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Strong Boundaries

On the same day (8th of March), God gave me a very strict command – to put strong boundaries (emotionally and physically) around my heart and our family.

I think there are two primary reasons why He told it to me:

First of all to protect me from the destructive power of self-pity. People started to send me very emotional messages. Of course, they were shocked and broken by our news, and all these messages were written out of compassion with the intention to help and comfort, but somehow 90 per cent of their words were dragging me into self-pity.

So at some point, I stopped reading messages of condolences because they just rocked my emotions. I wanted to get healed by God first, after that, I would be able to face people. I was praying that the Lord would declare His opinion over us and that He would do it in such a clear and loud way that all other options would fall away. People started sending us lots of flowers, probably just to show us that they are thinking of us, but I couldn't handle it – I love flowers and it is a sign of celebration for me, just in this case I had nothing to celebrate.

I also was struggling when people were looking with pity at me, like: “Ah shame, poor little thing...” Everything inside of me was screaming: “ I am not a SHAME! I am not a THING! I am a daughter of the Mighty King of Glory! Yes, I am broken, yes I am in immense pain BUT my God is able to heal me, He will restore me because I am His”.

The best way I can describe it - imagine that from the great pain your skin disappeared from your body and when people try to hug you with the intention to comfort you – it still hurts.... because if you don't have your skin every touch hurts, even a very gentle one. My “skin” had to grow back, so I could handle “the hugs of the comfort”.

Our emotional and mental health is our own responsibility. Only we know what is on our plate, so if we struggle to handle something - we should communicate about it.

In my case, I couldn`t handle some intense communication with a few people. Some friends out of love and care started to write me lots of messages with their advice on how I should handle everything. So I had to write honest messages to some people asking them to give me space and time to get healed. I needed silence to work through my emotions.

So in practice God`s command regarding the strong boundaries was translated into the following:

  • I asked people not to give us flowers;

  • I asked people not to cry in my presence;

  • I stopped reading messages of condolences;

  • I asked some people to give me space and time to get healed by God;

  • I was praying that the Lord would declare His opinion over us, so I could see His perspective;

  • We, as a family, spend as much time together as we could, only four of us.

The second reason why God spoke regarding the strong boundaries is to protect me from trying to rescue others while I was still broken myself.

I like to cheer people up and encourage them, I was in a ministry for a few years before I got married and moved to South Africa. To see people whom I love being broken because of our pain wasn`t easy for me. My first response was to start ministering to them. But we have to be healed first and only after that, we can minister to others.

At some stage, God (often through my husband) just had to remind me that I am not Jesus, and I don`t have the ability to rescue them, they had to walk a road of healing with Him.

Only a few months later I realized how blessed we were with such great community support, not every person has it. It is impossible to go through such pain on your own. We are very grateful for everyone who was trying to comfort us and to minister to us, for everyone who “shared” our pain and supported us.

We really experienced deep compassion and genuine care from our community. What a privilege to be part of the Body of Christ.

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