When You Can’t Knock Down the Wall Between You

September 30, 2011 | 22 comments

Sometimes, a wall stands between people. And sometimes it stands forever. The wall wasn’t meant to be there. We construct walls from jealousy and insecurity and defensiveness and mistrust. Walls like that are held together by the mortar of old regrets, past hurts and the fear that, in the end, this one is gonna hurt you.

It’s some impressive yet unpleasant masonry, you know? That wall looks mighty tall, and the only thing you can shout over it are shallow phrases like: “Hi, how are you?” And “How’s the weather over there?”

I’ve never been much for that kind of behind-the-wall living.

But sometimes does that wall seem too tall to climb, seeing how it was built up over all those years? And sometimes, is it too thick, seeing how it’s a two-sided wall — built from two people’s pain? 

But when you can’t walk over the wall, and you can’t go through it, how will you ever move into the real?

We go around it. 

And all true friendships begin this way, with one small step.


You, dear hearts, are friends — real and honest and true. Oh, how I wish I could spend a weekend with you here in this place, with some of my other dear friends. No walls here! 🙂

I am in Texas! I am part of an online ministry called The High Calling,  where I serve as a contributing editor. We’ve gathered at Laity Lodge in Texas this week, talking about ways to improve our craft and ways to work together to glorify God through our everyday work. One of our editors said during meetings yesterday that one of strengths as a team is that we lead from a place of brokenness. Which also means that the walls are so far removed that we can cry with each other … but also that we laugh until our sides hurt and jump into the Frio River with all our clothes on.  🙂

I like friends like that.


If you haven’t already, I invite you to check out TheHighCalling.org, a community that helps Christians as they seek to honor God with all of their lives: work, family and play.

Writing with the Five-Minute Friday community today, where Lisa-Jo encourages us to just… write. No backtracking, no overthinking. Just write real and true. This week’s prompt: Friends.

by | September 30, 2011 | 22 comments


  1. kells

    you seem like just an amazing friend. So upbeat. It’s hard to imagine you having any walls between you and ANYONE. you are very real. That is definitely a gift. Make that step girl…you got it. And I so interested in this highballing! God bless FRIEND.

    • kells

      ok I just realized my spell checked changed it to highballing…I meant High CALLING. not the glass you put scotch in…although, I am sure that would make your meetings…interesting…hmmm. sorry about that!

  2. Nita

    You did a great job in your five minutes. I love th e idea of going around the wall rather than over or through it. Friends crying with you conjures up a great mental picture. Too often, walled friends, don’t want us to cry, it makes them feel uncomfortable. Thanks for sharing. ~Nita

  3. Tay

    Do you prefer to have
    A. Few friends that know you deeply?
    B. A lot of friends that only know you on the surface?

    This question seems to pop up a lot on personality tests. And for my entire life my answer has been the same. I would definitely rather have few friends that know me deeply. I have gone through many stages of my life where those kind of people aren’t present in my life, but I have also been through stages where I have people that I know I can share my life with – the good and the bad.

    Right now, I am not really sure where I am on the friendship spectrum. I have friends that know me on the surface level, but I’m not sure I have friends that I can share my deep innermost thoughts with.

  4. T @ aseedinspired

    Hi again!!
    Love this meeting you all are having.
    I am with my sister on this one (she is the commenter Kells, lol) you seem like such an upbeat kind of girl I can’t imagine you have any walls to climb over.
    I found that IA is a place people like to have a lot of parties and community with each other. Seems good for building friendships.

  5. Deidra

    So glad you’re all having such a blast! Love that photo of Laura looking out the car window. And Claire and Kelly. And…well…all of them! All of you!

  6. Glynn

    Hey – I know these people!

    I would really like to sit and listen to Kelly talk Southern and Claire talk South African Irish – at the same time.

  7. Kay

    Oh I’m so happy you got to go to your retreat! I hope you have a splendid time that renews your spirits and fills your heart with good times!

  8. Danelle

    I love THE HIGH CALLING. Have a beautiful weekend at the retreat.
    And I agree. . it is hard to break those walls around us to have authentic friendships.
    I came over from FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY.:)

  9. Linda

    So loving being the hostess for your retreat where I can become more enthused and energized for a shared purpose. Thanks for your thoughtful insights.

  10. Jessica

    Some of my favorite people…

  11. Laura

    Beautiful words–real and true! And these smiling faces? Just love. What a gift to get to hug your neck this week, my friend.

  12. Sheila

    Jennifer, you bring such truth here.

    I’ve gone around walls. Sometimes it’s a long, long walk to find its end, to find the gap big enough to pass through.

    But every time, when I discover the edge of the obstacle, Someone is there waiting to help me to the other side.

  13. Monica Sharman

    Mmmmm…wish I could’ve been there to see you all. And to go to the Jill Phillips workshop. 🙂

  14. Amy Sullivan

    Ohhhh, so glad you posted pictures of all of your smiling faces…more info from the conference to come (insert a really hopeful voice)?

  15. Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama

    Love this. Made me think of “Good fences make good neighbors” – and all the upside down of that. Just beautiful.

  16. Nancy

    “Leading from a place of brokenness.” That, dear friend, is why folks travel to places like Texas to hang out with people like you. And that last picture? You really captured those two.

  17. Ann Kroeker

    Love everything about this, those pictures of us laughing, smiling–breaking through to brokenness…it’s such fascinating imagery.

  18. Dena Dyer

    Jennifer, you lead (and live) so well. Thanks for being a part of the team of editors–and for your smile. I’m so glad we get to serve together! 🙂

  19. Dena Dyer

    BTW, when(not if!) you get your book published, or publish it yourself, I will be first in line to buy a copy! 🙂 HUGS!


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