[ part 1 ]

COM•PAS•SION

Compassion: [noun]

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

A little over two months ago, I experienced a change. It was physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual one. Basically… I had a heart transplant. A heart that was contaminated with unaware hate, trust issues, bitterness, and pain occupied space in my chest cavity. It had been infesting my body for years, but I grew numb to it. Not realizing what it was killing me. I guess, I learned to live with it. It became my norm. Kind of how someone who favors a weak leg. The limp in their stroll becomes natural. As if walking without a limp would be odd.

Around this ill heart, I had built walls. But not just any walls. These walls had barbwire lining the top, surveillance cameras on all angles, and bordering it all was a moat with sharks that had laser beams attached to their heads. I had been hurt too many times by too many people that said, “I care”, I’m different”, and of course, “I love you.”

It’s funny… I had no idea that I had installed such a heavy duty security system. I thought my behavior was healthy. I would say, “I’m focusing on The Lord now. I don’t have time for dating. I don’t want to pursue anything that He doesn’t want for me.”

It worked for a good while. I was able to dodge a lot of bullets & shut down games quick. Then… that all changed.

February 28th, 2016.

That date is the day a new character came into my story. A character I was not looking for, a character I had no intention of pursuing [given at the time my state of being], and a character that would challenge me in every department.

For the first time, I experienced a genuine pursuit. I experienced something I had been praying for years ago when I actually wanted companionship. And when I got it… when the package I had been trying to order forever finally arrived… I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I was thrilled, I was embracing this confirmation, everything was euphoric… but I still had these walls up. Unknowingly. Weird right?

Walls are pretty big & tend to make a big statement. Statement usually being, “Stay out”.

But I was letting this individual close to me. Why? Because unlike the past, I didn’t seek after them. I, in fact, wasn’t seeking anyone. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to be by myself, but He had something else in store.

I remember praying a simple prayer before all this began. “Lord, I literally want no one. Just you. But I feel by making that statement, I’d be putting you in a box & potentially cheating myself out of something you want for my life. I really don’t care if I live a life of solitude. A life with just myself, books, music, food, gym, and you. But… if you’re wanting to bring someone along… well… you’re going to have to shove it in my face, highlight them with the biggest spotlight you’ve got, & yell at me with a mega phone.”

To those who say that prayers are powerless, that God doesn’t read our letters to Him, & that conversations with The Creator are just fairy tales… you’d be surprised.

Fast forward a month. We’ve prayed for a solid month every morning on the topic of us pursuing a relationship with one another & have been confirmed. I’ve been swept off my feet. Enthralled by this man. He has taken the role of the spiritually leader by creating traditions for us. Exchanging daily devotions with one another, early morning prayer to start our days off, and attending one another’s home churches.

It’s a big deal to introduce a special someone to your family. But for me, to introduce a particular individual to my church family… that speaks volumes on my opinion about this person.

Yet… my walls were still standing, my surveillance cameras still rolling, & my sharks were still swimming. Odd… all of this was still in full operation without my consent.

“Haley, how did you not know about these walls?” Like I said, it’s hard to notice you walk with a limp when you believe your walking disability isn’t a disability, but your norm.

-H.E.R.

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