Being Safe vs. Being Loved

6 Nov

The idea of being “safe” has been one that I’ve contemplated at great length these last few weeks. Since October 15th, when my health took a bizarre and scary turn, I have worried and worried about whether or not I am safe from any matter of side effects or symptoms of a stroke, an aneurism or worse.  If I’m tired at night and find myself talking slower, I worry that my speech is being affected from a stroke. When I took pain medication that made my hands tingle and affected my depth perception, I was afraid those symptoms were due to a lack of blood flow to my brain. When I couldn’t get out of bed last week because of the fatigue caused by my meds, I was afraid of depression. When I lifted Navy out of his high chair during a tantrum the other day, I was afraid the shot of pain in my neck was a worsening artery dissection. And I have realized after a few weeks now of walking on egg shells and hiding under the covers that the truth is, I’m NOT safe. No one is safe. These things happen, and “these things” are better referred to as life. Life happens. And no one is safe from that.

As I ponder this thought, I’ve had a this quiet revelation: “Courtney, even though you are not safe, you are loved. And how much greater it is to be loved than to be safe.”

Let’s unpack that thought.

Imagine you are completely unloved. No family loves you, no friends love you, no coworkers or mentors love you, and no god loves you. You live in a home that is as good as you can afford on your own skills (which you have had to learn the hard way because no one loved you enough to teach you anything) and at the end of the day, you return to that lonely home without any person (or god, as previously mentioned) who loves you. BUT you are promised one thing in life: safety. You are safe from disease. You are safe from harm. You are safe from fear. You are safe. But you have no love.

Now consider that even though you aren’t promised safety, you do have love. You have family who loves you and lifts you up. You (perhaps) have a husband or a wife that loves you and is committed to you. You (perhaps) have children who love you, even on days that it seems they are against you. But most important, you have a one true God that loves you and promises you that he has “plans for you; plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Which would you rather have? A life of solitude and safety, or a life rich in love where you don’t need to fear because you know that you are promised eternal life with The One who loves you more than you can ever imagine? A life where it doesn’t matter what happens with health or wealth because your home is in Heaven and you are promised an eternal life far greater than this Earthly life, full of its failures and disappointments. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

I know that the truth is that I am SO GLAD I have a faith in a God who is bigger than the universe and far bigger than my fears. But the reality is, I’m still a human, and every day I have two choices: I can continue this day living in faith or I can continue this day living in fear. And you have that same exact choice today. Worrying about my fears will not make them go away, and it certainly won’t make me a better mother, a better wife, a better sister or friend or daughter, and it most DEFINITELY won’t make me a better (more trusting) daughter of Christ. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?… Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all of these things will be given to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:25-34).

I hope you choose to walk in faith, and I hope you find peace in a life of love rather than wasting away seeking safety and security as your first priorities. I’m praying today for the eyes that will read this and that someone may be blessed and quenched by the living water and by the truth that whether you have chosen to walk on the path of righteousness yet or not, there is a God who is ready and waiting for you to accept His love; who is eagerly anticipating the moment that you say, “I love you too”.

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

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2 Responses to “Being Safe vs. Being Loved”

  1. Jami Ruth November 7, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    I followed a link your dad put on FB to your blog, and this article is incredibly helpful. The worry can only make it worse! I will be bookmarking this post to re-read it during times when I am struggling! Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us what really matters!

  2. Shelba J. November 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Courtney,
    Thank you for sharing your faith and your fears – you are an incredible writer, but more importantly, an incredible child of God! Your faith overwhelms your fears – the love of family and friends – will sustain you. Remember, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, and indeed it is. God bless you. Love and prayers, Shelba J. xoxo

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