Severe Independence 

I will let you in, but only just a little. You can see part of me, but I will never allow you to see all. I will invite you in, but I will never allow myself to rely or depend on you in any way. I will always keep a wall up between you and me just in case things go bad. I could use a great clinical term like boundaries, but we both know it is less about that and more about self protection. It is less about heathy boundaries and more about a determination to fully trust no one. And God? Well, I don't intend to put Him in the same category as you. He is perfect, not able to fail. I know this, but I don't live like this. I think this, but I am not sure I believe it enough to embrace it fully. So, yeah, I guess I keep God at a distance as well. I mean, really, can anyone be trusted? Sound a little harsh? We never say these words, yet it is how we live our lives. We never acknowledge that we might even treat God this way. We like to think a little better of ourselves, I think. At least I do.

I am an orphan. My parents are dead. I have learned to do things on my own. I have become independent and self sufficient, and other than my husband I rely fully on no one. There is something about not having parental relationships in your life. And, there is no amount wishing, hoping, or praying for that relationship. It is gone, forever destroyed. And no amount of time changes the severe independence that it creates in a person. Or at least, it has created in me.

So severe that I actually sometimes forget how to respond to my Heavenly Father as that - a Father. And I know how a daughter responds to a father as a child, but as an adult? I don't really know. I am not certain.

I have learned how to live without parents. And, consequently, I think it has caused me to often neglect or forget God as Father. And, living without parents has inadvertently led me to live independent from others as well.

Although, really, I can't blame it all on the death of my parents. For it was they who lived fiercely independent of others and inevitably taught me the same. I think it only intensified when they passed.

Fierce independence creates fierce loneliness. And, when we live independent of others, we will inevitably live independently of God. As a result, creating loneliness. It's a habitual way of living and relating. I don't think we even realize it is happening until we catch ourselves in vulnerable moments not knowing to whom we reach out.

I think this is some of why we become so addicted and attached to forms of social media. We read stories, we become engaged with lives of people we have never met, and we spend more time reading about people than actually deeply and intimately sharing life with a person.

We were created for connection and we will find it someway. Yet, most of us are falsely and superficially connected with one another. And then that begs the question, are we superficially connected to God?

Do we get it? His sacrificial love for us? I am not sure. Do we receive it? His unconditional, unwavering, always there and always steady love for us? I am not sure.

If we did, I don't think we would insist on such independence. And if we could receive His sacrificial love, engage in it, and depend on it - would it cause us to better extend that same love to others? Would it allow us to better invite others with vulnerability into our broken world?

Maybe if we stop being so independent from God, it would motivate us to stop being so independent from one another. Maybe if we learned to invite God in on all of our brokenness it would be permission giving to invite others in our community into our brokenness. Maybe, just, maybe, it would help us to start figuring out this love thing that we seem to struggle so much with.