I discovered something rather pathetic about myself today.
I’m afraid to go outside the house unless Marvin, Jeremy, or someone I know is out there. I’m even afraid to be next to the house mowing the yard because I can not hear any vehicles coming down the road from either way.
I’m a prisoner in my own house!
And . . . . . . I don’t even like my house.
I’m trapped and I can’t get out!
After trying several times to go outside today to work in the yard, and then returning because Marvin was not out there, I had an epiphany.
I think back and back and back . . . . and even farther back.
How long since I’ve worked in my yard?
When did this start?
I remember giving up the wildflower garden out north of the house when I was being stalked. Four years. No – Five years! How can that be? It WAS too far away from the house. But, that far? There are no doors on that side of the house. Anyone would be afraid. Right?
Suddenly I’m gripped by fear just thinking about it.
My stomach’s in a knot. My head is starting to pound.
But wait! How long since I’ve been in the yard down by the road? Three years? Four? What!! Oh my God, what have I done to myself?
How long since I’ve been outside my south and east doors? Just barely out of the house. How long? Two years? Three?!!
Oh, dear God, I haven’t been outside my own doors except to walk to the car since . . how long?
Since forever, Lord. It seems like ‘since forever’.
Now I realize that I’m afraid all the time. When did this feeling sneak in and consume me? How do I overcome this? How do I get outside again?
Lord, my yard used to mean everything to me.
It was my therapy, for goodness sake! Dirt and digging were therapeutic ever since. . .
Ever since when?
Oh . . . . yes, I remember now. Ever since Terry died.
He loved the flowers, the yard, the snakes, the everything about outside.
What do I say to myself to convince myself that I can be safe in my own yard?
Dear Lord, where do I begin?
As I sit here mulling over my bleak situation, I decide to open today’s e-devotional from “Encouraging Words”:
"You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
far from accusing tongues." Psalm 31:20
“How does God protect? By his very presence. He is a holy, powerful God. When we are in his presence—when we "abide in him" or "dwell with him" as it is sometimes worded—we can't help but be protected. Nothing can harm God, so when we are "under his umbrella," as it were, no evil will come near us, either. All will be warded off or transformed by God's very nature and actions. In God's presence, we are utterly safe.”
Lord, how did you know that I needed this particular message today?
REALLY needed it today?
Oh . . . . that’s right. You know everything.
You knew how was feeling before I knew it,
Before I could even put it into words.
Thanks for the realization today, Lord
For opening my eyes.
Thanks for the reminder of your presence, Lord. I needed that. I love you.
You are my everything.
I need your help.
My feelings overwhelm me.
Give me strength to become free.
Give me the strength to begin a scary journey -
To feel safe again.