By Carol Sokolsky
The wind was howling, and I was awakened by both the sound of thunder and the little white fur ball that dove under the covers at that first sound of thunder… or wind… or rain. She’s my baby girl… my fur ball… purr-ball…14 year old cat. She’s pure white, but looks— and sounds— like a kitten. She just owns my heart!
She is also the epitome of the words “scaredy cat”… she jumps at every sound, is about as anti-social with others as any animal I’ve even seen, but she trusts me… loves me… and feels safe next to me. Hence, the dive under the covers in the middle of the night!
A couple weeks ago, it was stormy— it’s springtime in Oklahoma— and at 2:30 a.m., I found my Frosti-cat right beside me, shaking like a little leaf. It’s comical, when I think about it, but oh, how I love that little girl wanting to be next to her Mommy. She feels safe there. And she is safe there. Safer than she can possibly understand with her little cat brain. She obviously senses fear, and she knows where to go to feel safe. Safe. We all want to feel safe.
As I laid in bed that night, snuggled next to my precious little cat, I realized how often I sense fear, or how often I feel like I’m just totally alone. When do I feel fear? Well, when the tornado sirens are breaking the night silence, or when the phone rings with horrible news, or when I’m alone in a crowd… there are many times that I wish I could dive under the proverbial covers and just feel safe.
“Don’t be afraid, Frosti, Mommy is right here. She won’t let anything happen to you! You don’t have to worry, Frosti… I am right here.” Almost verbatim to her, and as I spoke to her, the lightbulb went off in my brain. Immediately, I was taken back to words that I have clung to for about six years, since I originally read them just like this:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you…. That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. So don’t be afraid, I’m with you…”
These words are from Isaiah 43:1- 4, as read in the Message version, because the Message makes every page relational to me.
The analogy to me was an “aha” when the storm was raging just a few weeks ago. But the words from Isaiah 43:1- 4 became so real to me as I tried to keep my head above water during some really dark days a few years ago. I claimed God’s promises then, and I claim them today. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So today, please take these words with you, and know that God is a personal God… ask him to be yours… and know that nothing— nothing! — can occur in your life that will separate you from God’s presence. When I dive under the covers of life, I love that I can hear God saying, “Carol, don’t be afraid. I’ve redeemed you, I’ve called your name. You’re mine… I’m here… I’m not leaving… don’t be afraid.”
And with that, I can easily fall asleep… or find hope in a lonely crowd, or when the phone rings with bad news, or when the night booms in a storm…. And don’t be afraid, Frosti…You are safe, too.
Carol Sokolsky is part of the918 leadership, and loves to share her life— her stories, her faith and her experiences with anyone who wants to listen! Although retired, she never sits still. She’s the president of her homeowners association, volunteers with Reading Partners and anything needed at Eugene Field Elementary. Carol loves being a mentor through Women in Recovery and spending one evening a week with her “chain gang.” She hopes that help, hope and laughter can be found on the pages of the918, as well as discovering the amazing city in which she lives and loves… Tulsa, Oklahoma. What a city!