Last night I was squeezed hard.
Last night I was held tight. Not just a regular hug. Not just a nice embrace. Not a hand on the back or resting on my shoulder.
Not the kind you can walk in or even move in.
This was different. It often catches you off guard and takes your breath away.
We give them to our children when we wish they wouldn’t get any bigger, squeezing them so tight as if to say, just stay… freeze just this size, knowing that one day we will pick them up and those little legs wont’ dangle off the floor anymore.
We give them when we are in intense pain and are holding on for dear life. We hold our friends this way, too. The intensity of these embraces speaks what we often can’t; I feel like I can’t breath. I can’t go on. Oh, friend my heart aches for you. I am- so-so-sorry.
While I know these kind well, there is one that I tend to shy away from and that is when a romantic someone cares for you deeply; one who holds you with such an intensity- such a love- as if to say, you can rest now, dear one, I will protect you. Settle in… it is safe here in my arms.
I have been held. Yes. I have been held…. but not held tight. Not with arms that say you can let go now… I have you. Not arms I can trust.
Oh, dear sisters, if there has has been hurt from past relationships, wounds that have shattered your trust, the thought of finding safety and security there can be oh so frightening. Terrifying…. and yet there is healing in those arms.
Now, I am not saying we let ourselves go no matter who comes our way, because not every pair of manly arms that looks physically strong brings strength, right? Just cuz your eyes see these massive tatted-out arms doesn’t mean they have the strength to hold you when your heart is breaking or sickness hits or a child is struggling. You see, the kind of arms I am talking about are gentle with our souls and protective of our hearts. And I saw those last night.
Last night I allowed myself to be squeezed hard- held tight- very tight… and I let go. I let go and it was safe.… I won’t drop you. You can breath, dear one, rest in steady arms. These words sound so much like what I hear the Lord say to me, year after year… I won’t drop you. I have see. See my strong grip. Look a the strength in my arms. I have this. It is safe here.
This is an interesting thought for me- is it man’s arms or God’s? Is it a man’s safety or is it the Lords? Could it be that knowing that the Lord indwells in each of us, that He is slipping on skin. It is as if He is saying to men, Let me borrow your skin for a moment and hold my child tight. Let my arms squeeze my daughter. Let her feel the warmth of my touch and know she is being held tight by one who adores her.
I love this idea, of Him slipping on skin, using John to show me how much He loves me.
So, dear sisters, my challenge is two-fold. It is to squeeze hard those that I love and learn to settle in and let go.
Exhale fear. Inhale trust.