Briefly, I am distracted by work that I am sent to do. When I return, things in me are so very different. I am so exhausted, so drained and empty inside and out. I cannot think, cannot feel, cannot function. I try to rest, but there is no rest. Awful is the only word I can find for this.
“Papa, I don’t think I can go forward like this. Doing Your work, what You want me to do isn’t supposed to leave me like this, is it?”
“No, it is not.” He replies.
He shows me that I cannot accept, cannot receive from others when they tell me I have blessed them by something I have done. I can give out, but I cannot receive back. I am unable to see accurately.
“You cannot see yourself accurately, nor what I am doing in you and through you. I must correct how you see yourself.”
My heart is heavy, but I say “Yes, please strengthen me for this process. I know I need it, but I am so weak right now.” I want to cry, but cannot even find the tears to cry, I am so exhausted.
“I will” He takes my arm again. “Come walk with Me to a new place.”
We begin to walk. Our path is through a valley,, rocky and steep. I can feel the sharp rocks through the soles of my sandals, wondering if I could walk this path without them. The valley is dark, cold, bleak and without life.
“You expect Me to be harsh with you.” He says knowing my heart. I nod, feeling as bleak and empty as the landscape. “You have always accepted my correction. “He continues, “But you expect harshness, you don’t know how to receive anything else.”
Bitter tears sing my eyes as the truth of His words hits home. His words echo in me as He continues.
“I am taking you to the gates, the doors of your heart. But here, you must let Me in. I will not force my way. You have the keys, you must open the doors.”
“This could take a while.” I mutter ruefully.
“Yes.” He replies, then is quiet for a few moments. “You have been beating yourself up for a long time. You understand harshness, but tenderness frightens you.”
Tears stream quietly down my face at this truth. I do! I do fear tenderness, gentleness, I do not know how to receive that! I see that I have made a vow, a choice long ago, within my heart, that I will be unloved and that vow stands in the way of my receiving such tenderness.
We come to a stop now, at the gates of a large, dark castle. The castle looks like something from the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. The outer walls are of heavy stone, high and impenetrable, with an imposing iron gate. Huge thorns overgrow the grounds and walls. It is a dark foreboding place. I am sure there is a dragon somewhere, and who knows what other monsters lay in wait there.
“There is a girl deep within those walls—your heart waiting to be released to me.” He tells me gently. “We need to go in and fully release your heart. You will need this—“ He hands me a saber.
It is a beautiful weapon, unlike any I have ever seen or used before. It is perfectly fit to my hand, light and balance, but shaper than any blade I have ever known. Highly polished, the light dances off of the blade with a life of its own. The guard is filigreed and elegant, protecting the hand without restricting movement. I do not know what to say.
“Yes, papa, thank you.” I whisper, overwhelmed at the gift.
He leads me to the gate. The tall iron gate is locked tightly. Thorny vines reach out from its bars as if to chase away any who might come to visit. “Open the gate,” He gently instructs.
“How, Papa? I will, but tell me how.” Obedience is not the issue for me now. I truly want to obey, but do not know how.
He nods, pausing for a moment. “These walls, this gate are the constructs of the vows your heart made as a little girl-vows that you would not be loved, that no one would love you. To open this gate, you must first repent and break that vow.” He explains patiently.
Suddenly, it is so clear. That voice has always rung in my heart, I did not know that I was the one who placed it there! I cannot stand in the enormity of the revelation. Sinking to my knees I cry to Him, “I have! I have! I have vowed that no one would really love me! I have constructed walls that keep out anyone who tries, just to make it true! Oh papa! Papa! I repent of this vow! I repent, I break this vow! Melt away theses structures! Tear them down! Forgive me Papa! Forgive me! Set my heart free to be loved! Set it free!” I am crying violently now as the pain of the vow comes crashing down upon me.
He sits beside me, tenderly stroking my hair. When I finally lift my head, He shows me the gate has come open. I can only stare dumbly at it. It seems a long time before I can get to my feet. He walks with me to the now open gate but it is a long time before I am able to walk in. I am truly afraid of this place.