A Prison Cell

prison cell

When something takes place in your life that really hurts you in the core of your heart, it can be devastating. You feel trapped in the moment, stuck in the pain.  You try to move past it.  You try to let go of it again and again and wonder why it still lingers, like a penetrating ache in your chest.

You realize the pain has walled you in, becoming a prison cell. At first you find comfort here:  the walls protect you from being hurt again.  They keep people away.  But soon you learn you’re only free to walk around in the confined space, reliving the conversations, the crushing moments, and the devastating blows to your spirit.  You relive each failure in your mind, the guilt and shame wrapping itself around you like the cold, musty air in your cell. And you can’t see anything new, nothing to hope for because the one window is boarded up, leaving only a crack of sunlight to shine through; that sliver of light hurts because you know the world is moving on without you.

You hear muffled sounds of laughter, joy. It stings because you can’t remember the last time you laughed a genuine laugh that welled up from within and spilled out; not the laugh you force because no one knows where you really are and you don’t know how to ask for help.

But maybe you finally do ask for help because you’re so tired of scratching the walls, of trying to dig your way out. You’re lying on the floor, exhausted from picking yourself up.  You cry out from your prison cell only to hear silence from beyond the bars.  You stare and wait.  But no one reaches in.

You fall to your face and beg God to help. You’re too tired to fight the darkness, the depression, alone.  The burden is too heavy to hold any longer.  A part of you breaks open and spills onto the floor.  You can’t do this alone, not this one.  Not this time.

You need God now more than ever and you tell Him. And when you admit it, when you speak it out loud, God holds you and whispers to your heart, “Let Me have it.”

Your first reaction is anger. You want to yell at God, argue with Him that you have already done that.  You’ve already given Him the entire situation again and again and He should know.

But He gently whispers, oh so gently to your wounded spirit, “Let Me have what’s in your hand.”

You notice your hand, the one you weren’t using to try and claw your way out, is tightened into a fist. And when you finally relax it, finally open it, you find a key.

You drop the key into God’s hand knowing you can trust Him and that He will protect you. As He unlocks the door and carries you out and into the light of a new day, you thank Him for rescuing you.  And you continue to rest in His arms as He holds you close and carries you forward.

“O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right.  Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free.”  (Psalm 71: 1-2 NLT.)

30 thoughts on “A Prison Cell

  1. You inspire and comfort in your writings. I am forever grateful for as read each one I feel your gentle words surround me, enveloping me in a hug and know I am never alone in my journey of life. Thank you

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    1. What a blessing and encouragement your comment is to me, Kim. Thank YOU. You are so right…you are never alone in your journey. God bless you always my dear friend.

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  2. Joey – my dear sister in Christ – I was so moved by your eloquently written words – He is indeed a faithful Rescuer – He always has us – so grateful – blessings and love

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  3. Joey, I appreciated your post and how you described how we can lock ourselves into a cell of our own. How we create “the walls protect you from being hurt again. They keep people away. But soon you learn you’re only free to walk around in the confined space, reliving the conversations, the crushing moments, and the devastating blows to your spirit.” As you write, while we think we are protecting ourselves we actually create more hurt and limit the life God has planned for us. Turning to God during times of pain, hardship, sorrow is the way out of the darkness. So thankful that we have a God who loves us, remains steadfast, and always wants to provide and protect us. We just have to reach out to him.

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    1. Anne, thank you for your comment! And I agree…I’m so thankful God provides and protects us. What a wonderful, faithful Father we have! Yes, we just have to reach out to Him. He’s always there. And I praise Him for that!!

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  4. Amen. Oh, how often I have given my troubles to God and then, turned around and taken them back. God waits patiently for me and He is always there when I return. Falling to my knees, I plea for His forgiveness and hand Him my worries. I am thankful for Him.

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  5. Joey, I love this. I know that prison well, those walls… and I love the picture you paint of God holding the key that is our release. Thank you for this!! So good!

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    1. Oh Jessica, thank you! But I must say, I’m sorry you know this prison so well. It’s truly a painful place. BUT God is always there to help us let go, isn’t He? And when He carries us out, we’re that much closer to Him. What an awesome Father we have!

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  6. The problem of our individual paying in our lives causes people sometimes to think God is in there. But as your blog so aptly states, he’s not only there, but he has the key to unlock us from being trapped inside a pain. Great blog !

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  7. If there’s any consolation I can give you it’s that I’ve been here too. I felt like a failure as a Christian. Shouldn’t I be stronger? Shouldn’t I be more joyful?
    The truth is God wants me to be stronger and more joyful, so he walks with me through the pain and teaches me.
    Thanks for sharing your heart, Joey.

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    1. I think that’s it, Chip. God is always teaching us. He teaches how to handle the pain so we can see we can’t handle it alone. He teaches us to let it go, to hand it to Him. My goodness, I’m sorry you’ve been there too. I can relate to what you wrote…feeling like a failure as a Christian. But praise God He is teaching us through our mistakes and our “failures” which really aren’t failures when we consider we’re spending time with God and learning from Him as we go along. So I guess we could say we’re Christian students, not failures! Thank YOU for sharing your heart too. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Christina. I agree completely that we all need relief from God. I know He’s the only One who can truly heal our brokenness. What an amazing Father we have! Thank you again for reading and commenting. Blessings to you!

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