Over the years we’ve come to see that the only thing more tragic than the things that have happened to us is what we have done with them.
Words were said, painful words. Things were done, awful things. And they shaped us. Something inside of us shifted. We embraced the messages of our wounds. We accepted a twisted view of ourselves. And from that we chose a way of relating to our world. We made a vow never to be in that place again. We adopted strategies to protect ourselves from being hurt again. A woman who is living out of a broken, wounded heart is a woman who is living a self-protective life. She may not be aware of it, but it is true. It’s our way of trying to “save ourselves.”
We also developed ways of trying to get something of the love our hearts cried out for. The ache is there. Despite the best face we put on our lives, the ache is there. As Proverbs says, “Even in laughter the heart may ache” (14:13). Our desperate need for love and affirmation, our thirst for some taste of romance and adventure and beauty is there. So we turned to boys or to food or to romance novels; we lost ourselves in our work or at church or in some sort of service. All this adds up to the women we are today. Much of what we call our “personalities” is actually the mosaic of our choices for self-protection plus our plan to get something of the love we were created for.
The problem is our plan has nothing to do with God.
The wounds we received and the messages they brought formed a sort of unholy alliance with our fallen nature as women. From Eve we received a deep mistrust in the heart of God toward us. Clearly, he’s holding out on us. We’ll just have to arrange for the life we want. We will control our world. But there is also an ache deep within, an ache for intimacy and for life. We’ll have to find a way to fill it. A way that does not require us to trust anyone, especially God. A way that will not require vulnerability.
And that’s the memo.
By John and Stasi Eldredge from Captivating