Holding On.

It flooded my mind as I drove back home today- the way I’d found it just sitting there in that bush by the side of the road. His wrist watch. The time had stopped at the moment of impact. He was a cousin-in-law and an officer and he was much, much too young and there are things in this world that don’t make any sense… that leave you with a heavy ‘why’ and the daunting question of where you’re going to lay it.

When I had found it there, all those years ago, my heart stood still and something deep in me cried out sharp. All else faded away and there was a clear message waiting for me to reach down and pick it up, gingerly, like it was a holy thing:

“Time here is fleeting! There will be a last recorded minute for us all. When all is shaken away, what of all your frenzied building will stand firm?”

It is good to be reminded of the fragile state of things sometimes… this precarious dance between life and death that we count in candles. When I am reminded that I am but a vapor, God rises large in my sight and the problems and anxieties are blown away like dust from an old trunk in the attic… like smoke from a candle buried in sugary cake.

There are a lot of full-bodied hopes hanging upon a lot of fragile unknowns for Chris and I right now. Will they burst forth and ripen? Or will they fall to the ground heavy? It is a hard place to have been in for so long and my soul is weary from the tension of it all. How does one desperately hope for fruit and yet steel oneself for the possibility of a fall? How does one survive the sickening ‘thud’? How does one get to the place where either outcome is accepted with gratitude, knowing that God only authors good?

Hope is a perilous thing.

And yet a life without it is no life at all.

So, we continue on in our treacherous hope… our eyes set upon a good thing, knowing that the stripping away of that thing will be counted good as well. Because even when the fruit tears away from the branch and lands heavy, the seeds are forced down and new things grow up through the mess. They are nourished by the mess and made strong.

Our ultimate hope will never fail, and the cares and anxieties of this life are counted as nothing when we allow ourselves to see God as He is… eternal and unshakeable. What are these months of strenuous uncertainty when compared with eternity? Minutes may freeze on the face of a watch, and things may not turn out like we think they should, but this hope in GOD trumps all time and all pain and even death if we will hold fast to Him and refuse to deny Him in the face of difficulty and trial.

Lord strengthen my hands to hold firm, no matter the outcome. May You always be more dear to me than a “yes” or a “no”.

11 thoughts on “Holding On.

  1. This is so beautiful. I needed this today. (And probably everyday) I'm thankful that when our hopes aren't the plans God's laid out for us, that he gives us something new to hope for. That death isn't the end because look how much life springs up around us every moment.

    These words are just beautiful. So emotional. And stirring.

  2. Emery I love when you blog–it's always real and beautiful and encouraging and your precious heart for the Lord shines through. Keep writing! Hugs :)

  3. Beautiful. I am deeply scarred by crazy religion, and find myself in a place of not knowing what I believe in, if anything – but I find your faith so refreshing, and your sense of hope gives me hope.

  4. allison- i am so sorry to hear that. i have some battle wounds too and have had to spend quite a few years reeling and searching and healing too. i pray you will find peace & healing & hope again soon.

  5. Somewhere someone (probably Anne Lamotte, bless her) said grace is the ability to live in ambiguity. Without going crazy. (I added that last sentence).
    Sometimes that seems impossible, but I love your last line–“May you always be more dear to me than a “yes” or a “no.”
    That's a wonderful prayer; thanks for putting it so sweetly.

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