Merriam-Webster’s defines a fence as “a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary”. In ancient civilizations, fences were the first line of defense and a means of protection. In our own way, we each build up fences to protect those things we hold dear. We fence in our hearts, our dreams, our ambitions, our secret thoughts. Sometimes we fence in people. Sometimes we fence in possessions. Building boundaries as a form of defense is natural and necessary.
A while ago, I began to let down a fence I had erected around a particular person. It felt safe. They’d done a few things that seemed to suggest they were worthy of a second chance. I had forgiven this individual and was ready for a good relationship redemption story.
The next time we talked, I was prepared to share something vulnerable when the individual began to talk about one of our friends. It wasn’t what the person said as much as it was the attitude that was being displayed. I could hear the resentment in the individuals’ voice and knew right away that it was coming from a place of jealousy and pettiness.
Grateful for discernment, I quickly ended the conversation and have fortified my fences around this individual. What do I mean by this? I have significantly limited my interactions. When we do interact it is a brief conversation. I still love them and have forgiven them. However, I’m not giving this person access to my STUFF.
This week, you may want to exam your fences. Are there cracks where there shouldn’t be? Have you allowed access to people, thoughts, and/or enemies that mean you harm? Some fences are not supposed to come down. They are there for a reason. I pray that you can discern which ones you need to fortify.