A story of a broken heart

Originally published Wednesday, 11 June 2014.

God is our harbour and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (BBE)

It is hard to feel at the moment. 

If I smile then I feel like crying too. 

If I laugh then all the fear that my husband’s cancer story isn’t over might be squeezed out of me. 

I hide my broken heart – badly – under the cover of an impassive face. 

I once heard a theory that if a person shuts off their sad emotions they will shut off their happy emotions too; that without the lows; a person cannot feel the highs. 

I’m drifting with my husband through six months of unknown while we wait for him to have a scan that will bring all our biggest hopes and fears into the light.

Xylon’s tests are still forty or fifty days away. 

We have been biding the time between his tests by trying to breathe every moment in. Gracious employers have granted extended absences from work and in the gaps in between we have been working from remote locations. We have been travelling: our own country and seeing a little spot of Europe and Asia. 

A few weeks ago, I dipped my feet in the Azure blue of the Mediterranean. Let my feet play in the ocean where just hours before I saw a turtle circling. 

All day the small boat would park itself in island coves and since it was too cold to swim we would join the others on board in card games or seek out a bit of sun on the roof. 

Each night under a starlit sky the captain would guide the boat back to harbour. We would pull mattresses off the roof and set up a bed on deck. 

I had never slept on a small boat in the ocean before. I had no idea what to expect. I expected the boat to toss and roll and for my stomach to rebel against the constant motion. 

My only experiences of a harbour were from the pages of books. 

It might sound stupid, but I never realised that a harbour would feel like a safe place. 

Each night the boat lay in harbour I felt secure. The boat rested as securely as if it had been dragged onto land. I slept without fear or worry and seasickness did not seek me out. 

I snuck off the deck in the morning to watch the last rays of the sunrise and wondered about the how I’ve been told that God is a harbour.

Before that stay, I imagined a harbour must be better than being out in the open sea, but I’d never grasped what a refuge a harbour could be, what a refuge God could be. 

In the harbour the boat found shelter, protection and a place to hide. 

The harbour does not hold back the tug and pull of the ocean, or the raging of the storm, but it offers a place to rest, to recuperate, and find bearings.

My broken heart reads that and longs for a harbour. 

I’m learning that God is a safe place to bring my broken heart. (tweet this)

God is a safe harbour. 

In God, my heart can find shelter, protection and a place to hide. 

In God, my heart is offered a place to rest, to recuperate, and find my bearings.

Ponder: Have you ever stayed on the boat in a harbour? What was your experience?

Does your heart need a safe harbour? Do you believe that God can be that harbour for you? 

Pray: Lord, come and be my place to rest in this storm. Amen (tweet this)

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- This was orginally published on my site in April 2014 to read more devotionals like this go or to find out the latest on my husbands health go to ilovedevotionals.com