This week’s chapter in Heartbreakingly Beautiful came from a place deep within me that I had no desire to share. I still feel very raw about this particular period of the journey and it all feels intensely personal. I am trusting God to use this vulnerability to help at least one more soul going through the same kind of torture.
This was the day in my life when sheer darkness enveloped my soul and only by the grace of God did I come through it. I could hold onto God no longer, and for a time didn’t even want to. But I know now that He was still holding onto me and as I accepted His loving embrace, oh the rays of light He has shed to reveal what was really going on during this time!
But as you read through this week’s devotional, please know that at the time, I did not feel God holding me. In fact, I felt utterly cold and abandoned that horrible day. I had a great need to BE Held, but just sat in the corner pushing every form of physical, emotional and spiritual comfort away.
There are times in your life when nothing else will do but a great big hug! Psychologists tell us that we actually need hugs to survive and thrive in life. When the pain is so intense and words do not suffice, our human being (made up of body, soul and spirit) has a desperate craving to BE Held. We may have the blessing of people in our lives who can hold us for a while, protecting like a father or comforting like a mother as we weep, rock and moan in our suffering. But much more than this, our very spirits need to BE Held and there is only One who has the right to hold and can actually fulfill this need properly. The Word of God clearly tells us that God, our Creator, is holding us as Father, Mother, Brother, Rescuer and Friend throughout all our trials. Here is just one gem and perhaps you can find some more…
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms!” Deut 33:27
Thank you Lord that in spite of, and through all my dark feelings, you were with us – You are with us! Your hold is tender, firm, secure and never-ending!
There is a great difference between someone carrying a sack of potatoes and carrying a precious child. I am so grateful that our Father not only carries us, but that He also holds us close to His heart. When we think of being carried by the Father or being carried Home by Jesus, we need to imagine ourselves being held very close to His chest, not at arms length. Babies and children who trust their parents will nestle in, relax in the carrying and allow the whole embrace and presence of the parent to envelop them.
This week, yet another family connected to ours has had to say ‘goodbye for now’ to a precious loved one. While they have full assurance that Mum is with God now and that her suffering is over, they are hurting bad – as you may be too. Yes, they too are being held and carried by Jesus through this dark valley, just as we were. But it is often very hard to have a sense of His arms around us when the pain is so intense. My prayer for them is that they will be aware that they are held in His love and grace. May they choose to nestle into His strong arms and cry on His broad shoulders through their days of sorrow.
At the end of the road, there is One who desires and is able to carry us through. His loving arms are open. Receive His embrace, hop on His lap and BE Held dear ones, just BE Held.
Songs to encourage you:
Be Held by Casting Crowns
Held by Natalie Grant
He Will Carry Me by Mark Schultz
I Was Carried by Roma Waterman
Footprints in the Sand:
One night I had a dream…
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life. This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, You would walk with me all the way; but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me.” The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” Author unknown