Monday, June 11, 2012

To Love is to be vulnerable

One of the things I try and push myself to do is to be willing to share the places where I have struggled and the places where I am currently struggling. So this one is hard to write, it is a current struggle. It is yet another realization of how deeply broken I am in some places.

My husband was telling me he loves me last night and followed it with the statement. "but I don't think you love me very much sometimes." Ouch, but something I had already been well aware of. In fact I can honestly say I did not love my first husband like I should of. I always feel kind of guilty about it my lack of love. It's not that I don't love at all but there is a place where my heart stops and is not able to go any further. I realize I am terribly broken. I do try to compensate with kindness, patience and other such things.  I am aware that I am not able to fix this myself - or I would have done it long ago.

I've spent a lot of the past couple of year allowing the Lord to deal with my secret places and I have seen him heal a lot of things. I've found the roots to a lot of the things that have been broken or dysfunctional in my life.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

My heart has been locked up for 30 years in a trunk. I put it there because I had been hurt and did not at the time have the capacity to sort it all out.  I only unlocked it about a year ago. It is still pretty broken and messed up and yeah I would say it became unbreakable and impenetrable but I hope not irredeemable. I am trying very hard to be open, honest and vulnerable.

I found the following in an article by Focus on the Family called Bonhoeffer's Sacrificial love by Ben Domenech

"When it comes to our attitude toward marriage and the call to love our neighbor, the lesson Bonhoeffer has for us is not an easy one. It's a lesson that Christian marriage cannot serve as a haven from the outside world or a justification to set aside the duties of faith. It's a lesson of the enormous responsibility of a union of two souls to display the sacrificial love of Christ. We cannot underestimate the power of two hearts, united in faithfulness to one another, to minister to a fallen world, a sentiment to which Bonhoeffer pointed us:

Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher power, for it is God's holy ordinance, through which He wills to perpetuate the human race until the end of time. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to His glory, and calls into His kingdom. In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and all mankind."

I'm not nieve enough to think that things would be better if I just found the right guy, or even if I could some how return to the person who originally broke my heart, that things could be repaired.  I realize fully that I am the problem. I locked up my heart, I said I would not ever need anyone again. Ughh what did CS Lewis say " To love is to be vulnerable." Some one else said that to have intimacy you have to need someone.

Bonhoffer is lofty beyond my ability to wrap my brain around at this point - so I went to see what John Eldredge had to say on the subject and found the book Love-War-Finding the Marriage You've Dreamed Of. I've read the first couple of chapters on line at Amazon. Here's the link to Love-War-Finding the Marriage You'e Dreamed Of  I sit here reading it and I can see as they each speak of their brokenness that I can full identify with both. I can identify with Stasi who says "Packing on weight sent a message to John that was clear and strong, I'm leaving you. You are not worth being beautiful for." She realize that she brought a wounded heart into her marriage and expected that he would some how be the one to fix it but in reality is always waiting for the other shoe to drop.   Ughh so very me.
Part of me just waits for yet another person to abandon me. In some cases I have jumped ship before they could. (Sorry Ron)  Anyway back to the book - John tells on his side how his reaction to the brokenness in his life was simply not to need any one. Again, so me. I can appear to need you, but I always have a back up plan because I expect people to drop the ball. Blasted self-sufficiency.
As I read the final pages that Amazon allows you to read for free John says I was twenty-three. I was as ready for marriage as I was to take up the presidency. And so I did what most men do - I ran. To work."

I suppose there are more ways than breaking a marriage vow to run away and abandon someone. Running away to work is one way. I'm as guilty as the next person on that score. My answer to my brokenness has to been to keep busy. Pour yourself into kingdom work and other good things.

I realize I have adopted the view that love is not all it is cracked up to be in every fairy tale ever written. I have been foolish enough in my romanticism to think if I could just have this or that, whatever "that" thing I felt was missing in my life, that everything would be better. Sadly I have gotten those things and guess what 'I'm still broken." The problem is not outside of me. It is me.

I sit here writing this and wondering if I will have the courage to post it. What am I afraid of in posting it that some of you might think less of me. Most of you will marvel at my ability to be open an honest. If you are honest yourself you will have to admit that there are places where you are broken and afraid to let anyone know. I guess I am beyond caring what anyone thinks of me. I'm tired of hiding my brokenness away in dark corners and trunks. I choose to be open and honest in my writing about my past struggles and my current one. My life is not my own and if Jesus can use my struggles to minister to others than it will be worth having had them.

My dear husband is a sweet man, with his own slew of issues and broken places. He deserves better of me. "But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."  I suppose if nothing else - posting this will cause some of you to pray for me. I am fully aware that I can't fix myself nor will I run away. Somehow I will try to find the courage to face this head on. With God all things are possible.

So enough about me - what about you? What are you running from? What do you keep busy to avoid?  Have you locked away your heart? Some lock up their mind, taking the other option of numbing themselves with drugs, alcohol, pornography or any other number of mind numbing activities. Is that you? Are you running away like Stasi in eating because you feel no one really values or deserves your beauty? Are you running to work like John avoiding brokenness and problems that you have no clue how to solve?

Prayer:
Dear Lord, You alone can fix us. Help us to face these things head on and rather than to run away that we would run to you. You who created love, you who are love, who created us - knows how to fix us.
I give you my fear of abandonment and needing anyone. I give you my self sufficient, unbreakable, impenetrable heart. Lord once again I choose to take your hand and embark on yet another journey.

FYI  - I did let my husband read this before posting it. He said he liked it. I've written this on Saturday and set it to post on Monday. I think I will head to Amazon and get the book by John Eldredge. Seems they have traveled this road. Perhaps they will have some helpful insights to share.  Maybe some of you will find the courage to comment about your own journey. It is good to know we are not alone.

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