"Isolating Yourself Hurts You and Me"
Being raised as a preacher’s kid isn’t easy AND I’m a Scorpio. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories. Believe me, I have heard them all or at least it feels that way. Where I grew up everyone knows my dad and even gave me a nickname after him. I guess they were so sure that I was going to become a preacher. I mean I’m all for speaking things into existence, but sometimes it just made me want to isolate myself. The expectations sometimes were just too high and I hadn’t even begun puberty yet. Could I at least grow hair under my armpits first? Goodness!
I wasn’t sure what God wanted me to do then exactly, but it seemed that everyone else knew. I felt like I was under a magnifying glass and any time I slipped up it was like scratching your nails against a chalkboard. Ouch! That just made my ears hurt AND my fingertips hurt. Be right back while I regroup.
Although it may not have seemed as though I separated myself, mentally I did all the time. Certain people I wouldn’t allow myself to get close to because I heard them gossip about others close to them and I wanted to avoid that kind of hurt. People are going to do what they want to do regardless, but for some reason I felt that isolating myself was going to somehow save me from this hurt that I predicted would come.
But isolating myself didn’t solve anything so why was that the first thing for me to do? Think about it, why do we feel the need to isolate ourselves when we feel shame or guilt? It just makes us feel worse or we become depressed. Why would we rather suffer in silence? We know within our heart of hearts that we would rather not be alone and yet we separate ourselves. For some of us it’s like second nature, but isolation only encourages us to push others away even those who love us and really do care.
Well last year, I was reading Sarah Jakes Roberts book “Lost and Found”; you should get it by the way. I was reading about how she felt being pregnant at such a young age in the church and I felt terrible for how she was treated then. Even if T.D. Jakes wasn’t her daddy, she would still be under scrutiny just for being a preacher’s kid. It’s like people think we are to set the standard for other kids when we makes mistakes as well. I mean some people even go to the extreme in making your problems or sins feel like they are contagious. It’s like, stay away from him/her because you’ll get it too or you’ll do the same thing that he/she did. Crazy, right?
It seems that no matter what we go through we tend to separate ourselves because of the judgment we feel from others especially those we hold close to our hearts. Well, I challenge us to do something different. Fight the urge to isolate ourselves. No more pushing people away because of pride and because of shame or guilt. Let us be accountable for one another and hold each other up. You never know who is struggling with what. Honestly, if we just talk to one another or ask for help sometimes, we problem wouldn’t have some of the problems we do have or we wouldn’t struggle for long.
I like Sarah Jakes Roberts said in one of her messages, “How often are we careful of other people’s wounds?”
This isn’t to bash certain people or even church people; I’m just speaking from one of my experiences. What have your experiences been where you have wanted to isolate yourself and what can we do to change that? May we not just talk about it, but be about it!