My Hiding Place

I've wandered back here on occasion... wondering what I should do with this sacred space. The place I came to as a refuge... my hiding place. The place I could hash out all I was walking through with the Lord and sort things out in black and white.

I have all but abandoned it these last several years. The busyness of life, marriage, raising kids, a growing business... they've all pushed this space to a dark corner in a closet. And yet, here I find myself. Nostalgic for this all-but-forgotten box filled with priceless treasures. Nostalgic for what this place represents and curious to see if it could be that sacred getaway once again. To get out of the chaos. More space to breathe. Less immediate. Less social media-ish. Less urgent to get something "shared" and more focused on "going there". Ten years have passed and here I am, wondering if this dusty old place could be restored. Even if just for myself.

I almost feel panicked knowing that it has been just over 10 years since this hiding place was necessary. I found Refuge and Strength here and some days I yearn for that again (well, shoot... I always desire refuge and strength, but we know they only come from ONE place). This is where the Lord met me. Guided me. Increased my faith. Took me beyond the shores into deep, DEEP water. Many days I felt as though I would drown, but HE. He held me safely. (Although, let's be honest, most days it didn't feel safe.) It felt exhausting at best and gasping for air was so normal I'd almost forgotten any other way. But He. He kept beckoning me forward. One step at a time. One tear-filled day at a time. It was almost like a rebirth. Like a tiny baby... barely holding my head up. Then being held in His lap. Soon sitting on my own. Then ready to move... to crawl. Shaky walking came eventually, then I was soon steady. The last few years I have been running.

I love running (I mean, not like the gym running!)... feeling busy and productive and free. Feeling passionate and trusting that the Lord was providing just what we needed has been FUN! And wild! Four active kids and a busy husband is no joke. Two businesses, a household, a social calendar, serving and giving and doing. I've loved the time, and yet my heart is always stirring. How can I make a bigger impact? What can I do? It's so often become about DOING. And while I LOVE doing, these days, my soul longs for rest.

Want to know what's crazy?! I've almost forgotten how to rest. Are you like me? Freedom is associated with running for me. Being busy and doing my thing. Rest is the opposite. Rest is a picture of stillness... and those two seem to wage endless conflict within me. We know that freedom is a beautiful thing... but so is being still. So why is it so hard? What if... just what if we're running so much that we forget to look at the One who taught us to run in the first place? The One who gave us a love for freedom but is constantly calling our name to remind us to find our strength and energy in Him? To RUN in Him first?

I've been running and going and loving my freedom, with only a twinge of "hmmm, I should really spend time pursuing the Lord." But then... then in August, with absolutely ZERO thought that the predictions would become reality, we evacuated our home of 13 years just a few hours before taking on water and eventually flooding.

That'll stop you in your tracks for sure. Talk about coming to a screeching halt. No running. Only still. But a paralyzed still.

The flood pulled the rug out from under me. These last 6 months have taken me back emotionally to where I was 10 years ago. So much waiting. So many unknowns. Wanting so desperately to bury myself in The Word and yet, absolutely fighting it. I've known He has been calling me back to intimacy. Pulling me toward Him. Showing up time and time and time and TIME again. Proving He is faithful. Proving He never leaves us. Demonstrating His overwhelming love and power and provision. But my flesh. My flesh has been fighting the Spirit.

I'm so undeserving. He's been so full of grace (and what a beautiful model as I strive for that with my own kids). His faithfulness, and forgiveness of my stubborn heart, is unimaginable. I've fought it. But I haven't even been consciously aware of it. I mean, I KNOW Who I belong to. I KNOW my faith is deep and has been tested. I KNOW what He has done, from where He has brought me. But I haven't been actively pursuing Him. I've been looking at the waves. Focused on the circumstances. And suddenly I find myself about to go under because my eyes have been drawn away. I see all the striving and the waves are about to swallow me whole.

I've realized that I have become a master at taking things back and inadvertently acting like I don't need Him. I mean, of course I need Him... but I'm not relying on Him like I do. Not trusting Him to fight for me. For my kids. For my marriage. For my business. Not trusting Him to handle my devastation. My helplessness. My feelings of anger, insecurity, doubt, fear.  As I step back I realize that so much I have been wanting and battling has been in my own efforts. And while I think I'm pretty freakin' strong and powerful, that is the most ridiculous thing I could say because I can't handle one. thing. apart from Him.

So I'm done. I'm done keeping Him at arm's length. I'm done being lured by the running. I love freedom and He has give me the greatest freedom of all. But I can have freedom AND rest. I am awestruck by is His PATIENCE. I'm amazed at His love and faithfulness. He's been patiently waiting for me to come back to Him... to fall into His arms as my Refuge and Strength. I know this isn't the only place where I can find Him. The opposite actually. He surrounds me. He engulfs me. But as I return to this strangely familiar place, it still feels like sacred ground. So for now, I'll rest in Him here and trust this is one of the many places He'll meet me. Like sharing coffee and a comfy, worn couch with a best friend. Not quite sure where it will go but so excited to just be. No agenda... just be.

Not my will but YOURS be done.


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