I Hold So Tight

Will they be okay? How can I get from point A to point B without crossing paths with point C? Will I offend someone? How did he get sick? How can we make it better? Should I try to fix it? It can’t be fixed. Why did the baby die? Why do so many little ones die? Are our finances always going to be so tight? How come I try but nothing ever comes of it? Will my husband always love me? Will he always think I’m beautiful? I have to be beautiful. Why are people unfaithful? How could that person even say this or that?

Is my baby getting enough? Is he happy enough? Is he sick and I just don’t know? I want him to live forever. Do I say enough? Do I love well? How can we help the margins close? Are we making them spread even wider? My head is spinning. Do I think too much? Where can we sacrifice? Why don’t they sacrifice? How am I so judgey? More grace, more grace, more grace. Do I ask enough questions? We have to kill assumption. Where is the unity? Where is the church?

Would it be a good investment? Or should we wait? Is waiting even healthy? Everyone has an opinion about healthy. Everyone has an opinion about everything. Do I pursue my dreams or help fulfill theirs? Are we praying enough? Doing enough? Giving enough? Disease sucks. Why death? Why couldn’t it just be a silence of sort? I have to live fuller. But sometimes I feel stuck. How do you live stuck and full? Why don’t they like me? Why don’t I like them? And what is with this weather?!


I hold so tight.

I have to loosen my grip.

Actually, no.

I need to let my fingers collapse from their feeble might.

And rest.

I need to let them rest so they can go to town for good.


In another sweaty undone the other morning.

I realized again, the steady in my reeling in, even when I know there isn’t a fish on the line.

The squeezing hand on the thing that only makes sense, even when the tightening is useless and “the thing”– intangible…

The pleading and the bending and the worry and the questions, when in the trenches of that spirit gut place

I know I’m only playing tug o’ war with myself.

Or I think,

tug o’ war with this world sealed in broken.

Which reality pinches, is pointless.

Its broken is dispensable and its end is finite.


Faith has shaped the entirety of my life.

It’s not a new thing to me.

But it is a fluid thing.

And my control issues, my holding tight?

Also not new.

But my understanding of them and just how much they aren’t mine–

that is becoming more clear.

And sometimes–

harder and rougher and chiseled and worn.


For my son and my husband and the people dropped into that spirit gut place with me- even when they don’t know how they ended up there-I’m doing my best to place my hands in the braver thing

Of squeezing and gripping and reeling and holding on

To promise.

These hands have realized their strength over time.

To hold the ones I love when earth life looks like a bunch of shattered glasses running dry.

To cover the eyes to guard painful seeds, or to help pull the veil away when healing is in reach.

To lay on skin in prayer and vulnerability and peeling back layers that seem too onion-y to touch.

To wipe away the mud rolled in habitually and to catch the tears that must fall, that need to fall, in order to restore.

To open them wide in hope and nod yes to whatever falls into them.

Will it hold something to plant? To bury? To carry for awhile?

Will it spill over or sit still?

Will it be fragile and precious and full of light?

Or will it sting and collapse and bring weight not held before?


I serve a God who is indispensable.

And whose world is sealed in whole and sensical

and steady and full.

In the getting there though, I have to loosen up.

 I have to use my

hands of faith

to scream louder hope

than all that is out of my control, my reach and my scope.

And trust that His scope is shaping hands for the braver thing.



Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert.”

 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12: 1-3


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