Those were the words she said the Lord revealed to her as she prayed over what to share with us for the weekend. Hold fast.
And tonight, almost 3 years later, that weekend and those words were the ones that came immediately to mind when a dear friend told me to keep holding on.
It’s been a hard 2 years. Death, loss, grief, dreams that have seemed to dissipate, financial stress, adding a baby to our already crazy house, moving, it’s been an exhausting 2 years. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally it has consumed me in all of those areas. There are days where there is very little left of the old me at all.
But I clung to the side of the mountain. The mountain that seemed to shake beneath me as the world I knew came crumbling down. Yes, over the loss of a girl but also the loss of our dreams. The loss of what we envisioned for our family and for our children. But I clung, though not well at times, because I knew of nothing else to do. My fingernails were bloody and hurting. My feet ever feeling for a ledge to find my footing. Somehow, over time, a ledge appeared. I’m not sure if it was provided for me or if my constant slipping made a rut so that a ledge had been formed. But I found one, either way. I gathered myself, decided it was time to begin climbing again, and I looked up just in time to see the mountain above me begin to crumble again.
Deceit. Deceit that has shaken me to my core. By people I’ve trusted, admired and held in high esteem my entire life. The breath of the enemy is hot on my neck and I cling, once again to the side of the cliff.
And tonight as I sat and shared with a dear friend the depths of the pain, she told me, “just hold on.”
“You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him and by his name you shall swear.” Deuteronomy 10:20 [emphasis mine]
Oh, I’ll swear all right. Don’t you worry.
Random dropping of swear words because, it just feels good dammit. Check. Check. Checkity, effing check.
“I almost fell off, you know?” I told her. “I was so close.”
“I know. But you didn’t. You held on. Just keep holding on." HOLD ON.
Beth Moore said that same thing to an arena full of women, eager to hear her speak. Some of the girls from my Bible study attended with me and that was her message, the one she said God gave her to speak over our specific group 3 years ago. Hold fast.
I’ll be honest. At the time it didn’t mean a lot to me, I mean, other than the obvious.
Heh. Sure. I can hold fast. Hold fast for what?
But on the drive home tonight it was those words that came screaming back into my brain. HOLD FAST JESSICA. Just hold fast. Help is on the way.
Help? What help? What’s taking so freaking long, anyway?
That weekend with Beth Moore I underlined another ‘hold fast’ in my Bible.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 [emphasis mine]
Oh, I sure hope he who promised proves to be faithful. I sure hope so.
Those verses, that weekend.
Another friend helped me remember the date of that event. July 23-24, 2011. Exactly one year prior, to the day, that Paige died. I don’t believe in coincidences.
I’m weary. I’m afraid. I’m uncertain. But, with all that I have left, I hold fast.
Side note: For those of you who know me in real life, this is a vulnerable place for me to be, out here on my blog. But after several people encouraged me to just write, I’m putting it out there. NOT because I desire to have you tell me how much you’re praying for me (though, thanks) or because I want to have a stop-and-chat in the hall at church on Sunday (please, just, no).
But, because there is no possible way that I’m the only one. There’s no way that I’m the only person going through this season. Someone else is clinging, with all they have. And you, dear one, are not alone. Let’s hold fast together, shall we? We don’t have to talk about it. We don’t have to hug or make it weird. Let’s just hold on together. Because, I’m certain, even though I’m scared as hell and I’m certainly confused beyond what I can understand, I’m certain that help really is on the way. It has to be. Hold fast with me, okay?