As a baby, I was carried constantly. Swaddled snugly in pink, held tightly with admiration, I knew nothing other than to trust the hands that carried me.
As a toddler, I resisted being carried. “I can do it myself!” became my mantra. But still, there were times when I craved the comfort, safety, and security of the hands that carried me.
As a child, I learned to carry my own weight. Chores, to-do lists, obligations inside and outside our home taught me about being part of a family, a team, a community. But sometimes I required the assistance of the hands that had carried me.
As a teenager, I learned to carry myself. Becoming my own person meant decision-making, exploring relationships, life choices, discovering what I believed and why and learning to live according to those beliefs. But there were times when I needed the guidance and direction of the hands that had once carried me.
As an adult, I learned to carry responsibility. Forging my independence, managing a career, balancing the intricacies of marriage and parenthood and ministry and community service provides an endless emotional cocktail of joy and passion and pain and contentment and striving and stress and pride. But every once in awhile, I still seek the calming reassurance of the hands that had long ago carried me.
Hands now wrinkled and thin.
Hands now unsteady and unsure.
Hands empty and outstretched, longing to be filled.
So I find the tables turned. My hands clasp those hands that once carried me and calmly reassure. My hands hold those hands that once carried me and provide guidance and direction as we navigate a dark and uncertain path. My hands replace those hands that once carried me to assist and do what is now too overwhelming. My hands cover those hands that once carried me and speak safety, peace, love, hope.
And in the midst of it all, I feel the burden eased. Enveloped in peace. Covered in safety and shelter. Wrapped in love. And as I find rest in this place, I know I’m still being carried. Carried in the everlasting hands of the One who has always carried me…and will never let me go.