Held Fast

Dear One,

Please Note: Little Life Words will be on hiatus for the months of November & December. During this time I hope to visit some beloved’s in Michigan, properly sink into the start of my spiritual direction training, celebrate the holidays, and enjoy some rest. That said, I sure will miss you!!

And now for today’s letter … 

Hubby and I are the age of those who downsize. While we don’t have current plans to move, we believe it would be prudent to start the clean out process. And so we have, albeit with the speed of a sloth sometimes. 

A few months ago when tackling the under-bed, I pulled out a rather flat cardboard box containing some memorable T-shirts. One from the early 1980’s had large blue iron-on-letters emblazoned across the back. They read: VELCRO WOMAN.

That would be me😂.

Seems when I was in college (which is longer ago than I can wrap my blessed head around!) I talked a lot about clinging to God … about getting rid of anything that would cause interference between us and Him … like velcro, I’d say.

And so I was dubbed, caped, and crowned the one and only (one would hope) Velcro Woman. The unsung superhero 🦸‍♀️ .

This all came back several days ago when a song kept running through my mind. I was trained as a music therapist (did you know that?) so when a song comes to visit me, I pay attention. This one came with the lyrics, “He will hold me fast.”

Hold fast.
That sounds like cling.
That sounds like a job for … VELCRO WOMAN🦸‍♀️!!

But this time it wasn’t me holding fast to God. It was God holding fast to me. 
Hm.
There He goes, turning those tables again.

I learned the phrase, ‘hold fast,’ traces back to Norwegian and Dutch sailors who would tattoo it onto the four front-facing knuckles of each hand.  This served as a reminder that, while holding the lines, the sailor would not let go. No matter what.  

I began thinking about all the things I hold fast too – rarely let go of. I realized that, like the sailors of old, I take a white-knuckle grip out of fear. And more accurately, out of fear of loss, especially in stormy times.

We American’s are doing quite a bit of that right now. White-knuckling our rights, beliefs, status, etc. So much fear of so much loss. We are holding fast, but should we be? Is it time for Velcro Woman to retire her cape? And what would happen if she did?

What would happen if she could loosen her grip instead of tightening it? If she could open in trust instead of gripping in fear?

We (okay, I) spend so much time and effort and energy holding on. White-knuckling it just trying to survive, trying to not lose something or someone. 

But what if it’s GOD with the superpowers and not me or you? And what if it’s more about Him holding us than us holding Him? What then? What if we could let go? What if we could trust?

What if, instead of writing H.O.L.D  F.A.S.T on our knuckles we changed one little letter? The O to an E? What if instead of hold we wrote held? H.E.L.D F.A.S.T

What then?
What if I/we wrote this on our knuckles so every time we’re tempted to grip, grasp, or grit our teeth, we would see it? Might we relax? Might we release? Might we relinquish to the true superhero who holds us all?

“He holds you firmly in place,” The Psalmist tells us, “He will not let you fall. He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep. What a relief!” Psalm 121:3-4a (Voice)

HELD Fast: Our Little Life Words of the week. 

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DEEPER DIVE
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Ponder:

  • To what / who are you holding fast?
  • Do you prefer being the one who holds or the one who is held? Why?

Practice:

  • Pull out your pen and write on your knuckles H.E.L.D  F.A.S.T. Let it serve as a reminder through your days (and quite a good conversation starter as well). 
  • Visit my friend Jen’s Etsy shop (I told you about her a couple of weeks ago) to get these stickers or these cards. Keep one for yourself and send another 7 or so to your friends. If you order by October 31 you can receive 15% off with the coupon code SOULFRIENDS15

Play

Pray:

  • Hold me fast and firm.

Friend, I entrust you to the One that will hold you fast. Lord willing, we’ll meet here again in 2022. God keep & bless you, deep & wide! 

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