During this time of being home more and having more time to reflect and be with the Lord, God answered my prayer and examined my heart for me. He revealed my lack of full surrender and trust in Him. He showed me my profoundly wounded and broken heart. Despite all the work we had already done together, there was more to do.
Deep fears and trust issues with people led to those same fears and trust issues with Him. Though I began the process of breaking these walls down, my heart still looked like an old, dilapidated, partially demolished building.
There were still walls of self-protection that I needed to deal with due to that truth. The lies I had been living out of kept walls from being torn down. I had also rebuilt some walls again.
These walls need to be taken down and destroyed, or they will destroy us.
Recently, I began a word study on the word, “refuge.” Like everything else I learned in the bible growing up, it felt like I learned a fact, but not how to live it out. The questions that whirled through my mind was, “How do I make God my refuge? How do I allow Him to be my refuge?”
Just like I get caught up attempting to do things in my strength, I also get caught up trying to be my protector and the protector of those I love and care about deeply. We are not the ones to do this and because we are trying to do something and be someone we are not created to be, we make a mess of it.
We leave ourselves more vulnerable to satan’s attacks and we hurt relationships with people we love, doing what we think is right. Yet, little by little we are destroying the relationship.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. Psalms 91:1-4
I love Psalm 91. This scripture is a beautiful picture of who God desires to be in our life. My husband has displayed this quality in our life together. When we are out, he stays close to me. He keeps his eyes on me, even more so because he knows I don’t hear well sometimes. He is aware of our surroundings and takes inventory of who is around us. When he senses danger, he pulls me close and guides me.
He protects me well physically, the way God wants to protect my heart.
God desires us to draw close to Him, to allow Him to cover us, and shelter us with His wings. Living this way requires trust, and it requires letting go of our fears and our mindset that we can take care of ourselves. We have to let go of pride and thinking we know what is best for us and those around us.
There have been times when my way of protecting myself or my family would present itself as telling someone off. Other times, the reaction was to pull them so close to me, they couldn’t breathe. Instead of drawing close to God and waiting on His timing, His words, or His guidance on steps to take, I reacted and jumped into self-protective mode.
This is a hard habit to break, but it is a cycle that needs to be broken.
I have been practicing. Situations have come up, where I want to react in old ways and be the protector, but that is not who I was created to be. I was created to lean in on God, and allow Him to do His job. Sometimes, He tells me to speak up, other times, He asks me to be still and wait for Him to work.
This is incredibly difficult for me. I have a protective nature. Partially because I am a mother, but also the way God has wired me and gifted me, that protectiveness is what makes me who He has made me to be. I have to learn how and when to use it, so I use it the way God intended me to use it. Instead of reacting and speaking or doing something, I am drawing close to Him in prayer, I am interceding more for people and situations, and I am waiting on His direction.
My husband and I ride his motorcycle together. Yesterday, as we rode together, I was reminded back to when we first began riding. I had my eyes open at all times. I could not relax because every scenerio that could possibly happen, went through my mind. I would keep looking ahead so I could see what was coming, as though I could do something to stop it. I was not able to relax and enjoy the ride well, because I there was so much fear, and a lack of trust that I would be safe.
I remember God speaking to me as we rode one day, He said not to focus on trusting Duane driving, but trust God that He would steer my husband. It was really about trusting God, not Duane, anyone around me, or the situation.
It has been almost 25 years since we started riding together and last night we went riding to go out to dinner to celebrate our Anniversary. I leaned in and put my arms around my husband and we rode. No fear, no scenarios were running through my mind, just peace. I closed my eyes for a while. I realized how far I had come on this journey with God, and with my husband.
There are times when I see something my husband misses and I gently touch him to make him aware but I can enjoy the ride now, trusting God will show us what we need to see, and trusting He is in control. I know that as I place myself under His wings and allow Him to be my refuge, He will guide me when I need to speak, and when I need to be quiet, pray, and wait upon Him. He will guide my steps and He will keep me safe.
When I try to take the reigns and become my own deliverer or the deliverer of those I love, I hinder God’s work in my life and their life. I don’t want to live that way anymore. I desire for my walls to come down and for God to replace them with His Wings.
Only then, can I truly live free. Only then, can I close my eyes, feel the wind on my face, and enjoy this beautiful journey God has me on, and the sweet relationships He has put in my life.
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
Selah. Psalms 62:5-8
May we allow Him to tear down those walls in our hearts and replace them with His wings. May we be a people who makes God our refuge, pouring out our hearts to Him, and trusting in Him with our whole hearts.