What happens when protecting yourself doesn’t work out the way you thought it would? What happens when what you thought was a safe haven becomes your prison?
There are hurts that cause a winter to the soul, a coating of snow and ice that steal any possibility of feeling. I have had my share of this type of pain, and I came to believe that the winter was eternal. I hid in my igloo built of the same ice that prevented me from feeling, barricaded the door, and sat in the snow, knowing this was the fate I had chosen for myself.
No one could get in, no matter how hard they tried. They would stand at the door and knock, cry out, woo me with sounds of laughter and joy, and yet there within the igloo I would remain. I could hear faint sounds of the spring on the other side of the hill, but I could no longer escape. The igloo meant to protect me from harshness of the winter outside also “protected” me from the spring lying just beyond the snow. I could pound on the door all I wanted, cry out to those on the other side of the door, but I had built my fortress too well. There was no escaping.
In despair, I sat on the floor, wanting to cry and unable to. There was nothing left I could do. There was nothing anyone could do. My fate had been sealed. But the King of Spring was on his way. I could hear his voice outside my ice-built fortress.
“Come out,” he whispered so gently, a slight breeze could have overpowered it. I began to slowly crawl toward the door. He was right there, I could feel him. The King of Spring had come to rescue me from my winter.
I gently cried out, unsure if he was able or willing, but in desperate need, “Help me.”
I suddenly heard breath escape his lips, the warmth of his sweet breath slowly melting the door made of ice. One breath was all it took, and not only did the wall fall away into a puddle on the ground, but so did the snow all around. Suddenly, I was on warm grass, surrounded by flowers, basking in the sunlight. And there, in front of me, was the King of Spring himself. He stood before me, glorious, and when I looked at him, I realized it was not the sun shining, but the King himself. Everything was illuminated by his glory.
He walked toward me and gently lifted me from the ground. I looked in his eyes, this King of Spring who had come to save me from the winter I had chosen to live in. He looked back at me with a love that held that held width and height and depth that could not be comprehended. He breathed once again, this time on my face. As soon as his warm breath touched my face, all that I had lost returned. Joy, love, and peace rushed into my heart and I fell to the ground in a heap of tears.
“Look,” the King said. “On that hill over there is a house I built just for you. It will protect you from the winters that are sure to come. It will keep those that should not enter out, and will only let those I say can enter to come in. I will protect you.”
I turned to look at him and saw that the King of Spring was smiling in assurance of his ability to protect me. I knew, looking at his face, that I would always be safe. Habits would need to be broken, but I would always know where I was safe and be able to find it. He would never leave me. Of all things, this was what I was surest of. I was home.