Standing in the Gate

Walls are something that people put up to keep others out. Emotionally speaking, these walls are placed for different reasons. Sometimes the walls are there because of past hurts and an individual defends themselves from what’s outside… Other people put up walls, too…but the barrier is there to prevent the person inside from getting out and from letting others in.

Marriage partners, when in a healthy relationship, build specific walls that only allow each other to pass through the gates, nobody else. Other people are prevented from getting too close, and partners are prevented from going out and looking for other love interests. These walls are healthy, Godly, and important. They should be strong as steel and unable to be rattled.

These barricades still exist when one partner dies. The “rules” are still in place, at least in the heart of the surviving spouse. When Jana died, the purpose of my wall vanished. This giant, fortified structure in my heart with it’s iron gates was pointless… Unnecessary. But, it sat there, still trying to do it’s job…keeping it’s occupant in, and holding others out.

So, I have ventured outside of my languishing fortress in order to see what is going on. There are wonderful people out here! And, low and behold, I have met one. Oh, but what about the embankment around my heart…oh, yeah. That.

It’s impossible to just simply say to the fortified walls, “Stop doing the job you’ve done so well for 22 years!” No, it’s not that easy. It’s not a Jericho situation, either! But, God will lead me through this. The space inside of these carefully designed walls is still fertile ground for love. The trick is getting to that ground with the woman who will be happy building back up new walls to keep us in.

So, I stand in the gate talking. I’m talking to a wonderful, God-fearing woman. I am trying to describe these barriers to her, and I don’t know how much sense I’m making, or how much I am aware of. My hope is to get to a place where I understand that it is ok to let her in. I have wrestled with a lot of pain inside this space, but it is, in fact, a place of love. I have been cleaning, organizing, and preparing the rooms within my enclosure. It’s basically ready for a guest…and, the reality of actually having a guest is beginning to settle in my mind.

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