2. A safe place.

The soul is perhaps the most powerful, and yet the most terrifyingly vulnerable thing ever created.  It is powerful when it is intact, secure, confident, and bursting with the glory of God.  But it is vulnerable when it is cracked and broken, susceptible to lies, unguarded against the onslaught of enemy attack.

The tricky thing is that, those times when I have been most aware of my brokenness, and most desired the healing touches of truth and unconditional love, I have been also the most distrustful, cynical, scared, and painfully aware of the terrifying vulnerability of exposing my own soul…

But, if I cannot find a safe place to bear this brokenness and pain, than what hope do I have of being healed and restored?  If there is no one I can bring it to who can help me, than I am either stuck trying to heal myself, when I lack the power to do so, or I am stuck living in the same cycles and patterns of fear and doubt, lies and distrust, pain, woundedness, and victimization…

It can be so hard to find a place where I feel safe to reveal my soul.

Where can I find a safe place for my soul?  A place where I know I can be myself?  Where I can let down my hair, remove the masks that hide my flaws, and shed all pretences with relief and abandon!?  Where can I find a safe place to strip out of my false self, (the person I think I have to pretend to be in order to find love and acceptance*), and be… ME – raw and vulnerable – the good the bad and the ugly – without fear of rejection or threat of conditional love?!

Is it a real thing?  Does it exist?  

So many times, I have entrusted myself to someone or something only to end up licking the wounds of being used and abused, or reeling from the sharp pains of friendly fire. There is no person or place on this earth that is entirely free from the claws of depravity, the intrinsic evils of our sinful nature.

Our souls were created to be hidden in God.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalm 91:1-2, NLT)

God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says.  Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, an impregnable castle:  I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him.  God is a safe place to be.  (Psalm 62:5-8, The Message)

Entrusting my soul to God.

We are not meant to entrust our souls to just anyone.  We are meant to value our own souls, and entrust them to the One who created them.  He is a safe place that heals, that warms, that mends, and restores.  A safe place that sees, and knows, and loves, and understands.

In His presence, the hardness of our heart is warmed in the light of God’s goodness and grace, His love washes away the horrifying fears we carry around inside of us, torturing our own souls (1 Jn 4:18).  His truth confronts the walls we build up around our lies (2 Cor 10:4), and as we step into the wide expanse that is the covering of His unconditional love (Ps 31:8; breathing room for my soul, Ps 62:6), our souls are made secure, restored to wholeness, forever stained with the beauty marks of mercy.

So hard to trust.

What could be more precious and desirable than a safe place for my soul?  And yet what could be more terrifying than a place of sheer vulnerability?  Our nature is to hide the dark places of our heart (Gen 3:10).  At first, we may not even be aware of it, and ignorance is bliss!  But eventually, through grief, moral failure, failed relationships, or whatever!, if we are brave enough, we come to face the true reality of our true naked selves.

Then we face a dilemma… Which desire is greater: my desire to trust that God is a safe place to heal and restore my soul?  or the fear of bringing my true self into the Light?  

How can I ever face my soul in naked vulnerability and raw honesty, with all the pain and ugliness that lives in there, and furthermore, how can I ever share that self in meaningful connection with others, if I do not learn to feel safe in the unconditional love of God?

We don’t trust God.

Many of us do not grow, cannot heal, are not moving forward in our journey of discipleship because we cannot bring ourselves to trust God.  We sing songs about it, we can testify to others about it, and listen to the Word of God declare it over and over again… And still, we refuse to trust that He is a safe place where we can bring the nakedness of our messy souls and engage on this thing of discipleship called real transformation.

Before we can make real change to bear on our thought life, which flows into real change in our true inner person, resulting in real change in our life and relationships… We have to entrust our true selves to God.

Choosing life in the mind.

Choosing life in the mind seems to require a safe place for my soul, because I cannot really see, with clear honest evaluation, what is going on inside of me, until I know I am safe enough to lay it all on the table, to step back from it, and look at it almost as though it were separate from myself.  And then, furthermore, to judge it, according to Truth, cutting away those things that are wrong, that wreak havoc in my mind, sabotage my relationships, and make death and destruction to bear on my inner life.

I cannot separate the good from the bad, the lies from the truth, the blessings and the curses, the death and the life that mingles as one in the mess of my mind, unless I have found a safe place, where I can trust that I am loved no mater what, a place where there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.  Save me, for you do what is right.  (Psalm 31:1, NLT)

Father, show us!  Show us your goodness in the midst of heavy trial!  Give of your food that tastes sweeter than honey!!  Let us see and know You as a safe place, a refuge, a fortress of defence to save us…  and lead us in the way everlasting, to an abundance of life forevermore!!

Choosing Life in the Mind: 

Step 1: Choose my destination and commit to the journey.
Step 2: Trust God as a safe place for my soul.
Step 3: Learn honesty and awareness in the presence of God.
*Learn more about false selves, or the imposter, from Brennan Manning’s book Abba’s Child or in Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.

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