I recently realized that I have been emotionally shut down, protecting myself from being hurt, from disappointment, and from pain. I thought I was angry with God, and maybe I was, but I think it had more to do with fear. I went from being an idealistic person with a side of realism to a person who always expects the worst to happen in every situation just to avoid being disappointed. All this really did was steal my joy and distance me from God and those around me.

Friday afternoon I woke up. I looked at my beautiful, amazing newborn grandson, and just like that, I woke up. My hardened heart softened, and I saw what I’d been doing. By protecting my heart, I had turned it to stone. To have a truly healthy heart, I have to open it up to being broken. Is it worth it? I think so. The joy of feeling love, passion, closeness with another human being or God more than compensates for the times of pain I experience. Sometimes pain and heartache can seem overwhelming, but by hardening my heart, I miss out on what makes life worth living at all.

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