Last week, our sweet daughter (Mila, 13) had a bad experience at a birthday party. A few nasty texts and some typical middle school drama put her in tears. She lost, at least, one friend and felt betrayed by others. It was pretty rough. We hugged outside of the party place. My mama’s heart ached, wishing she did not have to experience these types of relationship issues. Simultaneously, my heart swelled as I watched her grow into a new level of maturity. As we drove away, she wiped her tears and talked with me about how to navigate all of the new relationship challenges she will have at school. We talked, also, about how some of the girls (and their families) simply have different values than we do and it becomes obvious during the adolescent years. With tears in her eyes, Mila looked at me and said, “Mama, I’m so thankful for Jenny. I just want to be with Jenny.” Jenny is Mila’s super-good friend. Both girls are seeking Christ and both girls are growing into mature young Christian women. So, on the way home, we stopped in at Jenny’s house so Mila could sense some of that “Jenny-love”. We all chatted outside their home and the girls ended up having tons of time together over the weekend. Mila knows where she can find safe-haven. She knows who her safe friends are.
The next morning, I was praying. I broke down and wept because I have learned, time and time again that Jesus is my “safe friend”. He is the one I want to run to whenever things feel strange or unsafe or hostile. I have always loved The Message Version of these verses:
You’ve always given me breathing room,
a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house,
an open invitation as your guest.
You’ve always taken me seriously, God,
made me welcome among those who know and love you. Psalm 61:3-5
I do not know how many times I have holed up somewhere, crying out to God and finally feeling *safe*. His truths give me safety . . . something to stand on, something to cover me. Breathing room . . . a safe-house . . . to the God who takes me seriously. When everything is falling apart, I cannot wait to talk with Him. I love Him so so much.
He will never leave you; you don’t have to have “abandon issues” with Him.
He will always love you. Furthermore, He even likes you! Did you know that?
You can be completely yourself with Him.
He has good thoughts toward you; He is never judging you.
He is excited about your future.
You make Him smile (He probably laughs over us in that good-natured way, too)
He wants the best for you.
He is happy for you when good things happen to you.
He is jealous of you and protective of you. In a fierce way.
When He receives a gift from you, He probably puts it on His fridge and beams with pride. (OK. He might not have a fridge, but, if He did . . . )
One of the greatest lies we can hear from the Enemy is that ever-pointing finger of accusation, “God doesn’t want to hear from you; you have messed up too badly this time; God is disappointed in you.” Oh, friends. How I wish I could somehow come against this ancient lie. We have heard from several beautiful and hurting women, just this week, about how they have not been able to pray because of another “mess up”. I often try to get these sweet women to imagine what it would feel like if her child were crying on her bed, not willing to allow you to come into his or her space and bring help and comfort. Do you know that God is your Abba Father? Bring whatever it is that is keeping you from Him! He is full of grace and forgiveness! And, oh, how He wishes you would open that door. He will never force because He is a gentleman that way. He just wants you! . . . Hand gently touching the door of your heart, forehead pressed against that boundary separating you and Him . . . listening to your sobs and hoping. Hoping that His beautiful girl will let Him in so He can offer His mercy and love and healing and wrap His big beautiful arms around your heart.
Go to Him tonight, darling girl. Open that door. Talk to Him. He is your safe Friend.