It is an honor to invite my friend Bekah Pogue to share with us from a vulnerable place today. Let’s give a warm welcome and attentive ear to this woman who lives authentically, calling out what’s good and true in others.
Being a Safe Space
I just need a safe space to _______________.
I hear this phrase on a weekly—if not daily—basis.
I just need a safe space to….
Be unconditionally loved.
Three days before my birthday my sweet hubby was laid off. Organizational restructuring. You’ve got two weeks.
As it is, we are in the abyss of the in-between, the unknown, the not-quite-there-yet…in every sense:
Full time jobby.
If you’ve been reading our journey, you’ve heard me share about how this has simultaneously been the most beautiful and hardest season ever.
And today I was angry.
In fact, I wrote these very words down in a journal this morning. Because I needed to feel them as I penned each letter and watch them come out on paper:
I’m scared about finances.
My hope light has gone out.
Dreams seem like a mean notion.
I’m jealous of others jobs/opportunities.
I feel like we’re ruining our boys.
I’m wondering about my purpose.
Why has this been so hard?
Why isn’t it working?
Hope feels far off and comical.
I can’t sleep.
Last night I dreamt of jumpy, spider-like bats that dove and slunk across my neck, threatening to strangle or bite.
Where is God fighting and rescuing?
Should we move back?
Is there room for messy?
I feel like I’ve laid it all down… for what?
Is this a freaking joke?
Yep, I did.
In fact, there were other words that I wrote and thought that I won’t share. I say this because we all have days or seasons where we’re simply not okay and it feels shameful to be in that space.
So what do we do? We hide. We go inward. We plaster on self-talk positivities. We eat obscene amounts of cinnamon gummy bears or binge on Stranger Things. We stay in the shadows and wait for the sun to shine in our souls.
After I wrote, I felt a bit lighter. Like a space pocket opened up. And then I opened my Bible to Ezekiel 37 and read about how God asked Ezekiel to breathe life into dry bones and God attached sinew and skin and literally made life from death.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” – Ezekiel 37:4-6
Life from death. Breath from bone.
And then I thought about safe people.
Who can I reach out to and admit ‘I’m not okay’ without feeling like I need to add, ‘But it’s going to be fine and well in the end?’ Who will welcome my mess? Who’s been there, who “gets it” and has compassion for those of us who are going through it now?
Because these are the people we reach out to, right? The ones that have walked the hard road of layoffs, financial strains, thready marriages, infertility, loss, the real life stuff. These are the ones who God has manifested victorious but not without the initial hard. These are the ones I call or Vox or text and say, ‘I’m not okay. I will be, but for today I just can’t.’
And their response is: ‘It’s okay you’re not okay. It’s okay to mourn. It’s okay to be angry. I know you won’t stay there. But just like Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands when he grew weary (Exodus 17:12), we’ll do that for you.’We all need to rest and be carried and know we’re accepted in the middle of the hard. Click To Tweet
We need safe people. Safe spaces. In these faces and grace places is where compassion is born.
And when the next friend goes through their hard day(s) I’ll compassionately say, I’ve been there. I’ll hold your hands up.
Bekah writes about choosing to see how REAL God is in the everyday at bekahpogue.com. You can order her book, Choosing REAL: An Invitation to Celebrate When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned on Amazon, B&N, Lifeway and christianbooks.com
I want to be a safe place for others. Don’t you? Let’s live authentically in the middle place. Even when it’s a dusty, dry season, there is a well of grace that never runs dry.
You might also like:
A Hopeful Resource for Every Mourning
There is Hope in Hard Times
Interview with Kaitlyn Bouchillon (Author of Even If Not)