Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Myth of Safety

I've been waiting and waiting to post on our first few days in our new home because, truth be told, I'm still processing. On Thursday, March 28th we turned a page in our still newly-married Shaughnessy life and moved into our new home we had so patiently waited for and had been graciously given by the Lord. But that day will also forever be ingrained as a day that rocked us to the core when we awoke to someone aggressively attempting to break into our precious new home on our first night there.

I'll never forget the sound of our doorbell being rung repeatedly, the kicking and pounding on our front door, the echoes of our empty rooms and hallways and the sound of this terribly mistaken man demanding us to come out. I woke up to the doorbell in a panic and immediately shook Ryan awake who quickly called the police. I'll never forget the moment I thought he had broken in and was walking around downstairs and the utter feeling of helplessness as we literally had nothing to defend ourselves with. I was shaking and praying and hiding in a corner, desperately crying out for the Lord to save us. Finally after what felt like eternity, several police officers arrived and we could hear the hum of a helicopter above. They swept our house, inside and out, and concluded that he had gotten away.

Now, almost a week later, we're trying to figure out how to move to not live in fear, not think every sound our house makes is a replay of that night, reclaim our excitement and joy in our new house and yet not live in naivety. The honest to goodness truth is that nobody ever thinks that something like this will ever happen to you--until it does. We were so fortunate that this guy didn't break anything significant or expensive. Sure we have a significant dent in our door, we need to replace some window screens and a door knocker, but that's all minuscule in comparison to what could've been damaged or taken. But he did take a lot from us: our sense of peace and comfort in our new home.

If anything, the experience has caused me to think a LOT about where my security lies. In those quick moments of fear and defenselessness, we were at the will of whatever this man wanted to do. But even in those moments, we were still under the will of the Lord...and ultimately under his protection. We weren't even supposed to be staying there that night, but due to our electricity cutting out 2 days early at our condo, we packed suitcases and brought the bare minimum until we officially moved in on Saturday. For some reason, the Lord placed us there to experience it that night. His will is perfect. He has a reason for everything.

What has been the biggest help is reminding myself every second of the day the promises and the steadfast truths of our great Protector: He is with me, He is my God, He will strength and help me and He will uphold me (Isaiah 41:10). The truth is we don't know what tomorrow holds (Proverbs 27:1), safety is indeed a myth, and only the Lord truly is our Protector--not walls, not deadbolts, not guns or alarm systems. Even living in a neighborhood known to be extremely safe like we do can't protect us from the unknown. I'm still learning to rest in this reality in light of our safety being shaken. I'm still waiting for peace to fully sink in, to be able to fall asleep soundly and to feel "at home" in our new house. The Lord never said we wouldn't encounter fears, but rather that he will sustain those fears.

Cast your burden on the Lord, 
and he will sustain you; 
he will never permit 
the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22
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