Do you have a need to feel safe in your life? Is that need preventing you from taking steps of faith in your Christian walk with God? Here’s how I handled one aspect of this need to feel safety in my life.
An Old Hurt
A few months ago, I met with a friend for lunch at Habit burger after church. She excitedly told me that she finally had a breakthrough with an issue that she had dealt with and that God was finally providing closure. I was excited for her but remembered my own issue: a lingering issue with fear.
Just a few nights before our lunch encounter, there was an altar call for those of us who had struggled with past pain affecting the present. I went up for prayer, cried out to God and He healed that past pain. I honestly couldn’t remember the things that hurt me from that situation.
Stunned, I remember actually sitting and trying really hard to remember one single thing; it was as if all I could recall were echoes. I could not fully remember the painful situations. It was wonderful.
Yet, when I saw the person who hurt me the next day, the need to self protect rose again. I put up my walls and ignored their presence. I was so puzzled by my behavior- I was now reacting to a hurt that I could no longer remember. I have an overwhelming need to feel safe.
The Need To Feel Safe
After my friend told me the details of her breakthrough, I told her that I was still struggling. I let her know about what happened at church and how the fear and feelings toward that person still remained, even after I could no longer remember the painful things that they did.
“I just don’t feel safe. Being safe is so important to me; how can I trust a person that I do not feel safe with?”
She looked at me for a moment before answering.
“That’s a lot to put on a person- feeling safe with them. It’s an impossible request to meet. Only God is your safety. No one on this earth can fulfill that. You may need to repent to God for this, for seeking safety in someone other than Him.”
Bam! My eyes were opened. SAFE. That’s it! Not feeling safe was the root of my fear. If I didn’t feel safe, there were a lot of things that I would refuse to do outside of this situation.
I had to feel safe and secure before taking action in many areas of my life. So after realizing this, I took this new information to God. We went on a journey to find out where my holding on to safety higher than anything else came from. This is what we found:
As a child, my environment was unpredictable. It was not always safe. As I grew older, I vowed to always have a safe place and have those around me that I considered safe. It became an idol.
God then had me look up the definition for safe from Merriam Webster Dictionary: Safe- protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost. Uninjured, with no harm done.
Synonyms- shielded, secure, protected, guarded, out of harm’s way, unharmed, unhurt, uninjured, unscathed, all right, well in one piece, out of danger, home free, okay.
I look at this definition and to me, being safe on this earth almost seems impossible. We encounter things and people that could harm us every single day. There is no way that we can go one day without encountering some sort of physical, emotional or mental harm.
I was honest with God:
“I am trying to grasp the concept that you God, are my safe place. That you will protect me and keep me from harm. Many painful things happen every single day. How are you keeping me safe if I get hurt?”
It is so beautiful when God answers. This is what he said to me and it redefined my definition of safe:
I use your pain to grow you. The injuries you encounter help you grow stronger and stronger each and every day. How do you grow without trial?
A flower must work in order to bloom. It must break its way out of the seed, and then plow through the soil to get to the water and sunlight it needs just to bloom. When it blooms, behold, there is all manner of things that can and will destroy the flower- too much rain, not enough water, too hot, too cold- yet it still blooms.
You are to bloom no matter what you encounter. When trials come, when you feel afraid or face danger, when you feel unsafe- I, God, will be there. I will be a safe place. I will stand beside you; hold you up so you do not fall.
Despite what comes- I am your safe place.
This sent me on a quest to study everything the Lord says about his safety and protection. I found so much. I keep finding verses that show how He has protected us and continues to protect us. Words like, refuge, stronghold, strong tower, shield, shelter, secure and fortress describe our Father and the beautiful things that He does for us if we run to Him. Some of my favorite verses from this study are:
Proverbs 18:10-The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and is safe.
Proverbs 30:5- Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Psalm 28:7- The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song, I will praise him.
This has been such a beautiful journey to take with the Lord and a journey that I am still walking. It was hard to admit that at times I do not feel safe with the Lord. But, had I not admitted it, I would still have this barrier between God and me. God will do anything to let us know how much He loves us and cares for us.
Although there are times I don’t feel it, it gives me comfort to know that His protection and love for us is splashed all over the pages of His word. God is, and will always be, my safe place.