Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"He will not let go…"

"what lies ahead,
I'm not sure I know.
But the hands that holds,
this flailing soul,
He will not let go..."

Blinding pain ripped through my body like a bolt of lightning. In that moment, I didn't know what to think, or how to think. When it retreated, and darkness came again, it was like slipping beneath the surface of a cool dark pond. And I surrendered.

Until it came again. A screaming. A crashing. Something sharp and raw that shattered me into a million shards of pain and fear. All I wanted to do was let go and slip into oblivion. "Yes, that's right. Go ahead, and just let go," it whispered in a taunting hiss. And I considered it.  That was until I realized that even if I were to completely give up, give in, and let go, "He Will Not Let Go." of me.

I love this beautiful song by one of my favorite inspirational recording artists, Laura Story. Her music is so honest and simple that it takes my breath away.

There have been moments in my life when I've felt like giving up on my own ability to hold on. Times when the hurt was so deep, or the hopelessness so unfathomable, that looking beyond a single step felt impossible.

I remember that night - quite a few years ago now -- when the above-referenced pain was unbearable. Living with it seemed too much to bear.  Each minute felt like an eternity. Each tick of the bedside clock was torturous. As I lay there, it occurred to me that I could just give up, let go, and slip away. It would be so easy. The thought of it was so tempting.

But it was at this very moment, that I felt the presence of something profoundly clear. The thought came, "As if! As if your willingness to let go, would change the fact that I love you, and that I am holding on to you. You are the very manifestation of Me, as Life. I will not let go."

This single thought woke me up from the lie of self-determinism. It wrested from my grip, the false notion that I was in charge of my life. That it was mine to sustain, to choose, or to throw away. I realized that I had absolutely no power to make that choice. God had all the power, and He was holding on to me. He would never let go.

With the realization that I was powerless to give up, the pain began to retreat. It no longer had the authority I'd given it.  I no longer believed it could inform me about whether to hold on, or to give up and let go.  It was a decision that I'd always thought was mine to make. But the fact was, I was here, I was conscious. I still loved my children. I could still be grateful. I was still able to appreciate beauty.  Suddenly, I was no longer paralyzed by the pain and fear.  I was enveloped in an undeniable truth -- Life was insisting Itself as conscious existence - as me.

I asked myself, "In all your life, have you ever actually been aware of being unconscious?" I had to admit, I'd never experienced the kind of deep blackness.  I'd never existed without an awareness of "I AM" -- which was the very thing that I was so fearful of.  It was what I thought pain was a precursor to.  But in fact, every night I'd peacefully yielded to sleep -- without any fear of never waking up again or being relegated to a dark mental abyss. And every day, I woke up feeling a sense of uninterrupted being.

I had always been held -- deeply and inextricably held -- intact, in perfection, in grace, in consciousness. Life had never let go of me. And whether I was holding on or not, I was being held.

The pain that had terrorized me, lost its power to inform or alarm me when I realized that it could not carry out its threat. My life was in the hands of God.  My awareness of being was under the sovereignty of Mind. My right to love, to be grateful, to pray and to bless was intact.

I've been grateful for two statements - in particular - from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, when acute or chronic pain has threatened to hold a deeper, darker meaning:

"No evidence before the material senses
can close my eyes to the scientific proof
that God, good, is supreme."

"Spirit’s senses are without pain,
and they are forever at peace.
Nothing can hide from them
the harmony of all things
and the might and permanence of Truth."

Nothing can hide from me an awareness of God's tender hold on my life. Nothing can close my eyes to the love of my divine Parent. He will never let go.

While searching for a photo to illustrate this piece, I came across dozens of photos of us holding our daughters when they were babies.  And an online search turned up hundreds of photos of mothers and fathers holding their infants. They all looked so beautiful -- so full of tenderness, strength, and love.

Then I looked at the same photos, but imagined the parent out of the picture. The babies looked vulnerable, their positions awkward, their bodies small and fragile. It was exactly how I felt that night -- like a flailing, unsupported naked being exposed to the unknown.  Knowing that God was always there, holding me, changed everything that night -- from paralyzing fear to feeling that I was nestled in my Father's arms.  Held in a deep and abiding relationship with my divine Parent.

Whatever you might be facing, you are not facing it alone. God is holding you in perfect peace, in eternal Life, in tender love. He will not let go.

offered with Love,


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