In January of 2017, I chose SAFE my word for the year. The motivation had been a betrayal by a person who I had invested in for over a decade. I had poured myself into this relationship, and me and my family were so savagely betrayed and rejected that it nearly broke me. There was despair as I watched my pattern of not holding emotional boundaries with unsafe people rearing its ugly head again. I felt God whisper this word to me, "safe", and knew that it was my word for the year. I had no idea how that would play out.
My husband and I then experienced a year with more loss than I thought possible. I lost my health for a time, which led to a loss of my ability to engage in my life, my ability to parent for awhile, my ability to homeschool. The health issues led to severe & odd food allergies, loosing all my comfort foods and countless opportunities to share a meal with loved ones. We then lost several of our most intimate friends/support system in the world to relocation of their jobs. We didn't think it could get worse, then the year ended with the worst loss of all, the passing of my husband's 36 year old beloved brother, father of 4 young children, to a freak accident.
In the year I wanted to be safe, I felt more fear and pain than I had ever known in my life.
God showed me a new definition of Safe. It was a year of safety, but not the safe I was thinking. Safe does not mean comfortable. The safety I experienced was NOT the safe I associate with holding my babies to my chest, keeping them warm and loved. It was the safe of a battlefield, the safety of a shield that keeps you protected as blow after blow beats you down to your knees. The shield keeps the blades and arrows away, but you are exhausted as you think the metal will inevitably bend around you, molding to the shape of your battered body.
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Psalm 61: 1-3
It was the safe of David in the caves, as Saul sought to destroy him. The safety of hard rocky surfaces, no feather bed and freshly laundered sheets. It is a hard place that feels scary and foreboding, but in actuality is keeping you sheltered from the enemy that is seeking to kill you. God is our safe shelter in the storm. Shelters are not always comfortable, but they are strong.