By Angel Edwards
“Independent.” This has often been the label I have placed on myself. It was always my goal in life to get to a place where I didn’t need anyone else. I especially felt that since I was a Christian I had all the strength and support I needed from God alone. This gave me more reason to rely only on Him and to push others away. To rely on others always demonstrated weakness to me. I never want to be seen as someone who couldn’t handle the ups and downs of their own life. I never saw a problem with independence. I thought it was a problem when I couldn’t do it on my own. I thought I had failed.
These are all lies. Over the course of my life I have built up more and more walls to protect myself from being hurt. At first these walls were effective because they kept people at a distance. It wasn’t until the pressures of life came that I felt I couldn’t get out. One thing I have learned is that walls always become prisons. They may protect you from others but they leave you feeling alone and trapped inside. This was my idea of independence. I will help others if they need it but I am fine by myself. In reality the enemy had lied to me for years telling me I wouldn’t be wanted by others, especially if they were always having to help me deal with my issues. I created a fear of rejection.
Through this past year of brokenness and healing God has been remolding me. It hasn’t been an easy process but there has been freedom in and through it. I have been facing a lot of internal problems and by not reaching out to others for help it has felt at times like I was losing myself. The world was flying by me but I was fading into the background.
Rather than building walls we need to establish boundaries. God wants us to share our weaknesses with others because it brings healing. It is also utilizing the gifts God has given to others. Considering I deal with pushing others away I see how the Lord has used my weaknesses to draw others to me. When I started going through all this I was angry. I just couldn’t understand why God would have waited so long to start dealing with these issues in my life. I realize now that He was forming a loving and supportive community of believers to come around me and help. I believe that independence roots from a lie so God has used this season in my life to take away the label of “Independent” and replace it “Wanted.”
I am encouraged to know that God is my protector, therefore, I don’t need walls to keep others out. Philippians 4:7 demonstrates his protection over us: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV, emphasis added)
This month I challenge you to evaluate your relationships. Are they healthy? If not do you have walls or no boundaries? Ask God to reveal these things to you, knowing that He is for you and not against you.