My time in jail

Charleston jail
Did you grow up thinking being a Christian was kind of like being in jail? Once you were in, you couldn't get out. Inside, it was sort of pleasant because you got to know Jesus better, and you loved Him with all your heart for sacrificing Himself on the cross for you. But God the Father was kind of scary, and you weren't quite sure what the Holy Spirit was doing rummaging around your insides. In jail, you expected to spend most of the time prostrate in praise of God, and the rest of the time, using armor in these epic battles with evil during times of trial. When you finally left jail when you died, you entered another - albeit more pleasant - jail called heaven where you really couldn't picture what things would be like other than praising God for endless hours, which sounded kind of boring.


You treated God the Father kind of like the jailer. You tried to stay off His radar because you were afraid He would eventually figure out you were a fraud and you didn't really believe as sincerely as you were portraying. You act out a series of lies in order to keep things looking perfect on the surface. You are the good prisoner, you don't need to sit down and talk with your Father, and you certainly hope He never disciplines you.
Bad things happen with no warning. Guard your heart - it's not shatterproof. Keep life noisy so there is little time to think. Never let God down; work harder and harder. ~Sheila Walsh, Love Melts Frozen Tears, from "Outrageous Love: a Love that Seeks No Reward"

The truth is, life is muddy sometimes. You get caught up in arguments, in pain, in difficult relationships, and - heaven forbid - your own sin. A friend sees your perfectionism, and whispers, "When the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change, then you will be ready to change."


Something in your life clicks into place, and the ice in your heart begins to crack, water bubbling up over the surface, a whole well inside you of frozen tears and broken promises, disgrace and disgust, pain and unsaid prayers. You live in a fog and feel completely frozen in time, with no way out and no eyes to see. You turn on the fan to get rid of the mist ushered up by the melting tears in your soul, and from time to time, you see a little bit of your future. Sometimes it scares you and sometimes it exhilarates you.


You are the broken butterfly, dead on the table and missing a wing. Your glory is being destroyed so that Christ's glory can shine through you, but you don't know it.
I don't know your story. I don't know what you are dealing with or not dealing with. What I do know is this, God doesn't want you to merely survive, He wants you to live! Every weekend I listen to stories of women who have dressed in an overcoat of shame for years. Childhood tragedy leaves such deep wounds, but they are wounds that can be healed by the outrageous love of God. Perhaps, like me, you are afraid to face what is going on inside of you. I had no idea what would happen to me when I walked through the doors of the hospital and they locked behind me. All I knew was that I couldn't live as I had been living any more. I also believed God loved me: I just had no idea how much. At the lowest moment of my life God's love began to melt every frozen tear that I had carried for years. It was a healing rain. ~Sheila Walsh
Let your wounds be bound, oh wounded. May you go free, captive. In a way, God has no expectations of you at this point of your life. What He cries out for is for you to love Him back. And out of that mutual love, then you will see the extravagance of His embarrassingly deep love and pursuit of you, and all you will be able to do is praise Him and work for Him from that point on. You hold the key to your personal jail in your hand. It's in the shape of a giant heart that was handed you long before you were even a twinkle in your parents eye. He has planned your escape from this prison since the beginning of time and all you have to do is put the key - His love - into the lock.