The Key to My Front Door


When you love someone, truly love them, friend or lover, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt. You literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul. – Sherrilyn Kenyon

The distant sound of laughter and the shrills of excited children fill the air as another school day comes to an end. The bright yellow school bus soaks up the sounds as the children escape to their refuge of freedom they call home.

My expected time of arrival was at 3:10. This gave me just enough time to tear into a Little Debby cake and veg out in front of the television to catch an episode of Woody Woodpecker.  With the sound of Woody’s laughter blaring in the background, I slowly settled into my daily after school routine 🙂

My Mom worked at the local factory and her shift ended promptly at 3:30. I could tell she was home by the sound the tires made when they crunched through our gravel driveway.  There was no babysitter. No after school care. In my generation, we rode the bus home and felt safe enough to do so. We all had a key to our front door.

The key chain which held the key to my front door was a shiny metallic blue and in the shape of a question mark. My skin, blotchy red in color, served as a reminder just how painful this key chain was as it left tiny pinch marks from me repeatedly opening and closing the little clasp.

key chain

The key chain not only caused me pain, but what lied behind the door that it opened caused so much more. There were things going on inside my house that I did not want anyone to see. Visitors dropped in frequently and engaged in activities not easily accepted by society. I was ashamed and embarrassed.

As I approached the door, without fail, I would hesitate out of fear. I was petrified of going in. The sheer weight of what was behind the door overpowered me, left me gripped with fear. It’s not that I could not go in, I did not want to. By hesitating, then knocking, I could give those inside a chance to “clean up” the chaos that was going on internally. It was their chance to sweep everything under the rug so we would appear to be normal and fully functioning.

As the years progressed, the entrance to my refuge of freedom also became a prison that no one could enter. This was my heart. There was no spare key, only the original. For so many years, I kept it tucked away from anyone’s grasp. I couldn’t just let anyone in for fear of the scrutiny I would receive.

I am slowly discovering that not all visitors are intruders. Some are sent by God to encourage, support, and hold your hand while you revisit the old wounds that have plagued you for so long. They let you cry, they wipe your tears, and they make sure you leave with a smile on your face.

When love wants in, it does not always wait for an invitation, nor does it knock, it simply walks right in. Love is intrusive, persistent, like a thief kicking in the door. It’s agenda is not to harm, but to help. It wants to saturate the wound, take the sting away, and provide permanent relief.

Today as I opened my front door, I was greeted by the warmth and brightness of the sun. The view was clear, filled with endless possibilities and full of hope. I felt my lost passion resurface and more importantly, I felt free. Not only did I open the door, I drew back the curtains so you could get a full view of my heart 🙂



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