Today I’m featuring a guest post by Patricia Durgin.
When my husband David and I lived in Chattanooga, sometimes I’d be overwhelmed with pain.
The effects of childhood abuse lingered long after I accepted Christ. I was still interacting with my birth family and those conversations could send me into a tailspin of anguish and confusion that lasted for weeks.
Those were my “growing up” years, spiritually. I was learning how to trust God in deeper ways and that was H-A-R-D! Learning how Biblical principles played out in real life. Learning how to be a good mother without having received good mothering.
Plus life’s normal issues.
Periodically, it would just be too much. I felt the need to escape, to get “above it all.” I had to find a place to breathe again.
Christ helped me find it. In a beautiful neighborhood near Missionary Ridge, there was a bridge linking two parts of the neighborhood together. The bridge was a freeway overpass, and it was soooo high: 50 feet or more! (Though looking down from the highest point on the bridge, it seemed like 500 feet.)
(It’s rare to see more than a few miles into the distance in Chattanooga, because the mountains that surround it block the view here, there, and everywhere.)
The overpass–and the bridge I stood upon–spanned that summit. Oh, the view! And the wind! It was crazy…whipping around the side of that mountain!
It was a metaphor, played out in real life. In that high sanctuary, I saw the dangers below, safe from them. Watching the world go by at 75+ miles an hour, I stood still as it whooshed past.
I’d stay there for hours. Back then, a fire station was located right off the bridge. Periodically they’d come out to see if I was still there. (Sometimes people jumped from that overpass.)
If I told David I was, “Going to the bridge,” he knew 1) I was deeply troubled, 2) he wouldn’t see me for a good while, and 3) when I returned, I’d have worked out my problems, with God’s help.
We moved away from Chattanooga 16 years ago. I miss my sanctuary in the sky.
Would I revisit it? Yes, if given the chance, but not for the same reasons. The wounds that drove me there are long healed by Christ’s tender mercies.
I thank God for that freeway overpass. The solitude, peace, and intimacy He offered me in that special place are ever in my heart.