“...we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.”
Oh, Lord God, how am I to live? You have called me to this place. I am to rebuild my life and your kingdom. Yet I am also to protect myself and others. How do I balance this?
Situations are coming up where I am unsure what to do. Do I focus on rebuilding? Rebuilding integrity, my relationship with you, my relationship with others, my family, and the rhythm of my life?
Or, do I focus on protecting? Keeping myself out of harmful situations, putting up boundaries where needed, taking care of myself, ensuring my own mental and physical safety, keeping a distance from others where needed.
Rebuilding seems like getting close to others, being in relationship, submitting my wants for the benefit of others. Protecting seems like boundaries, like pushing back, like standing up for myself.
These seem like opposites.
How do I build relationships with others while protecting myself?
How do I care for what is broken while protecting from that which hurts?
How do I live with one hand rebuilding and the other hand protecting?
Oh Lord, in your love there is rebuilding and protection - they are one. In your punishments there is grace and mercy. You bind us in, your protections draw us to you. The protections you set for me are meant to reconcile me to you. In you, the hand you have on the weapon and the other you have on the trowel are both fueled by love.
Lord, show me how to love that way. Show me how to engage that way. Transform my heart to be like yours. Help me to hear your voice and for my heart to be like yours; show me how to rebuild and protect with the same actions.
I sense you guiding my life. Help me to pay attention to your leadings and to follow you.