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Behind the Wall

The Bride:
I hear my Beloved.
See how He comes,
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My Beloved is like a gazelle,
like a young stag.
See where He stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the window,
He peers through the lattice (Song of Songs 2:8-9).
The Bridegroom:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and eat with him,
and he with me (Rev 3:20).

I’ve recently moved to a new home—and have been experiencing all the stress and anxiety that go along with most major transitions. Did I make the right decision? Is moving what God really wanted me to do? Did I rent the right place? 

I wasn’t able to view my new rental before making this enormous life decision, so I had to rely on family members to scope the place out. I was told that it was lovely, tranquil and quiet—just what I needed for my personal healing. Unfortunately, things turned out to be a bit different than expected. I moved away from my comfortable, quiet home and into a rental that’s located on a noisy highway. Huge construction trucks and other heavy-weight vehicles zoom by, beginning at 6 AM. They don’t wind down until around 8 PM. 

My anxiety has been enormous because the noise of the place triggers feelings of anxiety. Although I’m now close to my family, back in my hometown, it’s still been a very difficult transition. According to trauma expert Caroline Strawson,  “your middle ear becomes affected when you’ve experienced trauma from abuse. This means you can feel more hyper-sensitive to sound as it activates your nervous system, linked to your vagus nerve. When we experience trauma such as being in a relationship with a narcissist, the way in which we perceive sound gets altered. The ear sends uptight and heightened messages to our nervous system which in turn reacts to the situation in a disproportionate way. We end up reading situations as far more threatening than they are. This defensive response to outside stimulus can keep us in perpetual fight/flight or shutdown mode. We will crave silence or quiet in an attempt to calm our nervous system.”

Ah, so that explains it—from a biological level at least. But how can I heal this wound?

With the kisses of Jesus, the Bridegroom. He comes to the door; He knocks. He desires to be let in, so He can repair all our traumas.

Jesus is constantly reaching out, showering kisses onto His beloved brides. He never abandons us, especially in times of greatest need.

When re-reading the Song of Songs after I moved, I was struck by how verse 2:9 took on new life.

See where He stands
behind our wall.
He looks in at the window,
He peers through the lattice.

Although the front of my rented home may be a bit chaotic, the backyard is a tranquil forest. There’s a 200-year-old rock wall at the edge of the forest, while closer to the house is the back porch, which is adorned with lattice work. Drawing even closer to the inside of the house is the door, made of glass.

Looking out upon this scene, when I re-read “see where He stands …”, in my mind’s-eye I can clearly see Jesus standing behind my old rock wall. He peers at me, smiling, asking for an invitation but not forcing Himself upon me. He merely waits, patiently, until I’m ready to fully let Him in.

The lattice work of the porch is closer to the house, closer to where I sit at the dining room table, gazing through the glass door. I can feel Jesus drawing closer to me—drawing me in, singing to me, sighing His deep longing of love, peering through the lattice work but still not forcing Himself upon me.

He’s getting closer and closer, but still peering in through that glass door—because the door is not only closed, but locked. It’s up to me to unlock it, to open the door, to invite Him in.

I found Him whom my heart loves.
I held Him fast, nor would I let Him go
till I had brought Him into my mother’s house,
into the room of her who conceived me.
(Song of Songs 3:4)

Jesus is telling me that, despite my anxiety and reservations, I’m in the right place. He led me here to heal. He’s holding me in the palm of His hand (Isa. 49:16).

Jesus is waiting. He’s waiting for us to respond to Him, to unlock our doors, to open them wide. The Bridegroom is waiting! For me, for you, for us all. He calls us by name—He calls us His beloved!

He’s merely waiting for us to open that door—each and every day.

As a domestic abuser survivor, advocate, and author, Jenny duBay knows what a huge impact intimate partner violence (IPV) has on an individual. She founded Create Soul Space to help cultivate awareness of domestic violence within a Catholic setting. Jenny is associated with Catholics for Family Peace and works with various organizations within the Catholic Church to spiritually support victims and survivors of domestic violence. Author of the Create Soul Space and Prodigal Parishioner blogs, Jenny also writes for Missio Dei along with various other Catholic publications. Her book, Don't Plant Your Seeds Among Thorns: A Catholic Guide to Recognizing and Healing from Domestic Abuse, is available on Amazon and through her website at https://www.createsoulspace.net.

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