I remember talking on the phone with a young lady as she was updating me on her life – including a new man she is dating. She became a Christian during the demise of her marriage and has grown incredibly in her new relationship with the Lord so I was very excited to hear about this quality man who has entered her life.
She had asked me to call because of a statement her young man had made to her recently. He told her that he liked her very much and was pleased with how their friendship was growing – but she had “walls” up inside that would eventually limit their relationship.
I asked her if he had shared why he thought that. More importantly, I inquired if she knew that to be true. She admitted that it was true and she even had an example of her own – a kind of silly one, definitely an irrational one – but a powerful one, nonetheless.
Seems her food processor (which she used every day) had died; and when the boyfriend discovered that, he immediately bought her a brand new one. However, this very nice and needed food processor was sitting in its box, unopened. As much as she wanted to use it, she could not bring herself to open the box.
We prayed and asked the Lord to help her expose the nature of this fear. This young woman is very available to the Lord and quickly found a number of places in her life where this same fear was present. Not surprisingly, they all had to do with men in her life, men who had given her good things (compliments, favors, gifts) but simply to get her to relax her guard so they could claim things from her to which they felt “entitled.” As the pattern repeated itself, including her ex-husband, she embraced these lies:
- she did not deserve good things from men;
- accepting good things from men meant she owed them and they were now entitled;
- and receiving a good thing from a man had the natural consequence of bad things occurring (usually shameful, degrading and painful).
So she just stared at the food processor box, believing that if she opened it, all the wonder of the present friendship with this fine man would devolve into the entitlement situations she had always experienced with men. And it was more than just the physical box in the kitchen – that food processor box was symbolic of her. Opening the box on the table would mean she was opening herself, taking down her walls.
I asked the Lord to reveal His truth about the lies and beliefs she embraced which He did. With the inner turmoil resolved, I ask the Lord what she should do with the food processor – He told her to open the box.
Later that day she sent me text with a picture of her shiny, new food processor. I wrote back: “Nice. Would have been a shame to leave something that wonderful in a box (feel free to read between the lines!)”
She replied: “It absolutely would have been. No more closed boxes!”
Okay folks, feel free to read between the lines!