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Held

IMG_4539By Judy Villanueva

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.  You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.  Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all.  You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. (Psalm 139:1-5)

One of my earliest memories is of being rocked in my father’s arms and soothed by a tune that he used to hum over us kids.  His deep voice made it a rumbly lullaby that I could both feel as well as hear, and it wasn’t long before the humming gave way to sweet dreams.  I remember the feeling of being held and calmed by his voice and, to this day, this little tune quiets me.  It is a melody that I’ve since heard myself hum to calm my children and grandchildren. Being held and “hummed to” created safety all around and inside of me.  “Dad is here.  It’s all going to be ok.  I can rest.”

Is there a more beautiful reality than that our lives are held by God…always?

Our sitting down and rising up, our every thought and word, coming and going, working or lying down, He knows!  He is intimately acquainted with everything about us.  We are seen, known and loved by the God who made us…at all times, in all places, no matter how we feel about it.  How DO you feel about it?  It is an easy idea to cuddle up with when all is well with our world but it can be a most prickly truth to believe in the dark of night.  How, when we are frightened by the night, can we rest in His arms and let the sound of His voice bring us peace?

The fact that we are finite creatures means that we can only  see “in part” and are not able to grasp the entirety of why things happen as they do. There are times when we will not understand our lives…when we simply do not and can not have the same perspective as the God who always sees everything all time, now and forever!

The nature of being held means that it’s not up to us to know everything.

Believe or not, that is good news! What IS up to us is to trust the One who sees and knows what we cannot, and let HIm hold and deliver us into the plans He has for us. Can we lean back into the divine arms that cradle our lives with love, compassion, goodness and purpose? He holds all things together with perfection… even when we cannot perceive it.

“Thank you, Father, for holding my life…always.  To know that you do, consoles me.  To consider that you know me through and through helps me to exhale.  You are here.  It’s all going be ok.  I can rest.  Amen.”

What about you?

Is your heart troubled?  What brings you comfort?

Where/with whom do you experience being known?

Do you need to know today that you are seen, known and loved by the God who made you?

He loves you and is intimately acquainted with all your ways.

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Worship

Letting Go: A Prayer of Relinquishment

IMG_0120By Judy Villanueva

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was raise a child.  The next  hardest was letting each one go as they grew up and left the nest.  It’s hard to let go… This is the prayer I prayed over my firstborn as she left for college.

Dear Jesus,

I’d like to bring my child to you.

I see me and my daughter walking … no actually I see me struggling to carry her on my back.  She keeps slipping because I’m not strong enough to carry her, but I keep trying.

My back hurts.

I see you there by the river’s edge…so peaceful.  You can see me…us, too.  You have a warm smile on your face and you perceive the difficulty I am having bringing my daughter to you.

Finally, you say to me, “Put her down.”

I want to but I’m not sure…I have been carrying her for so long…she needs me…she’s wounded…I want to help…what will happen if I let go?

Knowing my thoughts you say,  “I am here.  She is mine.  I can heal her wounds.  It’s time for you to let go.  Judy, she needs ME.  Now trust Me…release your daughter.”

I pause and stare at you.  I want to believe You.  I know what You are saying is true and it gives me hope, but I’m afraid.

I let my grown daughter down and I look at her…words cannot convey the mix of emotion.  I love her. I have failed her.  I’m so tired.

“I would like to trust you Lord and I need your forgiveness for where I have failed…been selfish, immature, impatient and ignorant.”

I give my girl a big hug.  I look at her face and tell her to go… “Go to Jesus!”  She smiles at me and turns…she looks back and says, “It’s ok mom…I’ll be ok…I love you.”  Then, she turns and runs to You and Your arms are open wide and she lets You hug her.  You are whispering in her ear and I can see the comfort and relief on her face.

She is safe.

I see her begin to dance by the river and sing from her heart.  She is free in your presence, accepted and loved.

You walk over to me before I go…You hold me and say, “I know, Judy…it’s ok…you are forgiven…I am here…you can trust Me.  I love you.  You can leave her here.  I’ll never leave her.  Thank you for loving her all these years…but remember, she is mine…and you were not meant to carry her forever.  I am faithful, compassionate, kind and powerful beyond your imagination.  I love your daughter…My daughter…with all My heart.  She needs to learn to walk with Me now.  You need to let go and trust Me.”

 

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