23Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
I never been a touchy feely kind of girl. It is just not my “love language.” Acts of service is more my style. If I love you, better to bet on me trying to do something for you than a big old bear hug. So when I first started dating my notoriously huggy boyfriend at the age of 17, I had a lot of adjusting to do. Scott isn’t just affectionate with people he loves. He is affectionate to EVERYONE. He would hug the checkout person in Walmart if he thought she needed it.
What I did learn to like was what we could communicate to one another without saying a work. Scott has always been the rock in my storm. He can always sense what I am feeling and slide up to my side without a word. To put a hand on my back or grab my hand. He started this thing where he would grab my hand and squeeze three times to mean “I love you.” Then I would squeeze three time back. No words. None needed. Sometimes all that stood between me and a mental panic attack was that hand. Grounding me and reminding me.
I don’t remember why, but it had been a hard day. I sat at my kitchen table (which was my parents) and felt like my heart was so very heavy with all the burdens I carried. It may have been a college issue. I slightly remember it being something about which direction I was heading in my life.
The sunlight streamed into the window and warmed my right hand. It felt good and reassuring. I closed my fingers one at a time and squeezed. At the time, I felt like it was God letting me know that everything is going to be alright. Soon after that I ran across this verse in Psalms 73:23 “Yet I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand.” My right hand felt warm again and I looked down. I slowly closed my hand and squeezed. I pictured His hand in mine and the world didn’t feel quite so scary.
This became the “thing” of mine to always close my right hand and squeeze when I felt like I needed Him to hold my hand. I would squeeze and breath. I would say in my head and sometimes out loud “I know. You got this.” I can’t explain it, but I felt it. I knew He wouldn’t let go.
I remembered this recently when I parked in the school parking lot (because I was walking my kids in and I know that I do not PARK in the drop off lane if I am getting out of the car). I grabbed Nick and Bella’s hands. I squeezed a little tighter when we approached the buses. Not that I thought they would let go and dart out into traffic, but it did make me feel better. I squeezed their hands as I approached the door. Told them I loved them and let them head down the stairs and in the building. I walked back to my van alone. A more than a little sad for the start of the new year and new things. Nick in kindergarten and Will starting high school. Luke starting middle school and Rachel staring into new adventures of more than a little girl. Even 3rd grade Bella with the start of getting a planner now has thrown me.
But as I walked across the pavement I felt a warmth in my right hand. I closed it and squeezed. Because I know that no matter where I go, I will always have Him there holding my hand. As we have our ups and downs to the start of new years and new opportunities I find myself sad and nostalgic. I have been thinking a lot about my dad more.
I know he would have adored Queen Rachel. Even at 2 he called her the princess. He would have loved the hard time she gives me and would have awarded her a double portion of everything just to give me a little payback. He would have told me to knock it off with babying Nick and made Bella laugh. He would be proud of my boys. He would tell me what he thought on matters small and large- whether I asked for the advice or not. He would be checking the brakes of my van because they are squeaking and yelled at me for the mess in the van.
Life goes on. Good things, no great things happen. Through the ups and downs and twists and turns, there is one thing can be sure of. That the hand that formed the stars now holds my hand with the love of a Father. When I need a litte reassurance, I close that right hand and squeeze. A reminder to me that even in the darkness, I am never, ever alone.