“You are safe. You are safe. You are safe,”
I whisper these words to my reflection. My hands are braced on the edge of the vanity and I will my shoulders to stop trembling. Intentionally, I slow my breathing, hoping to still the wild beat of my heart. It works. This time.
“What are you afraid of?” I ask the face in the mirror.
This time, I don’t know. It’s been a good day. I got out of bed, I smiled and laughed and ate lunch and texted a friend or two. Memories have not haunted me today. So this unexplained anxiety is pointing to something; pointing to the fact that I have more work to do. More healing to do, which often means more pain. And I am tired.
If I have been quiet here it is because I have been waiting. I’ve been hung up on the idea that the only stories worth telling are those that end in unwavering victory. I have been waiting for the “end” so that I can safely share my victories. But I can’t predict this ending and part of my victory is simply in speaking.
Three months ago I was shipwrecked. Thrown ashore and suddenly tangled in the wreckage washed up from the deep sea of forgetfulness. I’ve been working on piecing the shattered pieces together, and the tide is still bringing in remains. I have hesitated to share this until I have something that looks presentable, something that isn’t so broken. But I can’t keep up the facade any longer.
I am naming this: I am broken. I am fighting anxiety and depression as a direct result of the wreckage. I am fighting to stay. I am fighting for each small victory, each step that brings me closer to healing and wholeness. I am fighting. And I am tired.
“Of course he isn’t safe, but he’s good. He’s not a tame lion.” – CS Lewis
I have seen this quote often lately. I agree with the sentiment – God is not “tame” in my experience, but I know He is good. Yet it leaves me conflicted. Much of my anxiety is wrapped up in the fact that I don’t feel safe at all. How do I reconcile with a God who isn’t safe?
But even as I ask the question I begin to understand: He is not safe, but I am. His nature is not safe in conventional ways, but He creates safety for me and in me. He is the Lion that fiercely guards my wounded soul. Maybe… Maybe that is enough to know that I am safe.