Today, we heard the testimony of three men who wanted to get up and share their story, the wound they received and, more importantly, the agreements they made from the wound.
Don shared this quote from CS Lewis that is striking… “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Wrap it up carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. . .The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell.”
We’re talking about our hearts here and the damage these wounds inflicts upon the heart. What do we believe? The lies that were spoken over us or about us by fathers, mothers, brothers, grandmothers, coaches or bosses? Or do we believe the Truth from God that He loved us so much that Jesus was willing to die for us?
In Jimmy’s story, his father’s sternness, work-ethic and pain drove Jimmy to a performance-based, “I’m on my own” in life. He excelled in football in high school and at Auburn. After school, it became work. Perform, perform, perform and “do it on my own” was the agreement he made to guard his heart. He took it into his career. Ultimately, it didn’t work. The performance couldn’t heal the heart.
Don was taught, “Got a problem? Suck it up and move on.” Don’t show weakness. But ultimately, that doesn’t heal it either. It’s only a Band-Aid. He didn’t let anyone in, self-protected, shut down and believed that “in order to be loved, I had to be perfect.” What he’s learned here recently is that how he treats his heart is how he’ll treat others. Not only had he walled off others to protect his heart, in so doing, he’d also walled off God. But he’s pushing into this, facing these wounds, coming to terms with the agreements he’s made and inviting Jesus into his story. Is it worth opening this up? His answer, “Absolutely”.
Robin’s Dad left when he was young. After a bitter disappointment at four-years old when his Dad failed to show up and a fight ensued between his folks, Robin said, “It’s OK Mama, we’ll get us another Daddy.” At four! Through this any many other incidents, Robin made the agreement of “Dad’s don’t follow through.” But through it all, Robin sees God’s intervention in his life and understands his mission today to be “to point others to the glorious joy and understanding of knowing Jesus loves me”.
Amazing stories. Wounded little boys. Brave men. We’re all there. We’ve all got them. So why do we push into them? So that we can take away what others said to our heart and in our agreements, what we say about ourselves so we can hear what Jesus says. So we can hear Truth and invite some kindness into our hearts. Men, this is worth pursuing. Walling off your hurts, rationalizing with “I’m fine” or “I can make it work” is only a temporary fix. Like a weed in your lawn, it’s just going to keep coming back until you invite some Truth into it and let Jesus heal your broken heart.