As a child, I didn’t have the standard little girl dreams of knight coming to save me. In fact, I didn’t really dream of being saved at all. Amidst all the dangers around me, it’s a wonder I didn’t. I had reasons to dream of being rescued, yet, my thoughts never took me there. I did dream of running away, however, even tried it once. Quite the laughable experience. I all but tied a handkerchief to a stick and walked into the setting sun. I may have been about ten years old and I went to the second, if not the first place, my mom looked. I went to grandma’s house. (I’m giggling at this, even as I write). As a daughter of divorce, I had double the “hideouts,” if you can call them that. I went to my “Dear,” or “Granny” as my other cousins called her. I still remember taking the four steps up to her porch, debating on whether I wanted to go to the corner store first to get a snack. I mean, since I was going rogue, I may as well do it on a sugar rush. She opened the door and looked around outside, probably checking to see where the car had gone that dropped me off because, surely, I hadn’t come alone. Except that I had. I’d walked the two or so miles from my house to hers and after sitting me on a stool in the kitchen and feeding me, I plopped down in front of the television, pulled out my “secret” Nintendo and played Super Mario Brothers while Dear stayed behind in the kitchen. My Mom wouldn’t let me have a video game, so my Dad bought one for me and hid it under the bed his mother’s house. I don’t know why it was under the bed, it wasn’t as if my mother ever came to visit. Within, what felt like, a mere hour, my Mom showed up, furious, and took me home. The sun hadn’t even gone down yet. So much for my grand plan to run away from home. It wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned, but then again, life never is. My mother, to my chagrin, was only angry. She wasn’t relieved, she hadn’t missed me, she did throw her arms around me and thank God that I was safe. In fact, she scolded and grounded me. The scripture below is probably what she’d been thinking.
Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? Genesis 31:27 NIV
Fast forward a few years and the wounds of my life began to sear, slowly burning away the core of my spirit. I spent a lot of time alone, even more with my nose between the pages of books. That was my escape. I didn’t try to run away again, I didn’t wish to be rescued, I just lost myself inside stories of fiction. I didn’t experiment with drugs or alcohol or boys, though all were quite easy to attain. One day after school, while at home alone, I came up with a different escape plan. A desperate one. My Mom had work and then school, so I knew she’d be home late. I had plenty of time to plot this one out and get it done before she got home. It started with a letter. I cried as I wrote the words, running the ink before it dried. I folded it neatly, making sure the edges of the page line up just so. I put the letter on the taut sheets of my made bed and walked to the kitchen. At the time, we lived in, what is called, a “shotgun” house. The term implies that if you shoot a gun from one end of the house, the bullet will go through straight through, from one end to the other. So, if you stood at the front door, you could see straight through to the back door. My room sat, somewhat, in the middle. I came back from the kitchen and sat on the floor, folded my legs beneath me and took a deep breath.
The blade of the butcher’s knife in my hand glinted in a beam of light. I rested the sharp edge on my wrist, closed my eyes and exhaled. Clack, clack, clack, I heard. My eyes sprang open. That sound, unmistakable, meant my mother was home. Her heels clacked up the long alley on the side of our house to the side entrance. We never used the front door and I could always hear her coming but why was she coming home so early in the day? She had school. She wasn’t supposed to be home. She’d messed up my escape plan. I grabbed the letter off the bed and tucked it and the knife beneath some clothes in a drawer and tried to feign normalcy. I worked hard to put on a face that said, ‘I’m just a regular kid, doing regular stuff’ and hide the face that screamed ‘I really just wanted to kill myself and you messed it up!’ Another plan up in smoke. Another failed attempt at altering God’s plan. You see, I may not have dreamed of being rescued but Jesus has a boatload of dreams that I was unaware of…still does. That goes for you too. He’s in the saving business, even if that saving, that rescue, is from ourselves.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalms 34:18 NLT
God has been saving me from myself ever since. He’s let me make stupid decisions, but since I’ve given him my life, trusting him to do better than I ever can, he keeps from that searing fire. He finds ways to warn me, to detour me. Of course, he doesn’t just do this because he loves me, he does it because I let him. Yes, I said, I LET God. Even though he is the all-powerful being, capable of any and everything, he gives us free will to do whatever we want, whenever we want and however often we want. The difference here is, I’ve asked him not to allow things that he doesn’t want for me. I’ve asked him to Rescue me. Save me. Save me from the perils of sin and death. Save me from myself. I’ve handed my life over to him. He’s the decision maker. Truth be told, it’s so much easier not to even have to decide which way to go when I get to that fork in the road. I just stand and wait. If he doesn’t turn me either way, I just stand there. I wait. I don’t move, I don’t fret (okay, maybe a little), I don’t try to figure it out. I. Just. Wait. Obviously, my life hasn’t always been like this. Most of the time, if not all of the time, I ran full speed ahead of God and found myself in a mire and muck of consequences from my poor navigation of life. However, it’s an entirely new life when surrendering to Christ. I still don’t dream of being rescued, instead, I ask to be rescued, and frankly, sometimes, I just tell Jesus to save me. He doesn’t seem to mind:) Other times, he saves me without my ever uttering a word. Isn’t it great that he comes to our rescue, even if we don’t ask? He sent Jesus to be our Savior before we even knew we needed saving. We go about our lives thinking we’re fine or great, that life is grand but he is saving us daily from one thing or another, despite our plans.
The Lord knows how useless our plans really are. Psalms 94:11 CEVUK
The thing is, he had a plan all along. A plan much better than mine. He sees so much farther than we ever can. He knows the end of the story, even before it begins. He knew, while I sat under my nightlight, losing myself in fictional stories that I would, one day, write them. He was carving me out, even then. While he was whittling me into something beautiful, I was trying to extract what I thought to be ugly and worthless. Thank God for his clear vision, his heroism, his plan, because my plan sucked.
This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:25 NLT
I may not be a great contributor to society or politics or world justice, but I am exactly who God has made me to be, doing what he has ordained me to do, well before I ever knew it and before I knew him. He sees us, he knows us, he loves us, he cradles us, he saves, he rescues us. We are all his favorite. Let yourself be rescued by the one and only Savior.
A Saved Life