His Healing Touch

Hello, friends,

Thank you all so much for the kind words you gift me with. You bless and encourage. This time of year sometimes makes me lonely for things that will never be and I can get a little down. As I pondered my conversation with my dad yesterday, I remembered something I had written a few years ago. I’ve posted it before, but it helps me to revisit this truth once in a while. So here is another part of this journey I continue to be on.

He walks it with me.

Holy Hugs

The other night, as I tucked my littlest in, I couldn’t help noticing how completely he filled up my arms. I felt a stabbing awareness of the dwindling nature of time. I held him tighter. He nestled in close, and I felt his contentment in the evenness of his breath. My arms to him are a sanctuary, an ever-present shelter of love. As I cradled him to me in the dark, I tried desperately to remember how it felt to be held in such a manner. Try as I might, I could not muster a single memory. Too many years have gone by since I have sought such a sanctuary. Nevertheless, I found myself longing for my mother. I felt an ache inside of me for tender arms to hold me tight.

Does it seem odd for a grown woman to yearn to be held like a child? The holiday season always awakens in me a need to be nurtured. During this time that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, my heart is a door wide open, waiting to usher in the love He gave for me. But as I stand at the door, beckoning others to come in and feast on the joy of the season, the ones I love the most just walk on by.

Our expectant hearts feel the resonation of loss all the more during this time of waiting. The fullness of the days can make the quiet of stillness ring in our ears. The season is bittersweet for some. Hearts are cognizant of empty places: loved ones departed, emotional estrangement, abandoned dreams, disappointments and fears. Absence creates a presence that we carry with us as we rush to and fro during Advent. And we ask ourselves, how can a season of such joy also spark this kindred sorrow? Is it because, in His coming, we know that all of our losses will be redeemed? Our hope is in this: this waiting.

We are told that out of loss comes growth, that suffering builds strength. I know this is true, for I have experienced it myself. But sometimes, I just want to be held.

For some rifts, there are no easy answers. As I pondered this truth, the Lord directed me to 2 Corinthians 1:3: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…”

I felt like He had reached down from heaven and wrapped his long arms around me in the biggest bear hug ever. I climbed up into His lap and let His love fill the empty places. My strength was renewed. And I was ready to extend my hand anew.

The door of my heart is open once again. Wide. He gives me the strength to hold it aloft. The one who washed the feet of his followers has taught me to keep trying. Forever if I must. And I will wait. After all, that’s what Advent means, isn’t it? When I grow weary of waiting, the God of all comfort will wrap me in his arms and pour His love over me. His arms are a sanctuary, an ever-present shelter of love.


  1. says

    Wonderful. My first 18 years were horror filled. I have few and I mean few memories of general daily life, let alone good moments. He has redeemed all the bad, they are remembered but not felt.

    Life is such a journey that I’m thankful He uses for good but there are times of wistfulness. What I wish I had, even now at 50 what I wish I had with parents still alive—but it is not to be, or at least not yet—only He knows if He will set them free to love and be loved.

    Most of the time I shake it off and revel in the joy of the husband and children He has blessed me with—ALL THAT I NEVER HAD GROWING UP! So we begin a new heritage, a new legacy for my family tree. He is the root of it, He is the One who has watered and pruned away the dead and dying parts. I can not change others, I can pray through as He continues to peel away the layers of left over consequences to set me free. I wouldn’t want any child to go through what I did, BUT that is how I found Love.

    It is the process of my life, He is indeed the One I recognized at age 11 as the only source of love I could have in my life. Then He opened wide His arms and took me in—I’ve been sitting on His lap for 39 years. I look at others who have such a wealth of wonderful family and traditions and can wish. But then I see the depth of His imprint in my inner most being and KNOW that it’s all been worth it.

    I’m sending you a hug and will pray for you as He leads!

  2. says

    Dearest Laura~
    I love this. Even in sorrow beauty graces you.
    You bless me so with your words.

    “His arms are a sanctuary, an ever-present shelter of love.”

    And there is no safer, more wonderful place to be than in His sweet forever embrace.

    Thank you for sharing your heart……….you have strengthened mine!

    Love you,

  3. says

    This is beautiful, Laura. How true that this season can also bring the pains of sorrow.

    I have a great family and I’ve experienced big hugs from them all, yet, I can relate to your need of still wanted that crawl-in-your lap hug that absorbs us.

    Much love,

  4. says

    Hi sweet friend of my heart….

    I can so relate to his post…the wistfulness mingled with hope.

    I have spent much of my time crying today…crying over my brother who died a little less than a year ago, crying over my nephew whose team lost the very last ball game of the season and his very last ball game of high school, and crying over the intense sadness that won’t seem to leave me.

    I feel my heart closing itself off, but I want to be like you…heart opened wide.

    Thank you for your eloquent and heart-filled posts. They are a balm to me right now.

    Love you, Lee

  5. says

    The holiday season is such a joyful, exciting, lonely, memory filled, tearful, surrounded by family and friends time….all at once so much of the time.
    It’s such a conflict of emotions. Ups and downs. Highs and lows.
    But throughout all of it…He is the same, amen?;)
    Thank You for that, Sweet Lord!

    (((BIG HUGS!)))
    God Bless,

  6. says

    Deep words about our longing to be held. It’s true this season can bring such pain to so many. I’m thankful we have a comforter who has his arms wide open, ready to embrace us.

    Thanks for reposting this.

  7. says

    I hope you are continuing to heal from your past and present hurts. You did a good job expressing yourself in a way others have been able to relate to. I didn’t have much touching or affection from my dad, but he is able to show affection to our grandson.

    It’s kind of weird to be jealous in a way, but I am happy that he is able to do that now. Also, it was after I became an adult, and maybe a Christian before I was brave and hugged my dad. I remember him shrinking back, but now, he likes them from me. My mom has always been a “toucher”. I remember my dad telling her that people don’t like that when she touches them.

    I am struggling to stay awake. God Bless your week!


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