My Dad started pastoring his first church when I was 9. So I have now been a Pastor's daughter longer than I have not, that is so neat to me! It has been a great privilege, but also comes with heartache. Life, no matter if you are in a position of responsibility or not, comes with times of heartache.
When I was a teenager I became very hurt by different situations in the church. During different pastorates my Dad had, I would make friends and then lose them through different reasons in the ministry. I became very hurt and bitter. I realized I was becoming very bitter, and knew that would not end well! Through my parents and my daily devotion, God taught me many things. One of them being, unless I wanted to be a hermit, I needed to learn how to handle people. People are people, and they are not perfect and I am going to continually be hurt. The Bible says in Phil 3:3c ".... have no confidence in the flesh." Also it says in Prov 4:23 "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." So I decided I must build a wall around my heart, to protect it. The Lord is warning us to guard our heart, so we are not a Christian who is easily discouraged, and not of use to our Lord. So I started strengthening my walk with God at this time, knowing the Lord was the only one who could help me do what felt impossible at the time. I wrote a poem for me to put up and remember that this wall must stay strong. (I am not a great poet, but this really helped me at that time.)
Every day of our lives people disappoint us: husbands, siblings, friends, pastors, and those you meet everyday. This wall was built in my life as a buffer against bitterness. This does not stop everything, sometimes there becomes a hole in the wall because of my lack of vigilance. This wall is built for things that may hurt me emotionally/physically and most importantly spiritually.
This wall is not built to shut people out of our lives, but to shut out the hurt that is caused by them. So when we are confronted by an unkind person, or act we can respond as the Lord has taught us. This wall is built by the time we invest in reading His Word. The building of the wall consists of learning all we can from the Lord. Some of the lessons are: If we hang out with those we see are not living for the Lord we also will become like them; and when someone says something unkind, they really have a sick heart. These are just a few, but as you read His Word, the Lord will help you build this wall up tall. So when an attack is made against the wall it will stand as strong as ever, because it is built by principles from the Bible! When an attack is made it doesn't hurt me, because it hits the wall and doesn't affect me.
This is such a simple truth, but so important. Keep your heart soft and pliable for the Lord to speak to you. If you have a hard heart, because you are harboring things done to you, or at you; you are unusable to Him. Get in His Word, and don't ever stop reading. There are attacks everyday and without the wall you have built, you will never survive the battle!