Hold me fast

Jesus, you’re always there for me. You shed your blood on the cross for me… 
When I stood by and let you be beaten and murdered. 

Your blood was spilt for this very moment–right now–when I am trying with everything inside me to run away from you 

–before I get hurt. 

Before I trust you so much, again, to the point where I have no trust in man anymore, nor myself. Because, what if then I find that I look around and you aren’t there, either?  

Oh yes, I realize that it’s an irrational fear–one that I didn’t realize was even part of my thinking until tonight–just now. But let me try to put words to it and make some sort of sense to it.

You see, it’s moments like these that I want nothing to do with coming to you to receive your grace. Because in my darkest moments, you were no where to be found.  

Yes-you were there all along, but I couldn’t feel you, I couldn’t find you when I needed you most.  

And so, in those moments, I retreated. I ran from you. I went into self preservation mode. I shut down and threw up walls. Walls that took you almost two years to get me to let go of.

It’s moments like tonight, that make me pause in my tracks and turn back to the old me. Even if I was on a role with you-being close to you and hearing you so clearly.  

But it’s moments like tonight- that one trigger can throw me over the edge. And then all I want to do is cower in my corner and hide in my shame, resentment, guilt and pain. Then in my corner, what I desire most is someone else’s opinion to lift me up and tell me that I am worthy and that I am loved.

But in those moments, I don’t seek you and your truth about me. 

Because I am still not sure, somewhere deep inside, that I can really trust you again.  

{And yet, you stand right beside me as my brain works furiously to process this.}. I’m ashamed of how I’ve been feeling inside all this time, and yet, the weights are slowly being lifted from my chest as you are gracious enough to reveal my resentment and hurt that I have toward you, Father God.

As I stand here debating which direction to turn and what voice to listen to, You are not silent. No, you keep pressing on my heart to call out to you, and to come near. 

But in my stubbornness, my self pity, my shame, and my regret, I end up trapped in a self–defeating moment–a moment that if I’m not careful can quickly turn into months again. In my stubbornness I end up turning my face away from you and cowering in my corner-my face buried in bitterness, shame and regret. 

And yet, you remain. 

You stand there, silently this time, but barely still I feel you tugging at my heart strings, and calling me into fellowship with you.

And in my refusal, I debate whether I want to get out of my self-pity mode, and reach out to grasp the hand of my Savior, the One who bled and died for me. 

–Or, I debate, do I want to stay in my self-pity and my shame and act as if I am not worth your time and energy? Because that’s easier to believe. It’s easier to deny myself the right to be happy and whole (in you).  

Because after all, that’s what I’ve been most used to most all my life. Even those times that I thought someone would make me whole, it didn’t take long before they walked away too. Because no one has ever truly “got me”–ever–before.  

No one.  

So why think that you are any different? 

But you are quick to remind me that You created me, and not only do you “get” me, but that you love me beyond any human measure. You’ve never left my side, though in the darkness I didn’t feel you. You give me a faint glimmer of hope as I open my eyes and start to turn back in your direction. 

But do I keep turning toward the comforting voice of my Father? Or do I avert my eyes once more, to the familiar corner I’ve grown so accustomed to? Do I let you fill my heart with infinite praise for you, and allow you to help me press into you more fully? Or do I find myself pushing you aside and choosing instead to focus on myself, my resentment, my pride, my anger, my bitterness, my hurt?

In truth, I know it’s a lie and a source of idolatry if I give in to those thoughts.  

 • For one, you don’t grow weary and you don’t grow faint. I am human, and I am frail, and if I only press into you, you will forever be my infinite source of strength. 

 • And two, you live inside of me and you bled and died for me and you saved me, redeemed me, gave me new life in you. And because of that alone, I am worthy. I am yours and I am chosen and I am loved by the creator of the universe, by the sustainer of all men, by my redeemer-and my friend.   

 • Because of you, I love. But because of you I am loved. 

So for me to give into the lies that I am not worth your time and energy, is a source of idolatry. If I give into the lie, I’m not choosing to stand firm on the truth of your word, the gospel of peace, and my identity in you. 

So Lord, forgive me yet once again for thinking of myself in this moment instead of you. Forgive me for focusing on the lie. 

And thank you, Jesus, for instilling a new hope in me quicker than before. For bringing about a change in my heart that can only come from you, Lord. 
You are my savior and you are my redeemer and you are my friend. And in this moment, and in the ones to come, I ask that you give me the courage to trust you, the reminder that you’ve always been there, even in the darkness.  And I ask for your strength to sustain me as I walk, and sometimes stumble, along the path. 

Give me the courage to reach out and take hold of your hand once again. Give me the fortitude not to let go. Because you have never let go of me.


Headed Home

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