Umbrellas of protection
I had created a beautiful bubble of protection in Charlotte, NC. After 15 years of life lived in the same community, one where I served and loved, it protected me incredibly well. I had grown so confident under my umbrella of community in who I was created to be. I had no doubt that circle of community and friendship would protect me and proved that protection when life attempted to knock my family down.
Arriving in Seattle nine months ago I did not realize the stark reality of what losing a very deep and wide layer of protection would entail. God promises to protect us over and over in Scripture as he tells us he will hide us in the shadow of his wings (Psalm 17) or be our rear guard (Isaiah 52:12). But underneath God’s mighty layer of protection, I had come to rely on my smaller layer of protection. It is almost as if I was carrying an open umbrella over my head forgetting that we were in a football dome. Though the dome was stronger and much more reliable, I clung to my umbrella in fear.
As God called me to close my umbrella and trust in His protection, I felt so exposed. I had not had to trust that high dome roof that was so far above in a long time. But I am learning that because He loves me, He protects me. It doesn’t mean I don’t get hurt (I wish that were true). He is the perfect model of protection that we can offer to those around us: reliable, steady, trustworthy, consistent.
Protection doesn’t mean that God never allows things to happen that cause us pain. Protection means to support, comfort and clean up as soon as the pain comes. Protection means desiring our good (Philippians 2:13). Protection attempts to jump in front of the pain to soften the blow, even if it causes damage to the Protector. And sometimes protection doesn’t look like protection at all as we have a skewed view of our own reality. But in the end the Protector is trustworthy.
As I step into friendships, I desire to be an extension of the protection so graciously extended to me by Christ. My desire is to stand next to others and encourage them to close the umbrella and trust the bigger and stronger protection of Christ that no one in humanity can offer. At the same time, my role is to continue to be the umbrella they can hold to remind them they are not alone.
ARTWORK BY: Lauren Garner of Willow & Stone Designs.
To see more of her beautifully creative artwork, check her out on Instagram @willowandstonedesigns .