag of tricks, they are just wrapped differently: in different shaped boxes with different wrapping and different bows. Once you realize that you truly aren’t alone in it, it gives you courage to begin tearing down the walls you’ve so strategically built. It takes faith and can make you feel really exposed at first, but then you look around and see new freedom and help. You can connect arms with a Godly community that’s not afraid of your mess and join yourself to the Lord’s army and just see what happens. Little by little the last of the bricks crumble under your feet and the shackles of the past fall from your wrists. You look around and realize that you’re standing on the very thing you thought you’d never be free from.
If you say, “that’s me”, you.are.not.alone. You are not alone. What you’re facing at it’s core isn’t unique to you. You do not have to live imprisioned to your past and in the hurts that have made a home in your mind. You don’t have to live as only a small fraction of what you’re meant to be. As long as you believe that you’re the only one, you’ll live an alienated life. As long as you live an alienated life, you’ll make yourself a victim and get all wrapped up in yourself. As long as you believe you’re a victim, you’ll never overcome, reach your full potential, or be able to think about, serve, or be a light to others. You are made for more. Today is your day for breakthrough.
There is power in God’s word, in community and transparency to break the power of circumstances over our lives and minds. We can’t do it alone. I guarantee you that there is someone out there who has already overcome what you’re facing and can walk with you through it. There is a God who who loves you and stands in your corner. There is freedom awaiting you and there is truly no better season to start breaking down those walls. Find a good community of people to connect arms with. People who will sharpen you, tell you the truth with wisdom, who will call you up to greatness rather than get down and wallow with you…find that community that will help walk you through and out of the muck and mess and into your destiny, the fullness of life and purpose God has in store for you.