Shortly before I turned 3, my mom loaded up her friend’s pale green Pontiac with clothes and stuff, tucked my older brother and me into the already-packed backseat, and headed out of town.
… while my dad was at work. He had no idea what was happening. And neither did I, of course. But it left me with a painful longing – a longing to go home – that I didn’t even begin to understand for several decades.
I missed my daddy.
But we never saw him.
And he never came for me.
All my life, I’ve longed for a real home.
I wanted to belong. But I often felt like I didn’t.
As a kid, I filled my days with school. I was good at it. At 40, I moved on to the fancier academics of college and graduate school. Always dreams of traveling. Of being someone who went places and did stuff. My goal was to be “in charge.”
Little did I know all of that would fail me.
Because it wasn’t My Deepest Desire. And because it didn’t consider my most basic needs. My emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. In fact, those seemed so impossible to meet that I tried hard to ignore them altogether. But they didn’t go away.
Today I realize more of who God created me to be.
He knows what I need. Maybe it’s what you’re looking for, too?
A Safe Haven and a Secure Base
Attachment Theory uses the terms safe haven (a place of comfort) and secure base (a place from which to explore).
But those aren’t new concepts. It’s how God made us. It’s how He made me. A long time ago, the psalmist put it this way:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)