If you would have asked me a few years ago what my thoughts were on being soft, I would have told you that being soft meant you got bruised. Period. Needless to say, it was useless and stupid to be soft.
Can you share my thinking? Do you have painful experiences to back this up. I do. In light of this I determined at an early age that I would be as tough as I could be–hoping that this would make me strong. It didn’t. In fact, unbeknownst to me, it actually weakened me. I wasn’t able to express my true self or care for others as I longed to be able to do; worst of all, I was not able to be receptive towards God. Tenderness was lost in an effort to protect myself. And protect myself I did: I protected myself from love, grace, mercy, peace, etc–I kept myself guardedly aloof from the entire soul-ministry that God wanted to get going in me.
I lost so much for so many years. I thought the gains were worth the cost, but I was wrong. I still got hurt–in fact, the pain of past wounds still remained festering within me. I wasn’t serving myself by keeping myself apart from risk in relationships–I was needlessly closing myself from my only exit from the pain–my only healing.
I didn’t understand them that healing is a miracle that takes place in the midst of our pain, not in the absence or denial of it. It’s a miracle because without God this would never happen: We would refuse to enter into such a severe chamber and He–but for His unfathomable love for us–should not have provided us an entrance.
It is knowing that God feels my pain with me and is not helpless to deliver me from the destruction of it that softens my heart and wins the trust of my spirit. I can expect nothing good from God–that is, prepare to take it in–unless I allow Him to whittle away at my doubts. I am a hardened person when I believe that I have every reason to put God in the same category as every sinner and plot of Satan that has ever hurt me. Until my eyes are opened to the character of God, I will not be able to separate Him from the rest; instead, I will ultimately Him for all my pain.
I must concentrate on reconciling with God before I can consider rebuilding myself or any other relationship. God is the One who makes me whole; to recognize in every situation that He is more than able to care for me. I can face pain and problems and grow if I let God have the latitudes for grace in suffering, sorrow and surrender that He desires.