Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers-
I hope you all are having a great evening. Here’s a thought: What would your life look like if you were less guarded? I used to ask myself this question all the time. I used to imagine a life of pain, abuse, and emotional wounds. This could not be further from the truth of what an unguarded life held but past experiences fueled with fear, strengthened my beliefs. My belief system helped me build a wall around my heart. This wall was so high and so wide that it even affected my relationship with the Lord. I had a relationship with God that lacked openness, honesty and raw vulnerability. I reinforced this wall with what I called my SWAT team- a team of my most powerful fears, who helped keep people, places and things out of my heart. You know that scripture, “Guard your heart…” I took that scripture a step too far and held my heart hostage. Fear was my guard and pain was the team captain that kept others at bay.
When you live in dysfunction for so long, you begin to think that your way of living is okay. Poor emotional health will convince you that needs to be needed, the inability to receive love and avoidance of hard conversations is a matter of personality type when in fact it is an issue of health and maturity. I thought because I was an INFJ and an 8(on the enneagram model) I was excused from addressing my guards. I thought my previous painful experiences with people excused me from addressing my guards. I thought my “spirit of discernment” and earthly wisdom excused me from addressing my guards. As long as I loved a little bit, as long as I made somewhat of a friendship, and as long as I avoided the pain I thought God was content with me and my guards. I was completely wrong! The Father was not pleased with my habit of guarding my heart with fear.
I remember sitting in my room, discussing my relationships with the Lord when he asked me to surrender my guards, to fire my team. He challenged me with this thought “You can not be open yet guarded at the same time, waiting for people to prove to you that they are not who you thought they were.” Of course, He was right! Living a life of testing people gets old and you find yourself in a life long dance with self-fulfilling prophecies. We cannot say we trust in people and yet have no faith in them to do what is right. We cannot say we love people but as soon as we see a “red flag” (really a fear) we head for the hills ready to run. Our guards keep the “pain” away but it also hinders us from fruitful connection bred in vulnerability. This type of lifestyle leaves us alone. My life was lived guarded, fearful and it profited nothing for me. In order to love and receive the love He desired for me to have, I was going to have to fire my SWAT team and to make peace my guard. Lovelies, that evening I decided to fire my SWAT team.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil.4:7 NIV
Peace will be our guard. When we allow peace to do it’s perfect work, to signal to us if something is right and wrong; it will guard us against things that are meant to harm us. How many times have we dismissed the wisdom of peace? We didn’t feel right about something or it didn’t sit well with us yet we overrode our gut for what was presented to us? Peace is that sense of relief and comfort, it’s the marker that everything is going to be okay. Even in hard times, peace guards our emotions and it shields us from fear and anxiety. Instead of building our own walls and hiring our own protection, let’s allow peace to do its perfect work. Tonight, let’s decide that we will allow peace to be our guard.
Friends, listen to Peace and fire your SWAT team.