A Safe Place

As I sit here, I can’t help but feel out of control, as confusing and anxious thoughts enter my mind, as fear creeps into my resolve. Thoughts are whizzing through my brain faster than I can process them, and feelings, most of which I don’t know how to identify yet, are pulsing through my heart with every beat of it. The burning prickle of anxiety is uncomfortably prodding at my skin, making itself known at every follicle, I sweep sweat from my brow and my head begins to pound, my vision is swimming, shallow breaths hardly escape my lungs, and some familiar words start dancing through my thoughts, “you’re alone”, “you’re unwanted”, “you don’t belong”, “why do you let yourself get so comfortable, you know that things never stay the same”, “you’re too needy”, “you’re going to lose everyone and everything in this life”, “why are you so dependent?”, “you know it’s because of what you did”, “you really thought God would forgive you for that?”, and at last the all too familiar sting behind my eyes, and the tears flood like a dam finally breaking under the weight. That is the progression of destructive anxiety for me.

I feel insecure, unsafe, abandoned, lonely, and afraid. As has been only normal for the past several months. So, yet again, I ignored the lies that I’d come to know so well, I ignored the ache spreading throughout my body, I pushed aside the feelings and thoughts coursing through me, and in the process, further cemented those words about my worth into my soul. Believing they were true. Believing that the only way to move on from this panic that had taken me over, was to ignore all the symptoms that come with yet another painful proposed life change, hard day, or whatever brings on this anxious progression. Pretending those feelings weren’t there, and that there was no persistent ache in my heart, choosing yet again to submit to the feeling of unease and insecurity. Choosing to try to stumble through another day on my own strength…and failing. And at last, in broken defeat I cry out to Abba for help yet again.

Abba, so gently He corrects me, so patient He is with me, so much grace He has for this wanderer. With every labored breath, with every sorrowful tear, with every lie believed, with every anxious moment, He gently whispers truth–about my worth, about His steadiness, about His place for me, about a peace that passes all understanding, about the safety of His arms, reminding me that there is no freedom from this crippling anxious tendency of mine, without Him, urging me to trust Him again.

And for what seems like the millionth time, I force myself to believe that what He says is true. I force myself to let Him have what I’m feeling and thinking. I let Him remind me that there is no safe place without Him. I finally let Him hold my heart, I finally let Him be my King. Not because of anything I can achieve on my own, but because of His Spirit’s gentle prodding for me to come back home.

“We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because he holds tightly to us.” -R.C. Sproul

As hard as I try, as much as I want it it be true, He’s not the only one I seek for security, my flesh craves security and comfort and belonging on this earth. I keep seeking security in places and people and circumstances, and this idolatrous heart tries to use them as replacements. I hate that. As I continue to ask the Lord to change my heart in this way, I can rest in knowing that Abba is the God of all my comfort (not just some). He is a good shepherd, He is safe for me in all my afflictions, He is a safe place. He is a perfectly safe place. More safe than what my flesh is seeking. I sit in the silence of a place that feels insecure, surrounded by constantly changing faces and circumstances, and I let Him remind me that He is good and I don’t have to look elsewhere. I let Him remind me that He’s with me, being my refuge, even here. I let Him remind me that He has given me power over my feelings and thoughts through Him. I stand amazed as he shows grace, knowing that I’ll only fail again, wondering what He sees in me, but grateful nonetheless that He sees it.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” {2 Corinthians 1:3-5}

Lord, You are good, way beyond my understanding of good. You are (more than) good enough, and (more than) sufficient for me. I need not look elsewhere. Remind me of this again and again, and forgive this wanderer for not seeking You as my only security. Jesus, be my safe place.




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