My six year old is a child that loves to play with dolls. I guess what little girl doesn’t? With Audrey you can learn anything out about her if you just observe a few minutes as she acts out her life through the lifeless dolls. It is her safe place. It is where she acts out her fears, joys, celebrations, questions and hope. Who knew Ken and Barbie could do all that? For months after Davids passing it was a routine of hers after school. Though as time went on, the after school play got shorter and shorter and with the hussle and bussle of summer the routine became not so routined and her play therapy of safeness soon became non existent. 

My four year old is another story. His adventure and destruction causes him to take no time and consideration into playing with any doll. Instead of acting out his grief and journey he embraces it around him in his hero room. Who is his hero? His daddy. His walls are filled with pictures of his daddy and him on their many adventures of hunting, golfing and skiing. They did a lot in 4 short years! Intermixed are the superhero’s of superman and batman and the word Hero hanging right where he can see it to remind him of the legacy his daddy left. Our days spent in the hero room have also become non-existent. With summer and the camps, the travel and the days at the pool our lives have become a disorder of craziness!

Me. My safe place? My safe place is spending time reading scripture.  During David’s illness and the months after his passing, I would wake up daily to spend time in bible study, meditation and devotion. It was my safe place. It was where I found hope. It was where my questions were answered and it was how I moved forward. It was routine, but it was also desired. When my day started this way it always ended complete. The reflection and the connection were necessary for guidance and wisdom in every decision I made the last ten months. I don’t know if it is summer? Being a single parent? Or having non nappers for the first time!? Or a mix of all the above! But, my place where I embrace the journey before me…. has also become non existent.

As the summer draws to an end, according to the school calendar not the temperature, I recognize how much each of us are missing our safe place. Not only are we missing it, but we all need it! Parker’s desire and questions on heaven are as loud as the day after David passed. Audrey recently questions security and protection. Myself? I watch as only 3 remain of the 12 diagnosed with Brain Cancer at the same time as David. The other eight? They are healed and celebrating eternity with David! 

I pray with anxiousness as the school begins this week, we all find that safe place. That our lives come back to the routine we desire and cut out the craziness that brings defeat. That whether you are four, six or 33 we all acknowledge there is place to reflect, question and heal. A place that brings a super natural peace that can only be explained from above.

Taking Steps By Faith,


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Dana Hurst

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