Back in my other life when I was a battered woman, I’d lay down to sleep. Alone, because I wasn’t worthy to sleep with. I’d cry a lot, but it was hard to get to sleep. Thoughts would race through my head of what I could do differently the next day to be better, do better, to just be enough.
One night, I thought if I just had a safe place to go, then I could sleep. Being an imaginative person, I decided to create it and I’m very detail oriented.
On a cliff in Ireland where the grass was emerald green, a willow tree lightly waved her limbs against the darkening nighttime sky. With still a twinge of orange, I could see the sun disappearing on the ocean waters that churned and pounded against that cliff, but could not destroy it.
A small stone pathway led to a tiny one room white washed cottage with moss growing on the roof. Ivy covered the front and small white flowers bloomed a sweet fragrance. Other flowers dotted the thick grass around the house with their faces straining to see the sun before it disappeared until tomorrow.
There was a beautiful arched wooden door with a iron circular pull. It was so heavy to open, so safe in its strength. I would pull the door open with all my might and step inside.
In my real world, my body relaxed and I could feel my mind smiling and my breathing slowing.
In my cottage was a beautiful canopy bed in all white with plump pillows and a soft fur rug to place my feet on while I turned down sheets that felt like light velvet.
There was one window to my cottage and it faced the ocean cliff where the sunlight was almost gone. It was open and the light salty wind came through. The window being opened didn’t frighten me, because if those powerful waves couldn’t make it up the cliff, nothing else could.
I would ease myself into the bed to the tune of the water below me and the wind around me. It was so soft and the blankets just heavy enough to almost feel like a hug.
In real life I began to drift to sleep feeling safe and comforted. Perhaps with even a smile on my face. Tomorrow would be another day of fear, but behind my heavy wooden door….I was safe and comforted.
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[a] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
I know when my time comes and I am inside Heaven’s Gates, I will see this glorious mansion of many rooms.
But by this mansion will be my cottage by the ocean, where He is waiting to greet me. Where He kept me safe. Where He comforted me. Clothed me in white and wiped away my fear so I could just rest.
I went to that cottage every night for over a decade. It was the only place I could sleep, but I didn’t understand this was where I was going to seek only the peace my Father can give me.
Sometimes at night, I still go to my cottage in my mind, but it’s not to escape the brutality of a man, it’s to seek my Father and thank him for all He has done and will continue to do. And I sleep.