“I cut my hair,” my 4 year old granddaughter announced, bouncing out of the bathroom. “I did it all by myself!” That was obvious! But, she seemed very happy with her new hairstyle. Reality hit when she went back to take another look in the mirror. She starred at herself and yelled, “I LOOK HORRIBLE!!!”
Self-protection is like a pair of scissors I can pick up and do some chopping.
Scissors let me choose, crop and frame only the pleasant parts of my life. I can keep the rest hidden. And if a relationship starts to make me feel vulnerable, I can cut the connection.
Because I refuse to ask for help, they come in handy as I hack-away at figuring everything out myself.
They can be used as a putty knife, helping me plaster my wall-of-strength – which I make out of ‘I’ve-got-it-all-together’ bricks.
I’m also quite talented trimming away intimacy. I fight feelings of needing and relying on my husband, because I MUST keep myself safe.
If someone has the nerve (or courage) to suggest that I need to deal with some of my issues and I don’t want to hear it, my crafty scissors can slice that person and their advice right out of my life.
Carving God out of my life happens slowly too, when I continue to act like I can do it all by myself. This, of course, takes a lot of anxiety, because I have to dwell on problems long enough to solve everything myself.
Then, after I show off my strength to everyone, God holds up a mirror and shows me the choppy mess I’ve made. I see my loneliness, not because I am alone, but because I keep my struggles all to myself. I see the hurt in my husband’s eyes when I tense in self-protection instead of relaxing and trusting his strength. I see the strain on my face, because I lay awake at night working to keep control of everything. And…it looks HORRIBLE!!
I Peter 5:7 says “Cast your cares on God and let God take care of you.”
Just like my granddaughter decided to give up the self-hair-cutting-business, retiring from the take-care-of-myself business is a good idea; letting God take care of me, like He wants to do. Retirement means letting go of the sharp scissors of self-protection and relaxing in my husband’s arms. It’s removing bricks from my wall-of-strength to show my friends what I’m struggling with. It’s laying the scissors down and asking for help. Instead of waking and working to keep everything under control, it’s trusting God and handing Him my worries (and my scissors) and going back to sleep.
Sue is the author of Grandma Sue’s Bible Adventures in Rhyme, and has her own blog.
Grandma Sue’s Bible Adventures in Rhyme are available at: