Friday, March 21, 2014

Better Than a Security Blanket

As with all things childish, I dragged out the years of dragging around a security blanket way longer than the normal kid. It was only because I had an awesome blanket. When I was little my Grandma McFarren presented each of her grandchildren with a handmade patchwork quilt. The thin layers of mine were tied together with little pieces of fuzzy yarn, so I always referred to it as my "fuzzy blanket."  It was my bedspread on the rare occasions I made my bed and a picnic blanket for dinner in front of the TV Sunday evenings during The Wonderful World of Disney. The best thing about it, though, was that it was so comfortable and cozy and it made me feel safe.

Lying in bed in a quiet house late at night, the knowledge that my parents were in their room down the hall and my fourth grade belief that God would never let anything bad happen to me were the greatest sources of security.  Yet, unbeknownst to my parents, there were many times Grandma's quilt was the only thing between them and a midnight wake-up call from their scaredy-cat eldest child. Tucked up under my chin, the quilt soothed my mind after I freaked myself out contemplating the vastness of the universe.  And pulled up over my head, it was an extra layer of protection against any possible burglars. Whether I was wrapped up in it watching a spooky movie with the family or huddled under it praying that God would stop the tornado-force winds howling over our trailer, my fuzzy blanket was a great source of comfort.

Eventually, I realized that my fuzzy blanket didn't have magical powers. Obviously, if there really was something lurking under my bed waiting to reach up and grab my bare foot, I was doomed! Ha! In the same way, I realized that my dad couldn't protect me from everything. He couldn't control the actions of any irresponsible drivers on the road and he couldn't bail me out if I made stupid decisions. So I grew out of that false feeling of complete security as, of course, we should.  

Here's hoping this picture tricks everyone into thinking
my whole bedroom is tidy and super cute.
This is all that's left of my protective fuzzy blanket, both physically and psychologically:

Later, during the scary moments of adult life, such as having a hospitalized child or having an overdue mortgage payment paired with an empty bank accountthere were times when I really missed that security of knowing someone else wiser and stronger was in charge.

A while ago, I was reading Psalm 139 and the reassurance it offers immediately engulfed me in the same cozy feeling of being safe that my grandma's quilt used to give me. It reminded me that, after all, I don't have to live my life without the absolute security of knowing someone wiser and stronger is in control.

This is not a childish misconception of the world.  It won't fall apart from being overused or subjected to the violence of the wash cycle too many times.  It is a rock solid, trustworthy truth to snuggle up to and wrap yourself up in when life gets scary.  So go ahead and get cozy!

1 comment:

Do be nice to everyone.