Today, I have one question for you. Do you feel safe? If you were to ask me that question a few years ago, I would have said, “yes, for the most part.” Yes, because I live with a protective husband in a small community with a low crime rate. I have loving friends who I trust and a workplace that again has a very protective atmosphere. Yet, I had to add “for the most part” because there are people and situations in this life that still fill me with fear. Why? Because I still have trust issues with some people and with God.
It is normal and built into our design to want to feel safe. Safety is the second most foundational needs in our hierarchy of needs according to Maslow. Because of this, it is also one of the most attacked areas by our enemy. Very early in life, I can see the specific way I was influenced to feel unsafe and as a result, felt the need to self-protect. A fall made me afraid of ever trusting a horse. A betrayal made me afraid to ever trust a family member. The loss of someone very near to my heart made me afraid to even trust God. Yet God promises over and over in scripture that he is a safe place. So what is the problem?
Must we redefine “safe” to get a life-transforming view of what this looks like? I am not sure that is the full answer. I think we can define “safe” as the freedom from bad things, or the freedom from being afraid. I have found this is not the kind of “safe” God is talking about in his word. I have come to see that the “safe” God is talking about is not a feeling as much as it is a person’s nearness. More specifically, it is the nearness of the person of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate.
This slight adjustment in the definition can do one thing for us. It can change our perspective in all of life’s unsafe situations. The fact is, there are unavoidable situations in this life that will feel unsafe. That makes us feel afraid. That makes us doubt our ability to trust. As I look back over my almost 57 years, I can see that I had no control over the situations I listed above and many others. I could not control a horse when he decided to stop suddenly that caused the fall. I could not control the actions of those who chose to reject me. I especially could not control the loss of those that I love or the will of a sovereign God. I could only control one thing; my reactions to those unsafe feelings.
I have been in the process of writing a book called “Becoming Home” It is about how God has been moving me from being a person with hurts to a person who helps by learning to understand the 5 key elements of the perfect home environment; love, safety, acceptance, nourishment and healing. Jesus is the true source of all of those and as we practice his presence with us, we can become those things for others. In this process, God is doing a deep work in me in each of those areas.
In a recent time of fasting and inquiring of the Lord, God has stirred a new assignment for me to use the gifts and talents he built into me. I am going to be living out my book’s message by opening up my physical home to be a place for hurting women to find the essence of the home we have with Jesus. To be loved, safe, accepted, nourished physically and spiritually and find the healing God provides. In this, I see that one of the most key elements I must provide for these women is the atmosphere of safety.
These hurting women must feel safe to expose the hurts and wounds, so the healing balm of Jesus can touch them and heal them. They must feel safe from judgment, safe from comparison, safe from hurtful looks and safe from the hurtful words that people give even with good intentions. This means reteaching each of the members of the group on what “safe” looks like so I can make sure they will feel it in our group.
What I have learned from a study of God’s Word and hope to give to those God sends my way is the importance of refocusing my perspective in fearful situations. It is what God says to do over and over. He says, “Do not be afraid,” and then add why. His most common why is because he is with us. Even in the most quoted and known bible passage of Psalms 23, it clearly gives the why they were not afraid. It says,
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;Psalm 23:4a
From the first announcement of the birth of Jesus , the shepherds had to refocus from their fear to the promise of a present Savior. God with them, the good news of the Messiah, was what was to take away how unsafe they felt with those angels. They were told to seek this Savior’s presence immediately to find the peace they longed for and they did. It is exactly what we are called to do in those times when our safety feels threatened too..
God’s presence is the key to safety, not a change in a situation or not in avoiding people and trying to control your own environment. As I have internalized who God is and have desired more of him instead of what he will do for me, I have found that place of safety. When I learn to focus on what he is doing in keeping his promise to be with me, instead of what he is not doing in fixing what I want fixed, I find a safe place to stand. The only true protection I have found is in God who is loving and sovereign. Therefore, I let his presence be the safe place I run to in all of life’s fear-filled situations.
Now, I want to lead hurting women to the ultimate safe place, just like the angels did for those poor shepherds. I believe it is what I have been assigned to do. I choose to change from being a hurting woman to a woman who helps hurting women. I can become home for them because Jesus has become my home.
If you are a hurting woman looking for that safe place, I encourage you to reach out to me and learn more about Safe Space Sisters Home-groups and Email-groups. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can get you more information. I long to be that safe place for you like others have been for me as they led me to the presence of Jesus. As I share my life experiences I hope to show you that Jesus is that safe place you long for.
So today, if you ask me if I feel safe, I will just have to say yes, I do. I hope to help others be able to say that too.