He Was In the Closet

He was in the closet with me. I drew myself into the back corner of this closet in an attempt to get away from everyone; in order to get away from everything that was scary. I hid in my closet in order to be alone but he always found me.

I’ve been waiting until I was in the right frame of mind to write this particular post and this past week provided the perfect ground work.  I can’t remember another point in life where I was tempted to believe that God wasn’t real.  Before I started to follow Christ it wasn’t that I didn’t believe in His existence, it’s more that I just didn’t think about it.  So, when thoughts of “it’s just a fairy tale faith” came to mind recently it felt like a new emotion to me.  It was a frightening temptation that I knew if I succumb to, it would reshape my entire existence.  In serious situations I’m a person with a thick vocal filter; I think out an entire answer before I speak.  With that in mind, as I was bombarded with accusations of God’s inexistent power, amongst severe frustration with the pace of my recovery process and the pace of the world’s attack on trafficking, I couldn’t help but remember my childhood closet.

I hid in my closet in order to be alone but he always found me.  I had a large stuffed animal in my closet as a kid.  It was one of my few fun possessions and I cherished it for years past its expiration date.  There were holes in the neck and foot and base of it’s floppy ear.  Soft pellets even poured out of these holes if you handed it too roughly.  The toy doubled as a play figure and as a step stool.  It appeared in periodic dreams and even story books I’d try to create.  It was such a friend to me.  My favorite part about this stuffed animal though was that when life felt particularly lacking, I would creep into the closet, close the door, crawl into it’s lap, wrap the plush arms around me and pretend to get the biggest hug in the world.  That stuffed lap was my safety zone, a reality time-out.

What I found happening sooner than later was quiet strange.  As if ripped from a page of children’s literature, I one day felt this toy’s arms start to hug me back.  Reason it as you will, but I would no longer have to hold its arms up around mine with my own hands.  The arms would stay in position and actually squeeze comfort into my heart.

I know, I know… it’s absurd sounding but in was in that closet that I met Jesus as he’d sit, physically embodied and hold me as I hid in my tears.  It was Jesus but I just didn’t know Him yet by name.  I’d crawl into that closet for compassion and care.  It was constantly offered as Christ met me there and was translated into a medium safe and simply enough for a child to understand– the arms of a stuffed animal.  It was those moments that taught me the feeling of companionship.  Those moments taught me that I was not alone and that there was someone/something out there that loved me even if I didn’t have all of the details.  It was years later that the Gospel of Christ was finally explained to me.  I felt at that time as though God gently walked up, stuck out his hand and said, “I believe we have met before– you know, in the closet– but I’ve never properly been introduced… my name is Jesus.”  Simple as that.

You see, in these recent moments where I was fighting to maintain my life and my faith, it was the memory of those hugs that I could not escape.  I hid in my closet in order to be alone but he always found me... How could that moment have been real if God wasn’t real?  That’s what I clung to and that’s what ultimately what made up my mind.  God is who He says He is, no matter the trauma– the end.

May this blog serve as an education to those who do not yet know or understand the atrocities of trafficking and may it serve as an encouragement to those who understand it all too well.

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