Being & Feeling Safe

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 911

About a week and a half ago, someone tried to break into my home. It’s not the only time in the last few weeks that someone has been lurking about. If there’s one thing that can really knock me off kilter, it’s not feeling safe. Being and feeling safe is important to me. It is for all of us. But I’ve survived some traumatic situations over my life, so it’s essential for me in ways that may feel less tangible to others. Or maybe a better way to say it is that for others, it’s a sub-conscious need or desire.

I don’t really intend to dive too deep into that. But what I can tell you for sure is that I haven’t been the same since all of this started. I am trying. One thing that has become clear the last couple of weeks is that this experience has caused me to question a few decisions I made recently. My brother’s death, four months ago today, was the first recent experience that caused me to weigh and consider my decisions and what I should be doing. I feel pretty certain I know what that future life looks like – but I slowed down the process of trying to get there, a few weeks back. Throw in someone trying to break into my home, and it’s re-surfaced my hopes and dreams and thoughts about changes I want to make in my life.

Fear is a powerful force. Sometimes you can make decisions based in fear that are ultimately not good for you and can hold you back from what you truly want (or what’s meant for you). The last couple of weeks are a little on the ironic side as I made decisions a few weeks back, based on the perceived safety of those decisions. Only to now feel the most unsafe I’ve felt in quite some time. Not sure what the lesson is there, although I have a hunch.

Mostly, I am determined to not live in fear – whatever that means. Fear can keep us mired in quicksand. Fear lies. Fear is the opposite of faith. And it is entirely incompatible with what I want and hope for, for my future. If you’re feeling the pressure of fear over faith, I just wanted to say that you are not alone. That feeling can be pretty isolating. So here I am to tell you this evening, you aren’t alone.

It’s so hard to pick up and press forward when fear has a stranglehold. But everything we want is on the other side of it.