To Be Held

9:04 AMHeather

I've felt this weight emotionally this week, a nagging pit in my stomach, dread in my spirit.  Until this morning, I couldn't quite discern the source.  Mother's Day creeps upon me, and consciously, I've considered how I wish I had been on top of sending at least a card to the mothers and grandmothers in my life.  But, the lingering sadness that seems to float around me has felt like more than that?  It didn't add up.  Until now.

I just looked at the calendar, and realized what it is that seems to have me on the verge of tears.  22 years ago, my week looked like this one.  Mother's Day on Sunday, May 13.  A mother's day where I rushed to a local supermarket to grab flowers for my mom and grandmothers.  To hand flowers to a mother whose son lay in a hospital bed, battling for each breath as death's grip descended.  Because my grandmother deserved the flowers I knew my dad would have purchased--had he been able.   Strange how those days, waiting for death to come, seem like a blur--yet tiny details are forever etched in my mind.  I can remember the song that played on my tape player as I ran that quick errand.  And, I can remember the tears that flowed as I prayed a desperate prayer in those moments.  A prayer to surrender to the inevitable.  A prayer for strength as I came to terms with the loss that was coming.  Funny how peace and fear and grief can all coexist as I accepted what was to come.  And, come it did.  At about 4 am on Monday, May 14th.  I can only remember being awakened to come quickly to my dad's room down the hall.  I can't recall Daddy's face or anything else but that blasted blood pressure instrument above his bed.  The one that sat at 0.  And I knew.  I knew my sweet Daddy had just been ushered into the presence of His Savior.  

In the months and years since, I've come to learn what it means to be held.  Like the incredible song I often hear with similar lyrics...when you survive your worst nightmare, clinging desperately to the Lord.  You come to learn what it means to be held.  Because the unimaginable becomes your reality.  The pain is at first numbing, and then overwhelming.  But, still.  You are held.  You wrestle and beat against your Heavenly Father's chest, screaming out in anguish.  But, still.  You are held.  You feel limp from the exhausting journey of grief.  But, still.  You are held.  

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your
protection over them, that those who love your
name may rejoice in you.  For surely,
O Lord, you bless the righteous; 
Psalm 5:11-12

Favor.  Blessings.  Singing for joy.  No, those ideas felt far from my mind in those days in the pit.  But, there was a liberating truth I found in that walk through the valley.  The fact that I was held.  How can I paint you this picture?  In a way that you can grasp it--without having to learn by living it.  

A few weeks ago, 17 confirmed tornadoes swept through the DFW area.  It was a scary day for me because my babies were not in my care during those moments.  Not a good feeling for a mom who likes to be in control.  But, I knew they were held.  Just as I had been.  And, I got chills when I watched the news that night.  A grandmother told a gripping story of how she huddled 3 small children--including her grandson--into her bathtub, covering them as best she could.  The storm raged around her.  Her home endured a direct hit, and her house was torn apart.  Her belongings and life in complete upheaval.  And, she held those children for dear life.  At one point, the wind nearly swept her grandson from her arms, and she wrestled the storm for his very life, hanging on to him by his feet.  The parents of one of the children tell a haunting tale as they rushed to get their daughter.  They turned the corner and saw house one--untouched.  House two--untouched.  They counted to the third house where their daughter was cared for--and it was GONE.  Fear swept over them.

Glimpse of Grace:  But, she had been held.  You see, the storms of life will come.  There's not much to be done to avoid them.  The winds will howl, and the devastation will come.  And ruins will be left in the wake.  A need to rebuild.  A need to grieve.   No, following Christ is not about avoiding the storms.  This cannot be accomplished.  Following Christ is about having hope that although storms will come, still...we are held.   And there, with all laid bare, broken in pieces--we experience what it means to be surrounded by his favor as with a shield.  No, the storms don't have to have the victory.  If we can just remember...we are held.

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Contact Form