It's easy for our hearts to turn hard when hurts come. They swipe at our hearts and separate flesh and at that point the decision is for us and us alone--do we let the flesh turn hard and callous against further hurts or do we let the flesh bleed, lean into the pain, and let it be stitched back up again by our Saviour?
We only get one or the other. We can't have both. We can't harden our heart to our pain and yet ask him to heal us simultaneously. Have you ever tried to poke a needle through steel? It's close to impossible, but stick a needle through butter? Much more simple. Though it still hurts like the dickens, healing when the heart is tender is many times less painful that when the heart is steeled against the healer's hands.
I don't want my heart to be steeled. I want it to be tender, but it seems so much easier to close myself off, turn on my protective instincts and vow "I'll never be hurt like that again," contrariwise, though, I will never be able to love like that again.
My pastor repeatedly tells me not to run from the pain, to instead press into it and take it to God. I'm trying to do that and in doing so, I'm slowly becoming tender.