A Continual Refuge


I’ve been told many a times, my personality leans to the far side of private. But being overly protective of my personal life has at times come with a burdensome price –  times when I simply want to tell someone, “I need you, I need your prayers, your encouragement.”

To be entirely vulnerable, feels extremely risky. And I don’t want to be exposed for my weaknesses; seen for my short-comings, or remembered for my messy, desperate moments. 

I don’t want to be exposed – I want to be known. I want the power of His Word inside of me – to be known.

Yet, that’s just it.

His power is made perfect in weakness – in my weakness.

And what if shattered, broken spaces, become a holy place to reveal His power? What if sharing our sorrows and showing our scars – give witness to the strength of His Word?

From early on, I learned to suppress, stuff and hide hurts really well. 

Because when your heart is weary and you’ve bravely sought some support, reaching for a little relief, but that cup of cold water never came – it can redefine the way you receive from people. Then that lie begins to stubbornly settle in – the one which says it’s better to shield your heart, than share your story and should you find the comfort of community – it’s conditional.

Sometimes I feel this way with God. . . “Lord, how many times will you receive me coming to you with all my faults, flaws, fears and failures?  How many ‘counsel cards’ do I have and how can I earn more?”

I wonder, “Aren’t you tired of fixing the faucet of my heart, leaking loose with crushed dreams, marred memories and weak moments?”  “Lord, don’t you tire of repairing and mending the broken fragments of my life?”

“I know, I should be ‘over’ this by now, but sometimes the pain resurfaces; comments are made, looks are given, stoney walls of refusal to reconcile are once again clearly confirmed, and I don’t know where else to turn. So I’m returning to grace and turning toward the pages of your face, trusting you’ll receive me (just as I am), all over again.”

“Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).

It’s hard to understand God’s unconditional love, when we’ve experienced conditional relationships.

But Grace isn’t like that.

There are no requirements or prerequisites to get the Grace.

Grace doesn’t demand something from us.

It offers Someone to us.

An unconditional kind of gift.

One that keeps giving.

Continually, consistently, without reservation or hidden expectations.

“Be my strong refuge; to which I may resort continually” (Psalm 71:3).

I rather seek His refuge a thousand times a day, then refuse it till a flood of untamed emotions come barreling out, pulling me down into fierce currents of panic and gripping fear.

Even for the small stuff, the little moments I feel offended, overlooked and misunderstood, I’m choosing to continually resort to the refuge of His Word. Because no matter how far we’ve journeyed the road to wholeness, those indifferences can trigger hurts of a painful past.

But. . .

Always welcome the Word reads. This refuge, this oasis of truth, gives timid hearts confidence to unveil their broken places and fragile spaces.

And as I get scripture centered down, deep in my soul; it strengthens me with courage to share my story – entrusting the responses of people to God. Sometimes we are so delightfully surprised who God positions in our path, to offer sensitivity and understanding. But we’ll never know, if we never share.

Our Savior didn’t hide his scars, he showed them.
He shared where He’d been wounded and in sharing –
He proclaimed the power of God!

Our weaknesses can become the stage, where broken vessels witness the strength and power of God’s Word! 

And friends, He never ever wearies of your company, and never ever tires, of hearing your heart’s cry.

Shall we brave this inside journey together – sharing our hurts, showing our vulnerability and seeking His refuge – continually?! “Be my strong refuge; to which I may resort continually” (Psalm 71:3).

Encouraged to have an excerpt of this post, shared alongside encouraging stories at Purposefulfaith!

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  1. Beautiful post that I can so relate to. Funny how some things resurface. I’m thankful to know I can bring those stuffed down emotions and beliefs to Jesus.

  2. Jessica: The thoughts you share are so true. Thank you for taking the time to share God’s Word.

  3. Beautifully said, Jess! Being vulnerable take such courage, doesn’t it! A lot of food for thought here. Thank you for sharing your heart! #RaRaLinkup

  4. Kimberly Whyte

    I am always encouraged when a beloved of God shares their heart and weakness along with His antidote. Thank for this, dear one!

  5. In PJ concerts, Jessica, I remember testimony after testimony being shared. And if only one person was reached at a concert, if one person became a new creature in Christ, it was truly amazing to see transformation and be a part of what God was doing! Because when one vulnerable person was willing to share their hurt and pain, fear or tragedy….someone could relate. You’ll have to help me with the verse sistah, but there is a time and place, in God’s will for whom we speak to. Our abba Father is there to listen and i pray we hear, listen and obey each day. Love you

  6. Amen, Jess – I love the heart behind these words and I relate to SO many of them. God has s-l-o-w-l-y taught me to open myself up to those around me, to invite in the power of their prayer and support. When you’ve been vulnerable in places, that turned out to be the wrong places, it’s hard to gauge where and when you are safe. But, we are always safe in Him – He is our refuge and strength – His word that strong tower that we find rest in. Grateful that He leads our path, and brings trusted souls, much like yourself, alongside us as evidence of His goodness, His grace. Always blessed by you and so happy to journey beside you.

  7. Oh, Jess…this is beautiful, so peaceful. The gift God has given you of threading words together is simply praiseworthy. This was my favorite –> “Grace doesn’t demand something from us. It offers Someone to us.” Amen.

  8. lisamurrayblog

    Beautiful word, Jess! It is so true, “To be entirely vulnerable, feels extremely risky. And I don’t want to be exposed for my weaknesses; seen for my short-comings, or remembered for my messy, desperate moments. I don’t want to be exposed – I want to be known. I want the power of His Word inside of me – to be known.” Exactly! Blessings to you!
    Lisa Murray

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