“Then he isn’t safe?” Lucy said . . .

Dearest Reader, A few days ago I found this old piece of writing in my computer, dated January 6, 2009. And I remembered the struggle – the hard place I was in. The day’s dreariness matched my thoughts as I walked around Outer Perimeter Drive at Chicago Botanical Gardens that day. Moments later I wrote these words as I sat in the Garden Café. I couldn’t help thinking about the conversation in the Chronicles of Narnia about whether Aslan is safe or not.*

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.
“Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe?
’Course he isn’t safe.
But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”


I am glad you are good. 
I also want you to be safe
        the kind of “safe”
	Lucy and I want.

I want "safe" 
	 by my definition.  
I find it hard 
         to trust
	        your definition of

I see my dilemma.

I want to feel safe again . . . 

But to feel “safe
	by my definition
		requires no “trust.”
			and I can be
				in control
To be safe
	by your definition
		requires “trust”
		and I will not be
				in control

When Gordon died, I heard you say
“You don’t know me on this level
	and I want you to.”
Perhaps this is another level 
	to which you are calling me.

LORD, I see no other way to 
	the peace
	the focus
		I so desperately want
			and think I need.

I have been controlled by fear 
for so long
fear of . . . 
	of losing relationship
		through the death of 
			someone I love
fear of . . . 
	of losing relationship
                because of what people 
	                might think of me

I want assurance
I won’t

And I know 
this is not realistic.
There is life.	
There is death for

LORD: help me trust 
even when
	it doesn't

Release me from the fear that has
	consumed me over the years
		motivating me to manage 
			my life and image
				in ways I believed
				enhanced my safety.

Help me learn like Lucy,
	that you are good
		and you are safe
			by your definition.

Dear Carol:  
Your REDEEMER lives! 
	and at the end, 
I will stand upon the earth!
	and you will see me.

Let your heart continue to yearn for me!
But do not give in to the need
 to find peace
	only when it’s “safe”
		by your definition

Trust my definition of

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

January 9, 2009 was on what would have been my brother Gordon’s fifty-third birthday. (Well, it still was, but I couldn’t call him up and wish him Happy Birthday.)

Just a month before, my mother’s doctor told us “I’m sorry, but we can do nothing more for your mother.” Later that day, Dad had a mini-stroke while visiting Mom’s hospital room. A couple of days later they were discharged on the same day – 150 miles from where we live. We spent the month of December caring for them, in their nice-but-smallish mobile home

The difficult journey of trusting God surfaced for me each time there was another crisis, especially around the theme of loss. The challenge continues on some level to this day. Oh, how far this journey would take me and the amount of work  it would take on my part with God, trusted friends, and a counselor to learn how to follow God’s words to me that day.

I would learn trust is not a done-in-one thing as we “walked my mother home later that year. Five years later, we would lose my retirement two weeks after dad had to move in with us, requiring 24/7 care as we “walked him home” without the resources we counted on. Other agonizing times would come in the more recent years. How often I wailed,
“What the ?????, God?”
“What were you thinking?”
“Is this the best you could do?”

I learned God was OK with my emotions and would heal my broken heart. And he has. This journey is part of the story I will tell to my children and grandchildren.

* * *
Psst: I am putting it out here – by Christmas 2026, my goal is to present a binder to each family member recounting my story for the people I love best and hold most dear.

It’s OK if you ask me how it’s coming along:) I am headed to Tennessee at the end of May to join other memoir writers from North and South America, and Europe, only one of whom I have met in person.

During Covid-19 I discovered Memoir Mentors, a group, based in Munich Germany. Every Thursday at noon (CDT), we meet via Zoom, providing support, inspiration, and motivation to memoir writers like myself.  This group has been a gift – a safe space to “write then read” what I wrote and receive feedback when I ask for it. I am grateful for each one of them and can’t wait to meet these online friends in person.

* C.S, Lewis Quotes:

4 Replies to ““Then he isn’t safe?” Lucy said . . .”

  1. It all makes me sigh- with appreciation for your journey; much loss and much patient faithfulness. I’m proud to be your friend. ??

  2. Psalm 139:16 is the verse that has brought me much comfort in these days of caregiving. God had this all planned before I was even conceived. Nothing has caught Him by surprise even the smallest details of my life. God has always known this time of my life would arrive and He has been there for me — and you – it was His plan from before the beginning of our lives. Our job is to take His hand and let Him quell our fears as we walk each new day with Him. How I rejoice in a Savior that is there with me each step of the way. And He is there with you as well.

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