How to feel secure in the midst of uncertainty

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Have you ever been faced with the loss of something you thought was important?

When a relationship ends, particularly when it’s a long-term relationship – there are a lot of things to sort through. I’m not even talking about the emotional stuff here, but the physical stuff you accumulate in the process of living a shared life.

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Some of the stuff is easy to divide up – if you’ve got a car each, then that’s pretty easy.

But the bigger things, like houses – can be tricky.

On paper, the process is simple – you agree on a value for the house and you’re entitled to half of that value – whether the house gets sold and you both take the money, or whether one person decides to buy the other out.

From the outside it might look like a simple and straightforward process – but from the inside it can feel like your life is being torn apart.

At the point when I was confronted by the decision about whether to buy my ex husband out or whether to sell the house and divide the proceeds, we had been living in this particular 3 bedroom house for roughly 8 years and our children were only young – our eldest was 5 and our youngest was 2.

On one hand, the security of having a familiar environment that I was used to, in a community that I loved being a part of was very attractive.

But on the other hand, being in that house was a constant reminder of some memories that I would have rathered forget.

By deciding to sell, rather than to do everything possible to buy my ex-husband out I knew I would be stepping out into an uncertain world of renting rather than owning.

At this stage I was also at home with the kids full time and not working, so I knew the chances of being able to take my half of the proceeds and afford to buy a house in the foreseeable future were pretty much zero.

At the time, it definitely felt like I was in a lose-lose scenario – no matter what decision I made.

I was left with the feeling that I had worked really hard for a long time, but by the time the legal fees were paid (given that our situation was quite complex) – from a financial and a security perspective I was going to be left with nothing.

Our human tendency when faced with this sort of scenario is to dig in and hold tightly to what we do have – I’ve had friends who refused to complete financial settlements with ex-partners or move out of former family homes because they weren’t prepared to give up or lose anything that they had spent time and energy building up.

And while they might have thought that by holding on in desperation they were protecting their investments, in every case the consequences for their mental health, for their own resilience, and for their overall sense of security were a disaster.

And in the end, they didn’t receive any advantage for holding on so tight, and they still ended up ‘losing’. What it comes down to, is our human desire for security.

For me, in this period of time – the sudden loss of what I perceived to be security dominated my thoughts because the world teaches us that the way to be secure is to rely on people, relationships, and the things we own – and when that suddenly changes, we get thrown.

And then one night – everything changed for me. It was an ordinary, sleepless night – because at that time, just about every night was filled with thinking and worrying.

But that night I dreamed that the girls and I were living in a bus, that we had converted into the most amazing motor home.

We were secure and happy, and it didn’t make any difference that we didn’t own our own home because God was providing for our every need.

It might sound silly, but I woke up from that dream with a completely renewed sense of protection, provision and security – because no matter what happened with the house and the legal fees, even if we were left with ‘nothing’ in worldly terms, I knew we were going to be alright and we could always get a bus.

We falsely think that our security comes from the things we own, from other people, or from the money we have in the bank – but the reality is that all of those things can be wiped away with frightening speed.

The only source of true security that isn’t going to change is God.

Psalm 27 verse 1 says “the Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?”.

Proverbs 19 verse 23 tells us that ‘the fear of the Lord leads to life-bringing security and protection from harm’ and Psalm 102 verse 28 says that the children of God’s people will live in security, and their children’s children will thrive in God’s presence.

If you’re wondering what happened with our house – I ended up choosing to sell it, and the girls and I stayed with my parents for a few months, before renting for a while.

We didn’t end up living in a bus, and God has continued to protect us and provide for us in ways that I couldn’t have imagined if you’d asked me to.

I’m living proof that even when everything around you seems to be falling apart, you can remain confident because true security comes from the Lord, not from the things of this world.

Remember, you can do all things through Christ who is strengthening you, and with faith even as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains.

Nothing will be impossible for you.

Until next time, blue skies!

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