I have always loved this particular post, as I wrote out of an a-ha moment that I can still replay in my mind today...one I experienced again as I sat, typing with streaming tears and a full heart as I realized just how much I was loved by God.
It was written last summer, just before I began to walk a path that taught me how truly tangible faith really is...and I pray you can kick back and enjoy it, no matter what path you find yourself on today...***
A few weeks ago, while three of the girls were with my parents visiting, tragedy struck their home.
My parents had taken the girls off camping and when they returned home, they picked up thier dog to find that he was barely able to walk. When they took him to the vet the next morning, they found that their beloved pet of 12 years was on a downward spiral and would need to be put down.
As agonizing as you can imagine this was for my parents, think of how this went over for our 7 year old daughter. At first she thought he could get "treatment", but didn't understand that the procedure she'd heard of would do little if anything to preserve his life.
My father had the difficult task of making her mind see the truth of what was going on...and I don't envy him that in any way. At first, she seemed to handle the news pretty well...but a little while later, my dad found her sobbing in a corner. He pulled her into his arms and, after talking to her for a bit, called me so that I could try to comfort her breaking heart. Thru her heavy tears, she breathed out, "Mommy, I just want you to hug me."
For me, hearing her so sad was hard enough, but to have to know that she was desiring my arms when I was hundreds of miles away...it was enough to shatter my heart. All I could say was "Oh, I know you do, baby. I can't be there to hug you right now...but know that I am hugging you from here and that I love you."
Funny how God uses our own words to reach us....
One night a week or so ago, after a really hard day, I was alone in my bed...curled up in a fetal position, sobbing my heart out to Him. It was the kind of cry that makes your stomach hurt and your eyes swell...where the tears feel like acid and your nose runs like crazy, leaving you a slobbery mess.
As I was laid out in the dark, I stammered out phrases to Him as I tried to somehow lighten the load on my heart. I know it probably sounded like gibberish to the untrained ear, but I knew He was there...that He was listening to me and that He understood each and every word. My breathing was heavy and my chin quivering when I could almost hear Him say to me, "What do you need?" Without even a second thought, I blubbered, "I just need you to hug me."
The silence engulfed me until I turned my face into my pillow, to sob until I passed out.
Later on, I was thinking over that phone call with my baby and found that I still got emotional over it. Even now, typing it out, my heart beats a little differently in my chest as the pain that stabs a mom's heart when she knows she can't be there to give physical comfort to her children's aches...oh, it is just astounding and impossible to put into words!!
But as I sat there, God replayed my conversation with her back in my mind...and then He allowed me to see myself...curled up in a bed, crying my eyes out and just begging Him to hold me.
In that moment, I realized that He Himself is somewhat "restrained" (for lack of a better word) in the comfort that He gives us.
There will come a time when I stand before Him and watch as His arms open up wide.
There will be a moment when His eyes meet mine and I realize that the pain is done...and in that moment, I will be able to throw myself into His strong, full arms.
The time will come when His hug will engulf all that I am and nothing else will matter.
When my journey is ended...when I have finished the walk He has placed in front of me...only then will it be His arms that encircle my pain filled body.
BUT...that time isn't now.
However, He did take the time to use that heartbreaking phone call and my emotionally draining day to show me His own heart:
I truly believe that His heart aches at the desperate cry of His child...just as mine did on the phone that evening.
He knows my need for Him is pure and that my heart is completely focused.
In those moments, I call out to Him with the faith of a child and I know, with all my soul, that one touch from my Daddy God will chase away all the monsters that lurk under my bed.
He knows that all I want is Him...but He also knows that my time here isn't done, so I cannot yet be fully wrapped in His physical embrace.
As I realized the depth of His love for me, it floored my heart to know that when I cry out to Him in the midst of gut wrenching pain, begging for a simple touch of His hand, He not only hears me...but, with a heavy voice that's full of grieved tears, He whipsers painfully:
"Oh, I know you do, baby. I can't be there to hug you right now...but know that I am hugging you from here and that I love you."
Looking up as always...