Back in seventh grade, we did a chapter on sexual reproduction in science. It was "Chapter 23" and it was infamous. We anticipated it all here. There was a box that you could put any and all questions in (no promises the teacher would answer, but it was anonymous and questions were encouraged). I went to a pretty conservative, though not religiously affiliated private school, and at the end of the week came the obvious abstinence message. An illustration was used and I remember it positively to this day, so it must have been worth something, unlike those awful spitting in glasses and stomping on roses metaphors.
Basically, our teacher took two giant red hearts, pasted them together, let it dry and then ripped them apart. The obvious implication was that that was exactly what happened when you engaged in extra material sex and then the relationship dissolved. Chunks of your heart were pulled away. It was a good, albeit, incomplete analogy, I thought.
The trouble is, though, I've seen this happen in so many other areas, as well.
Really any time you give of yourself in a vulnerable way, you're gluing yourself in way and if and when that comes undone it's worse than a ripped off Band-Aid. It's pieces of your very heart.
A friend shared this post by Sarah Bessey recently, knowing I could relate, because she did and we're very similar in some ways. Sarah says:
"[Y]ou don’t want to have a hard heart. You’d rather be hurt than impenetrable. This is the price of living without armour, of making art with your life and stories and faith: you are vulnerable."
My, what truth she speaks. Sometimes, I feel guilty about this. Am I basically a promiscuous teenager- why do I give my heart so easily to others? Other times I question my reaction completely and if it's sensical or healthy or normal. Is something wrong with me- shouldn't I be a little more numb to the voices that bring hurt and sting my soul? Still other times, I question my perception. Of course sleeping with your fourteen year old boyfriend when you're thirteen is going to have negative emotional consequences, but a friend's (most likely unintentional) jab- why does this bite so much?
I'm the kind of person where there's not much middle ground. If we're friends and we see each other often, it's likely I've bared my soul a few times. I've tried and I really just can't operate much other way. In the end, I have to trust that the glue I let myself attach to others with is a glue that the Spirit will use and redeem for His purposes. And I have to trust that He'll do the same with the little pieces of construction paper that have been ripped off on occasion.