When you label yourself as anything other than a daughter of the King, you limit yourself. Labels limit.

When you build up the fences to keep a watchful eye, to protect your heart and yourself, you just keep others out.

You can keep building up fences but you’re just breaking down community.

You can keep building up walls and breaking down behind them.

I lived that life and that lie and all the while I thought I had it figured out. Community was dead to me; I couldn’t trust it – wouldn’t trust it. I thought I could do this thing called life on my own better than I could with anyone around to help me.

After all, everyone always walks away.

Up the walls went, nail driven into wood as I put fences around my heart.

You can buy the lie that everyone will leave you and no one will love you and you’ll end up spending your days behind tall walls with labels that limit.

Labels you put on yourself.

You can live the life I did.

But I hope you won’t.

I hope you’ll risk one more time, reach out one more time, take that tiny brave step that seems so big and stupid and absolutely gut-wrenchingly careless because you know … you know what it feels like to be left alone. You’ve been burned before, tasted the salty tears and fallen asleep with a pillow wet under your head.

It gets lonely behind those walls. You can call for help and whimper when you get scared but who’s coming? Who will know your voice to come sing your song back to you when you forget? Where are the sisters who will love you back to health?

Be the brave one. Take one tiny step and then another.

Beauty comes out of the ashes and sometimes you’re gonna have to march around those walls you’ve built seven times, seven conversations, seven brave steps or seven years of prayers until they start falling down.

You keep on marching.

Because when those walls tumble and crumble, you may find that while you’ve been marching your sisters were peering over, heard your cries for community, and took up their own sledgehammers and notecards and coffee dates and drills and they’ve been trying to get through.

Community is coming for you.

Swallowing fear and clicking publish after five minutes, no edits, of writing raw and real with the community over at Lisa-Jo’s. Tonight’s prompt was FRIEND. This weekend I’m sharing my story with women around the world, a story of breaking and healing, losing and finding the community I held so dear. Join me at (in)RL this weekend? It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s for YOU.