The refuge of the mind

Right now, my pastor is preaching out of a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. (It’s a really good read). The past few sermons have been about God alone being our refuge; the place we should go for protection and healing in the midst of trial and difficulty. Many of us go to our friends or family, those we feel we can confide in and those who console us. Others of us have habits or activities that we use to blow off steam, that aren’t exactly the ideal form emotional expression. While I was considering what my refuge has been during some dark moments of my life, I realized that it was my mind.

Oddly enough, I’ve realized that I actually enjoy thinking. I spend a lot of time figuring things out, and putting pieces together to complete an experience to better understand a circumstance or person. You can only imagine, that if I do that for random things, it’s on a totally different level when it comes to personal experiences, especially traumatic ones. Things that hurt me, that I feel I didn’t cause, I try to understand how they could have even happened and more importantly, why.

So in prayer, I discovered that I’ve allowed my refuge to be my mind and thoughts. It has manifested in such a subtle, almost undetectable way. The explanations and “created closure” that I’ve come up, with have been where I’ve hidden. It’s those thoughts that have become my reason for not trusting and being fully restored after trauma. They were my case to God as to why I didn’t want to be a vessel for Him. Because honestly, who wants to feel like a vase in a house with 3 kids under 10 in the summer time. Ha! I had marked out boundaries for God. Yes, I’ll study the word and teach it but no, I will not disciple people. No, I won’t be vulnerable and walk alongside people through their brokenness to their healing and deliverance. I’m not about to lay down my life only to be wounded time and time again. Don’t even waste your time healing me if I’m going to have to keep coming back. Wow! How sad is that.

I’m sure many others have had a similar experience, even if we don’t have the same calling. The truth is that God heals. And that healing can only be found when you seek Him as your refuge. I realized that if I continued to hide behind my logic, I wasn’t giving God the access He really needed to help me work through the effects of those traumatic and painful experiences. We are often blinded by our false resolutions of venting to friends or drinking the pain away. So when we actually take time to pray, we forget we have an issue that needs some attention. Even when we “manifest” our brokenness, we think “That’s just how I am”, instead of realizing it’s an area of brokenness that needs healing. You don’t have to internalize your experiences and make them a part of you. Bring those things to God and allow him to work them for your good once you’ve experienced healing.

I encourage you to allow God to be your refuge. Go to Him when you’re feeling weak, down and out, or broken. He’s the only one who can get you through it.

Vulnerably submitted for the kingdom,

Kiana