by Julie Gregory
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Sally was a beautiful and joyful little girl. She was so full of life and was completely uninhibited by her surroundings. Sally was a creative little girl and was always coming up with new ways to enjoy life. She was open, trusting, and loving to all she met.
As Sally got older, she saw some of the harsh realities of life and wanted to make sure she didn’t endure any of that pain so she began to build a wall around herself. At first the wall was just one layer of bricks. It wasn’t enough to block anyone out but was just enough for Sally to be mindful of boundaries. She was still open but not quite as trusting.
As Sally got a little older, more pain came into her life. She was hurt by those around her and decided her wall wasn’t high enough. She worked day and night laying the bricks so that there was no way anyone could have access to her heart. The days of being open and trusting were long gone. The beautiful and joyful little girl now had tear-stained cheeks and a heart full of pain. Not trusting people to comfort her, she put on a mask and made it her life mission to fool people into believing she was still a beautiful and joyful little girl.
And Sally was very good at it. There were a few times that she opened the door a crack to see how the world would respond to her but either fear and insecurity would get the best of her or she would get hurt again. Sally would respond by slamming the door and locking it, lest she be hurt again.
When Sally was younger, she invited Jesus to fill her life. She loved Jesus tremendously and knew He loved her and would do anything for her- even die for her. She leaned on Jesus and grew in her relationship with Him because He was the only person Sally allowed full access into her life. But over the years Sally began to realize that Jesus wanted her to tear down the walls and let others into her life.
Sally was terrified. She had seen and felt the pain outside her walls and was afraid of being hurt again. But another part of her was so tired of being alone and not having a shoulder to cry on that she wondered if maybe she should remove part of her wall like Jesus said. She believed and trusted Jesus so she took down a couple of the layers.
It was just enough for her to trust a few people but was also enough for her to continue wearing her mask. When Sally got hurt by these people, she got upset with Jesus, blaming Him for her pain. If she hadn’t listened to His suggestion of tearing down the walls she would never have been hurt. So Sally worked on rebuilding the part of the wall she had torn down.
But Jesus remained patient with Sally. He continued to love and accept her and worked on healing her broken heart. From time to time Jesus would gently tell her to take down her walls, the freedom she was striving for was on the other side. Sally wouldn’t do it. Although she was lonely and in pain, it was better than opening back up and allowing more pain into her already broken heart.
The struggle for freedom became more and more intense for Sally. Sally was hurt, confused, frustrated, and lonely. She had tried opening up but was hurt in the process. Through the frustration and tears, Jesus told Sally to tear down the walls. “No, Jesus. I don’t want to be hurt again,” Sally cried. “Tear down the walls, Child,” Jesus gently instructed. “But I’ve tried and was still hurt!” Jesus answered, “My plans require full obedience. I didn’t tell you to remodel your wall. I told you to tear it down completely, My Child. I’m here to comfort and to heal you.”
So Sally began to slowly remove the wall, brick by brick. Each brick held a memory and many times Sally would stop and tell Jesus it was just too painful to continue. “I love you, Child. Now tear down the wall.” As the bricks came down, a few people stepped over the wall to see what was behind it. Some were curious people passing by but there were a couple who wanted to help Sally realize fully who she was in Christ. Those few friends began to help Sally clear away the last few bricks. Once they were gone, Sally was paralyzed with fear. She was too afraid to venture out so she just set her focus on those that helped her tear the wall down.
Jesus said, “You are free now. Walk in freedom, Child. I have so much more planned for your life. Focus on me, not your friends and fears.” But Sally was frozen in her place. Her friends refused to be in bondage with Sally when they all had already been walking in freedom so they left Sally to stand alone. Once Sally was left alone, she began to see her surroundings. She saw for the first time what had been right beside her all along.
For the first time she saw that she was indeed a beautiful child of God and that no matter how others treated her, none of it changed her value. Now that the wall was gone she was finally able to fully love others and to allow them to love her back. Sally finally experienced and understood her freedom and vowed that no one, including Satan, would ever make her return to bondage. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Sally took hold of this promise and has chosen to love fully, live joyfully, and to embrace her freedom that can only be found in Christ.
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