Shelter me

They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
    with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
They are like a lion hungry for prey,
    like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

Psalm 17:11-12 NIV

“Can you please change the station?”

“Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran was blasting on the radio, and I was staring off… remembering what it felt like to be hunted.

Stalked.

We were on our way to dinner, and one song threw me into a downward spiral. Memories were flashing and my heart was exploding. I suddenly felt vulnerable, scared, and sick.

“Can you please change the station?”  

I wanted to change the station myself, but I could not move. I was frozen. Again.

Taunted by the dark eyes. Those intense eyes followed me whether I was alone or in a room full of people. It didn’t matter. They were fearless.

I was terrified.

A new song started playing on the radio, but my heart was still racing.

Later that week, I shared with my counselor how one minute I was fine, and then that song came on and I fell apart!

It took me back again, and this time I was able to process the hot memory in a safe place.

Music would trigger me at times, but it also played a significant role in my healing.  That song was one of many that I would bring into a counseling session with me. Song lyrics and images from music videos helped me to express what my younger self was unable to say.

I was a child, and I was prey.

I was hunted, and it was not a game.

I desperately wanted to forget, but I could not stop remembering.

I was having recurring nightmares of being chased in the darkness. Always running. Always afraid.

Exhausted.

I just wanted to feel safe, and God was providing me shelter in the storm.

I realized He had all along.

I am crying aloud to You, O True God, for I long to know Your answer.
    Hear me, O God. Hear my plea. Hear my prayer for help.
Put Your marvelous love on display for all to see.
    Liberator of those who long for shelter beside You,
    set them safely away from their enemies, ever welcomed by grace.

Keep close watch over me as the apple of Your eye;
    shelter me in the shadow of Your wings.
Protect me from the wicked who are poised to attack,
    from the enemies swarming around me and closing in quickly.

Psalm 17:6-9 VOICE

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