Here I am again, still in Tennessee working on a house…last week it was digging ditches, this week we are hanging drywall on the walls. By now you probably can guess that it got me thinking about recovery!
When we went into the house another crew had already put up the studs for the dividing walls, but stud walls aren’t exactly walls. We could and did walk right through them. We could move from “room” to “room” without finding the doors or halls. Sun shine came streaming throughout the whole house as did a pleasant, cooling breeze.
Then we “gone an’ done it” (my Southernese is coming out after two weeks back in Nashville). As we started to put up the walls we began blocking out all those things that we were surrounded with before. The breeze began to fade. Our source of light diminished. We had to find new paths to get to the places we were going. At one point we had Pastor Mark boxed into a pantry with no light and no way out.
In recovery I often find that I have put up walls. I’ve created barriers to block out the things that hurt me. I’ve shut out the bad things, but often times, I’ve shut out much of the good as well. I’ve found myself in the situation that Pastor Mark did. It seems good as I put up boundaries to shield me from the bad mistakes I am prone to make. It seems healthy to block out nouns (people, places, and things) that can cause me pain. But sometimes I get so overzealous that I find myself shut into a room with no windows and no doors. I’m inside and nothing can reach me, but I’m trapped all alone too.
So back to Pastor Mark. We quickly realized that we had pinned him in. Perhaps it was the moving of the Spirit; perhaps it was him banging on the wall. Either way, we got out te drywall saw and cut out around the door frame to let him out. That’s just another reminder that any wall we build up can be taken down as well. I encourage all of us to take a look around and see if our boundaries have become jail cells. Just like walls in a home, it’s good to have reasonable boundaries, but don’t get yourself locked inside!