Finding a haven that fulfills doesn’t have to be impossible. In fact, it can be easier than you may realize.
My Thursday night was not supposed to be like this.
I planned a quiet evening at home with my husband and kids – after dinner together and a little post-dinner clean-up, we could have a family game night, or since the weather was nice, maybe we could go on a walk around our neighborhood.
What ended up happening felt like a nightmare as my kids and I were locked in my master bedroom as we listened to an army of workers rush into our home.
In what seemed like an impossible set of circumstances, I quickly learned how many of the havens you create can vanish in mere moments.
First, there was the sickness …
Two weeks earlier, I spent a similar Thursday night curled up on the couch after feeling absolutely exhausted all day long. I wasn’t sure what exactly was wrong, but I wasn’t feeling quite right.
In the days that followed, I quickly realized that feeling of something “being off” only grew worse:
- Aside from overwhelming fatigue, my body ached and I had a strange tickle that wouldn’t leave my nose or throat.
- That tickle changed to a burrowing sensation in my nose and chest.
- A lump grew in my throat that morphed into an incessant sore throat.
- And I started a low-grade fever – two to four degrees higher than my normal body temperature.
When my son experienced the same symptoms with a much higher fever five days later, I figured we both had the same sickness. And, since it was the middle of March 2020, every single Google search led me to the same conclusion – we must have the Coronavirus, and we needed to stay at home, away from the rest of humanity.
Our symptoms didn’t go away, though. In fact, they only intensified. So when I finally called my doctor two weeks later, I was told we must have COVID-19. We needed to rest, drink fluids, and quarantine ourselves.
Then, there was the flood…
The day after I talked with my doctor was sunny and warm, so my kids, husband, and I went outside to sit and soak up the spring sunshine. Maybe some Vitamin D could speed up our recovery time.
When I ran in our house to grab a blanket an hour later, I stopped in my tracks. Why did our bathroom sound like Niagara Falls? The toilet wasn’t running. The sink and shower weren’t on.
I ran to our basement to see what was going on under our bathroom and that’s when I discovered the problem: The top of our hot water tank had exploded and water was shooting out into our basement.
After a scream of shock, finding my husband, and getting the water turned off, we had a better idea of what had happened: Our entire finished basement was under at least six inches of water.
As my husband bailed out as much water as he could, I called our insurance company and scheduled a water damage team to come a couple hours later.
In the middle of the madness, a dear friend stopped by and brought us a hot, delicious dinner. (She intended just to help with our sickness – but we were blown away by the Lord’s provision in a time of utter chaos.) We prayed together as a family and made a quick game plan for our night. My husband wasn’t showing any symptoms of sickness, so he would welcome the emergency workers. I would take our kids and dog and sequester ourselves to our bedrooms.
When comfort is stripped away
And there we were. Locked away, knowing that because of our physical symptoms, we were trapped at our house. There was no escaping. We couldn’t stay at a hotel. We couldn’t escape and stay with our aging, high-risk parents. And we couldn’t even head out to a restaurant or the library or aimlessly walk around a store because absolutely everything was closed down.
While I truly believe there are three kinds of a haven every person needs – a spiritual haven, the haven of relationships, and the physical haven of a home – that night I realized two of those havens can vanish in the blink of an eye.
I certainly couldn’t lean on my relational havens to get me through this – it was down to my husband and I caring for ourselves and our children. And since our health was so uncertain, I knew we couldn’t even count on our lives.
Our physical haven was gone, too. Sure, we still had a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and three bedrooms, but the world felt like it shrunk to just one room. Once the mitigation workers started cleaning the basement with strong disinfectant, the kids’ bedrooms reeked of fumes and they stayed in our master bedroom for fresh air. For hours our running water was shut off, and we didn’t have hot water for another week.
All of these things definitely were first world problems. But when the comfort of our home was stripped away and our family of four was confined to one room for the night, I immediately realized what haven was left.
One remaining haven
The one haven that wasn’t destroyed by flood waters or sickness was our true, spiritual haven.
Our Heavenly Father knew all that we endured – and He faithfully listened to our cries for help. He heard every prayer. And He filled us with comfort and peace.
Even as life as we knew it spun completely out of our control, it never left His control. He was our refuge and strength. There, in the bleakness of that night, when nineteen fans and three huge dehumidifiers roared in our basement, He was our ever-present help in that time of trouble.
That night of chaos might have happened two months ago, but my family’s still dealing with the same issues.
All of the water was removed from our basement, but because of the extensive water damage, we’re waiting for contractors to come and completely remodel it from floor to ceiling.
And both of my children and I are still dealing with a mystery virus. After many, many visits with specialists, and many, many more tests, we still have no idea what’s causing our fevers that have lasted more than 75 days.
So in many ways, it still feels like we’re living without full physical and relational havens. We’re surviving.
Yet I’ve been thriving in my spiritual haven. In fact, more than ever I realize that it truly is the one haven that fulfills.
My functional saviors have been ripped away – and I’ve realized how much I depended on coziness and escape. As those were options were taken out of my life, I’ve experienced the one true Savior in a new way.
He has remained my haven in the midst of life’s storms. He’s my safe place and the One who has given me comfort and peace when everything else has crumbled before my very eyes.
The Haven That Fulfills YOU
While I certainly hope you don’t have to watch your home and health fall to pieces before your very eyes, I do wonder if you have a haven that fulfills.
Forget about relationships – because people can be gone in the blink of an eye. And forget about physical homes – because as comfy and cozy as you can make them, any day they might be destroyed.
I’m talking about your spiritual haven. Do you have a relationship with the Lord God, the Creator of the universe? And do you know His son, Jesus?
(Romans 10:9-10 explains how you can get and experience this forever haven: “If you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and confess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”)
If you do, you already are filled with peace you can’t understand or take away. And when the troubles of life hit – because somehow, some time we all face troubles – He will be the Rock to which you can cling.
If you don’t know Him, though, you’re missing out on the most important haven of all. You’re missing out on the only haven that will help you weather life’s storms.
The good news is it’s absolutely possible to get the one haven that fulfills. That haven only is found in the Lord. I can tell you from my own experience, He’s the only haven that matters.
Do you have the one haven that fulfills? How has your spiritual haven changed your life?
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