Inside This Shell

Have you ever been afraid to love?

1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

Yeah, I’ve been there too. It seems harsh at first, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Punishment.. When you’re afraid to love, it’s like you’re trapped in a cage, a cage that keeps you from what is right, from loving. This cage could have many names, fear of being hurt, fear of hurting someone, fear of loving the wrong person,  fear of being stopped, fear of failing or not being enough, it goes on… but they all create a shell. I remember that shell.. One night about two years ago, my cry was Free by Switchfoot.

“I’ve got my back against the wall
But I can still hear the blue sky call
The chains that hold me back inside
Are the prisons of my mind, yeah

Free, come set me free, down on my knees
I still believe you can save me from me
Come set me free, come set me free
Inside this shell there’s a prison cell
Inside this shell there’s a prison cell

I try to live the light of day
Why would I do what I hate?
But when try to reach above
I only I hurt the ones I love, yeah”

I know of no other words that could quite reach the extremity of what I felt that night and many times around then, but despite the shell-the cage, I did long to love. Inside of me, I did, I wanted to, I just didn’t know what to do with it at the time. That afternoon as I held my read these words out of my old journal, my ipod began to play that very song. The words ran over and over in my head;

“Inside this shell there’s a prison cell.”

Retreating beyond a shell may seem comfortable or like a safe place to retreat to when feeling wounded, but it’s a trap, a cage like other vices. This is something I’ve come to learn, looking back on that page I realize how far I’ve come now, that I must remember how dangerous that shell is, I must never let fear infect me again, to keep me from loving. Fear is an awful monster that will tear you to shreds inside long before it becomes visible. Remember that, when you feel like retreating into your own shell.

In truth, the shell does seem safe in the way that someone who retreats to a bad relationship instead of being alone. However, by coming out, I’ve come to realize that life outside of that shell, letting Papi free us, it’s astounding. Oftentimes worrying about something going wrong if you act on it, that’s actually what causes them to go wrong. He set me free and now, now I strive to Love as He does, worry and paranoia are fears.. There is NO fear in love, so they have no place in my life. I can’t do this without You, Papi, guide me. If you fear, you won’t do what He asks of you, you won’t love those who need loving.. I’ve been in the shell, it has been destroyed and I have been set free.



One thought on “Inside This Shell

  1. Mike Zaremba says:

    I can relate to this in a lot of ways…It’s unclear to me whether I’ve broken out of my own shell or not but I believe that it will happen at the right time…Thank you for sharing Tori, you’re an amazing writer, never forget that!. 😀

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