My Hiding Place

Some days, well, most days, I feel an overwhelming need to escape to my hiding place. Sometimes I run, other times I limp. I have even crawled to my place of comfort, where my soul is soothed, even if only momentarily. This is where I peel off my protective bandage and expose the wounds of sexual betrayal and abuse to the fresh air.

 I often get mixed up with the what, where and who of my hiding place. And by mixed up, I mean I settle in and pitch my tent with the wrong thing, location or person in my attempt to relieve the pressure of my emotional pain.

The wrong thing is often obvious. Using alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, gambling to pacify the screams of the heart. But there are other methods of medicating emotional pain that may seem innocent enough, but the temporary release only infects and deepens the wound rather than heals it. Things such as food, shopping, TV, video games, romance books, over sleeping, busyness, etc. This is where my jar of peanut butter and jumbo size package of chocolate chips fits in.

My where is not so much an inappropriate place that I shouldn’t be, (although I do have places and gatherings I avoid that trigger negative emotions in me) but perhaps not being in the location I should be to face and process my pain. When my daughter moved away from home, her bedroom became my office. It is a wonderful sanctuary for me in many ways. It is where I do my daily devotions and Bible reading, where I write. But sometimes I retreat there instead of sitting on the couch in my living room with my husband confronting my inner turmoil.

My who. This is where I frequently muddle the order. I have many safe people with whom to connect for support and guidance. My recovery support group, counsellor, pastor, friends. My husband. God. All sources of refuge. But sometimes I share my pain with others instead of, or before, my husband because I still fear his rejection and abandonment. And sometimes I lay my pain and confusion at my husband’s feet before bringing them to God’s. As the wife of a recovering addict, there may be times when I need solid advice from a trustworthy source before tackling an issue with my husband. And my husband is the physical heart, arms and ears that God has provided me on earth. But……

God is my hiding place.

God is the One who knows me better than I know myself. And He loves me anyway. I find an overwhelming comfort in that knowledge that both calms and brings tears of wonder to my soul. Me and God. God and me. We have some special hideouts to hang out in when I need the safety, security, assurance and protection of His love and grace.

When my heart needs an infusion of peace and stillness, my Abba Daddy takes me by the hand and leads me to a treehouse nestled in a tranquil forest grove where the quiet beauty of His creation surrounds us. Rays of sunlight filtering through the vibrant green foliage. A gentle breeze. The sound of a stream rippling nearby. A curious chipmunk. The hurts and chaos of every day life melts away from my heart, mind and body as the soothing warmth of God’s presence envelops me in this place where no person or thing can find me. Where the sign on the treehouse reads No Pain Allowed.

There are other times when my heart is searching for acceptance and belonging. It is then that God and I gleefully build a magnificent blanket fort. Armed with our flashlights, a Bible, colouring books and pencil crayons, we huddle cozily together whispering and giggling, delighting in our companionship. As we share gummie bears, chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate from a thermos, soft pillows and fuzzy blankets my heart is filled with contentment and joy that there is no other place God would rather be than right there with me. Just as I am. Just as we are.

This isn’t escapism. This isn’t avoidance. This is the promise that when the burdens of my bumpy healing journey begin to overtake me, God will provide a refuge and allow me time to rest. Sometimes minutes is all I need. Sometimes the minutes become days, or weeks. However long I need in my retreat, I emerge empowered with a calmer, stronger spirit ready to continue the daily battle of recovery. Victory belongs to team God and Cynthia.

You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

Where is your hiding place? Or favourite place to hang out or visit? 

Who would you take with you? Or would you go alone?

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7 thoughts on “My Hiding Place

    • Thank you for the vote of confidence in my writing and message! God certainly has been writing a beautiful, redemptive story in my life and marriage. Writing a book has only been a fleeting thought that I quickly dismiss. The thought overwhelms me as I would have absolutely no idea how to start the process. But I do like your thought….. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Whatever it takes! You have found yourself a refuge where you can go to ground yourself and refocus, and that is so necessary and valuable. Especially with kids underfoot. Do you have your own adults only bathroom? I never have. At least now there aren’t bath toys spilling everywhere. I hope you have something special in your bathroom that soothes or delights your heart. If not, maybe you can add something. Scented soap, a picture, a silly knick knack, new shower curtain that you love……

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  1. I wish I had a hiding place in amongst the trees with views of the water 😉, or that I could go for a walk along the beach and around the rocks, but really I can’t say I have a hiding place at all. I get plenty of alone time, though, especially at work, so I can’t complain—I just don’t have the beautiful surroundings to go with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts with me. I love the image of you walking along the ocean’s edge, taking a slight detour in water gently lapping at your toes while you walk around the grand, protruding rocks. For a moment, I pictured you climbing on the rocks, but they were slippery and sharp on your bare feet. So in this case around, is the better option 😉 And it doesn’t block the warmth of the sun either.

      I get plenty of alone time too. Sometimes I just need to be more intentional in how I use it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Friday’s Guest Writer: I Got Nothing (09) – Confessions of a Reformed Cad

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