Fear used to be (and still can easily become) the norm in my life. So… I covered, coped, and satiated myself with security blankets, grabbing them and clutching them with white knuckled grip. As the pile of blankets got higher, the volume in my mind got louder. Then it was all I knew: Self-medication. Clinging to pleasure, people, things, work targets, substances, entertainment.
The result? Numbness. Apathy. Anxiety. Self-hatred. Boredom. Binge.
AHH! Be GONE!
Gone? I had only tasted the blips of encounter since my first one at age 12. Blips of freedom, of intimacy with God. The exception rather than the norm. I lived for those blips, though, longed for them. But they were so few and far between, it seemed, and I guess that was just normal. God was so “hard” to get. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’ll just keep working hard for ‘the next thing’, trust that God is working in my life somehow, and besides, I’m already further along than so many around me anyway, and I also have a lifetime to grow. I’m fine, I guess. I’m normal. God will get me there someday.”
Well, my someday started two years ago. How did he get me there? He allowed the enemy to go after my biggest source of affirmation, my biggest and best gift from him, the one thing in my life that I knew was right and good and part of His will for me – that thing? My husband. My primary go-to security blanket; it was ripped away.
Just like that. My lights went out. My world went dark, upside down. A haze. Couldn’t eat. TV was not appealing. Even my other security blankets had no appeal. So where was I? Who was I? God, where are you? Were my beliefs all a lie, an illusion? How could this have happened? Where are you? What is happening? Oh God, oh God, oh God… When am I going to wake up?
I don’t think we ever really grow in significant ways unless we’re forced to. It’s too hard to choose significant growth, because the cost is too high. Too painful. We clutch at our security blankets instead because they’re what we know. We are stubborn. We like them. We can see them, touch them, feel them. But they are in the way.
I define growth as learning how to live without relying on security blankets. Instead? Relying on constant encounter with Him, hearing the voice of God. There is freedom there. Fear will shrivel up and die.
It’s painful, but with high cost comes high gain. Welcome along the journey.
What is your biggest security blanket?