Today, I had the precious honor of having a front row seat to one of the highlights of my last 6 weeks - my adorable 5-year-old neice, Haley, starring in her school musical, Stone Soup. My 3-year-old nephew Caden was part of it too, but he stood in the very back with his hands over his face most of the time - he was so embarassed but had the cutest "grumpy" face. I could hear Uncle Tony snickering from heaven over Caden, and as Haley told her mom, he was "hootin'" and "hollerin'" for her. He had the best seat in the house, for sure.
I love these 2 little people so much. One of my favorite things they do is grab my hand to hold it - always when we are walking near cars, but sometimes at the most unexpected times, like today at Haley's celebration lunch. To me, it's their silent way of saying they love me and trust me to help protect them.
It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 41:13:
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
The second night after Tony's accident, I awoke around 1 a.m. to my right hand clinched into a fist so tightly that it physically hurt. I was very confused and thought that I was just having a strange dream. I awoke again to painful sobbing at 6 a.m. and grabbed my phone. I saw that a good friend, James, had emailed me that very verse above at 12:56 a.m. My crying subsided as I realized that it was God holding my right hand in my sleep to reassure me that He is with me, He is capturing my every tear. He knows my pain. He will never leave me or forsake me. I have felt such a peace about this Truth ever since that night. Thank you, James, for your obedience to the Holy Spirit in sending that email to me.
Okay, okay, I am hearing from lots of you that I am leaving you in tears each time you read my blog, so here is my attempt to make you laugh or at least smile. I came across Tony's journal from when we first started dating in the fall of 2006. Speaking of hand-holding, he had written in his journal about the first time he held my hand. I always appreciated how reserved he was in jumping into any physical affection in our relationship until he felt the timing was right. As I recall, we were thumb wrestling at our friend Jeremy's house, and Mr. Smooth Tony somehow managed to wrangle my hand into his. Oh, sweet memories. I told him countless times that I hoped we would still be so in love and holding hands when we were both old and gray, just like my Pop and Grandma did even after 48 years of marriage.
How I long to hold Tony's hand again, but I know having the God of the Universe hold my hand is even sweeter. Hold my hand tightly, Lord, and don't ever let go.