Monday, September 12, 2011

The Secret Place

Did you ever build a fort when you were a child?

I can remember taking sheets and tying them between my brother's bed and my own.
I had my pillows under there and my favorite stuffed animals.
Yes, I had stuffed animals when I was little...don't judge!

I would sit in that fort and play for hours.
It represented this secure and private area that no one could penetrate.

My mood was always happy inside the fort.  
I was content.
I was safe.

No monsters could find me in there.
No mean people were allowed in either.

If things weren't going well at school, or at home, or with the kids in my neighborhood I always knew that I could run back to my fort.

Once I got inside, all would be well.

Around this time in my young life, I was already learning that the world could be a cruel place....not just from dealing with meaner then average neighborhood kids....or watching my mom go through the first of what turned out to be many health crises....but something else.

You see, for several months when I was six years old I experienced ongoing sexual abuse from an older guy in my neighborhood.

I was too young then to understand what was happening but I knew it was a secret.
I knew it felt wrong.

After each incident I would run to my house and get in the quiet security of my sheet covered fort.

Oddly enough, after we moved away from that neighborhood, and that guy, I stopped building forts.
In hind sight I believe I knew that I no longer needed that secret place to keep me safe.

As an adult I have come to terms with that invasion of my childhood.
God has given me great healing and restoration in the past few years.
What was once a shameful secret is now another part of my testimony that can be used to help others.

If you are a person who has experienced this type of abuse know this:

God loves you and cares for you deeply.
He wants to heal you of that pain.
No part of this was your fault.

Shine a light on this secret and throw off the shame so that it will have no power over you!

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to find a good counselor that can walk you through the healing process.

God will restore your heart.
Your loving Father will renew your innocence.

Even if you have never experienced a trauma such as abuse this blog post is still for you.
We each face a mean and cruel world every day.

We deal with friends who let us down.
We work with people who talk behind our backs in the cut throat world of business.
We encounter road rage, racism, homophobia, and just flat out rude people!

Many of us face personal demons with addiction, or self loathing, or fear and anxiety.

I don't know about you but some days I would love to build a fort out of my bed clothes and hide out in there for a while!

But, before you go making a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond for 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets let me fill you in on a little secret.

We no longer have to build a fort to feel safe.
Our Father God has already made a secret place just for us!

Psalm 91 says: "1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in whom I trust." (ASV)

Instead of escaping to your own hiding place try entering into the Secret Place that God provides for you.

He longs to have us "dwell in the secret place of the Most High."

Dwelling in the Secret Place basically means to live in God's presence all the time.

Begin and end each day talking with Him.
Ask Him to fill you with His presence when you wake up.
As you go through your day encountering people ask Him to give you His favor.
Each night ask Him to give you His rest.

Share your life with Him.
Share your struggles and your triumphs, your joy and your sadness, your hopes and your fears.

As we learn that we have a secret place that we can run to, the monsters under the bed don't seem so scary anymore!

Train yourself to rely on God in ALL things and ask His guidance in ALL your decisions.

Instead of just praying when there is a crisis or even just during a daily devotional time, talk to Him throughout the day.

I heard a quote once that really stuck with me:  
"I might not pray for one hour, but not one hour passes that I don't pray."

When the cares of this world get too tough and the enemy attacks you from all sides run to that Secret Place of the Almighty.

When the battle rages in front of you and the enemy is hurling insults and condemnation your way, turn your back to the accuser and rest in your Father's Presence.

When fear surrounds you at every turn and you cannot find your peace of mind, take shelter under the wings of the Almighty.

And, just as so many of us did when we were a child; when the neighborhood kids aren't playing fair at your job, or your church, or on Facebook; hop back on your bike and go directly to your fort.

There you will find your loving Heavenly Father waiting patiently for you with His arms open wide.

His fort is built and waiting on you today and everyday.
Learn to live life in His presence.
Dwell in The Secret Place.

As always remember:
God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,