“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:” Deut. 33:27
I’m going to tell you a secret about my teddy bear. Okay, it’s not a secret entirely. A few people knew this long ago, but most people have no idea. This isn’t exactly the kind of thing one goes telling the world. Except in my case. For I’ve learned in my transparency and in God’s love, grace, mercy, and majesty, He can reach others – and me – with a message. So it’s my hope He will do so when I share my secret about my teddy bear.
In my 20s, when I finally started addressing my history of childhood sexual abuse, I broke into a million pieces. I became unable to function and was sideswiped with incapacitating post-traumatic stress disorder coupled with the consequences of numerous sins including multiple addictions. Nightmares. Flashbacks. Regression. My life was in a shambles, and for almost 20 years I contemplated suicide and had a useless, purposeless, broken life. For those beginning years, I took a teddy bear given me by a man in whom I had thought I was in love and cleaved and clung and desperately held on to the bear for dear life. I could not go anywhere without that bear. I jammed him in my knapsack and took him literally everywhere I went including into a movie theater, a friend’s house, into bed, to therapy, anywhere I went, that bear went. I was in my 20’s, for goodness sake! I was an adult! Not exactly something to tell the world about, eh? But now you know, and here’s the message.
We all have our teddy bears if we’re honest. Stuff and things and people we cling and cleave and hold onto for dear life for love, comfort, peace, hope, security, relief, to feel like we’re not alone, companionship, fellowship, validation, acceptance, affirmation, for a sense of well-being and “I’m going to make it through this,” “I’m not going to make it without this,” etc. We all have our security blankets. I never found what I needed in that teddy bear, of course, except a fleeting sense of I-will-somehow-get-by for the next minute or so, and a furry, squishy, warm, safe sense of relief when I held him dearly, longingly, to my chest.
In a sense I think life is all about letting go of our security blankets and teddy bears and learning breath by breath to remove our clutching, clinging, cleaving hands and hearts from our hold on this world and transferring our desperation, longing, need, desire, pleading, hunger, thirst, please-don’t-leave-me-alone, I-need-you, I-won’t-make-it-without-you, this-is-what-I-need-to-get-through-life, onto the Lord Jesus Christ. My teddy bear is in the closet now. He goes nowhere I go. The One who goes everywhere I am is the one I follow forever. Jesus. God teaches me daily to release my hold on this world and to hold onto Jesus forever.