Don’t Touch Me!

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Years ago, we used to travel cross country for various speaking engagements. We would be on the road for weeks on end, so our little rat trap of a car with shag carpeting (what were we thinking?) would become home for our little family.  Bethany and Jessica were both little and would spend hours in a very small back seat.  There was no such thing as an Ipad or DVD player, so keeping little ones entertained for endless hours was always a challenge.  While I did my best, it was inevitable that before long there would be a rumble in the backseat and my sweet little princesses would be shouting at each other, “Don’t touch me!” Someone had invaded someone’s space, and had crossed an invisible boundary line that had been set. That’s when my less than perfect parenting skills that had been tried time and time again in that rusty old car would rise to the fever pitch of “NOBODY TOUCH ANYBODY!” I have learned through the years there are so many better ways to handle conflict with your kids…but this story got me thinking.

Perhaps this is how we are living our lives?  We are walking around with a “Don’t touch me”  sign on our hearts.  Now don’t get me wrong,  I believe in healthy boundaries  that we need to protect ourselves from needy people and I believe in being careful, but honestly, could we have gone too far?  Have we been so good at protecting ourselves and fortifying our “space” that we have missed out on some sweet relationships God has set in our path?  Could it be that we are making people that are in our world now pay for what someone else did in our past by keeping them at arms length?

A couple of weeks ago Lora, Taryn, Jill, Heather and I did a road trip to NYC.  It was an incredible 3 days,  a sweet little slice of heaven for all of us.  We laughed, ate, shopped and talked for hours non-stop. To be honest, the depth of relationship that we all have now has taken time, intentionality and vulnerability. A risky willingness to let go of our fear, insecurities and to let someone else into our “space” has resulted in a rich gift that all of us treasure.

Jesus asks us to “love one another” but that means we have to be willing to let someone else into our space every day and as risky as it sounds, take off the safe“Don’t touch me” sign, the reward is so much greater.

That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag – Jesus (Luke 19:26)

Here’s the deal Beautiful: YOU have so much to add to the relationship.  It’s really more about what you can give, than what you get out of it and in the process your world becomes larger. Our safety net is the unlimited love of God…trust in him and his love for you, and take the risks to be the love to the people in your world.

“…If God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. ” I John 4:11

All my love,

Donna xoxo

Have you been playing it too safe in your relationships? What are some risks you’ve taken in relationships that would be helpful for the rest of us?

DONNA PISANI CO-PASTORS CAPITAL CITY CHURCH IN WASHINGTON, D.C. WITH THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, DENNIS PISANI.   SHE LOVES KALE CHIPS AND CHOCOLATE (PREFERABLY NOT TOGETHER), FAMILY TIME AND IS CURRENTLY HOOKED ON DOWNTON ABBEY.  SHE IS COMMITTED TO SEEING WOMEN FLOURISH IN LIFE. FOR MORE, YOU CAN FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @DONNAPISANI

Author: beautifulyou

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14 Comments

  1. This definitely brought back some memories, not all pleasant – my twin sister and I know the “don’t touch me” game well! To be honest…I used to be rather shy and it wasn’t until I got a greater understanding of who I was in Christ – and Who I belonged to – that opening myself up to love, opened up a new world to me!

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  2. I love how you said that God is the security we can fall back on. The reality is that when we open ourselves to others we will be hurt. They aren’t perfect. We aren’t perfect. It’s going to be messy. BUT, it doesn’t matter. God can heal us and give us the ability to keep loving. There’s really no way to lose! Great post, Pastor!

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  3. This is great Pastor D. I definitely tend to too quickly reach for the ‘Don’t Touch Me’ with people and am getting better, but have a long way to go to intentionally take risks in relationships… and in some cases, that means taking them again when I feel like I’ve been hurt in the past… A good reminder to start the week off on.

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  4. I think we can all relate to this story! The best thing about opening ourselves up to love others is what you said – “Our safety net is the unlimited love of God!” It is human nature to let our past relationship experiences define how we handle future relationships, but if we allow God to work within our hearts, than we will be able to step outside of our own tendencies and make room in our lives and hearts for those in need!

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  5. Pastor Donna, this message spoke to me on several levels. Sometimes we put up “don’t touch me” signs even with those closest to us… and there is something – fear or anger perhaps – holding us back from receiving the true blessing of the potential relationship there could be there. I loved your description of building your relationship with the pastors wives – time, intentionality, and vulnerability. That is so true. To me, intentionality means not only that you’re making a conscious effort to devote energy to building the relationship but that you’re also choosing certain things in the affirmative – like trust. To be intentional about relationships means you need to choose to trust that person with your heart and your insecurities and that the person will not abuse that love and openness you are offering. Thank you.

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  6. Thanks for posting! I have been there before & used to really hang out in the “don’t touch me” mentality. I used to be so concerned that people wouldn’t like me or wouldn’t be interested in what I had to say…so I just wouldn’t put in time or effort, I would walk quickly past people, looking at the floor so I wouldn’t have to talk to someone. I carried around that attitude & stance “don’t touch me” & really pushed people away and limited my world. I’m so thankful my husband encouraged me to smile & look friendly & over time I dropped those barriers & now have a full life from the amazing people I opened my life up to. So thankful for the opportunity to smile & connect with the people around me.

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    • Katrina, it’s so hard to imagine you not wanting to talk to people…you’re like the super-friendly-hostess-with-the-mostest-making-everyone-feel-sooo-loved-and-welcomed chick everrrr!

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  7. Yup, so true! Ditching that sign is on my to do list!

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  8. This is so timely, Pastor Donna! I particularly loved this line: “Our safety net is the unlimited love of God…trust in him and his love for you, and take the risks to be the love to the people in your world.” SO GOOD! Through our trust in God, we can take the extra leap of faith and open ourselves up to those in our world. I will be working on putting this into practice!

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  9. Hahaha!!! I LITERALLY thought those exact words today on the bus!!! I love how God confirms things through others 🙂 I most definitely hang that sign out and I would agree with some of the other posts that once you’ve been burned a few times, it takes a lot more courage the next time to let people in. BUT, I don’t want to miss out on any relationships that could be some of lifes greatest treasures.

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  10. Great message, Pastor Donna! Leah, I also thought about this while using public transportation! Most of the time I don’t mind letting people into my personal space, physical or emotional, but there are certainly some days I would prefer boundaries. However, this message reinforces for me that as a Christian our job is not to keep people at a distance, but to draw them nearer so that we have an opportunity to share our faith, even on a crowded subway.

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  11. I know what you mean! I definitely have had that “don’t touch me.” Well lets be honest- Don’t look at me, don’t talk to me, don’t go near me, don’t mess up my schedule, don’t get between me and my TV… Ah, yes, love my TV shows. 🙂 Especially Downton Abbey.
    But there is serious truth in this, that life is about relationships and we were meant to enjoy them. So I continually remind myself to make choices that are for relationship building and for connecting with real people everyday, even if it means I don’t get to watch a TV show. Thanks for sharing this!

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  12. Woow…what a great enlightenment PDonna! I agree…it’s so easy to put those walls up because of past experiences with a friend, boyfriend, family member or co-worker. I love how we don’t even have to figure out HOW to demolish those walls – all we have to do is to be open. God is so cool.

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