Photography by rachellynphotography
Our granddaughter, Judeth Lyn is two. She is, of course, the cutest, smartest little girl imaginable (as all of us grandmas know to be true of our babies). We, Grandmas are extra blessed, aren’t we? When our Jude was first talking she would say, “Hold you,” when she was tired or upset. It always melted my heart. I would pick her up and tell her, “I will hold you all day long, baby girl.” I would hold and rock her as long as she would let me.
If you ask me how old Jude was when she started talking, I would say around five weeks! I’m not really sure when everyone else heard her first words but that is when she started talking to me. I have the video of our first conversation and it is priceless. It was meaningful and expressive and heartfelt and only we knew what was said — I knew then we had a special bond. This baby girl just turned two and has been speaking in full sentences for as long as I can remember. Her mother, Rachel, my daughter, would be rolling her eyes at me and saying, “Oh Mom!” But I know what I heard – just between Jude and me. Of course, I did write in Rachel’s baby book that her first sentence was at 5 months, “Lance ate apple.” She still doesn’t believe me, but it is true.
I almost can’t stand it when I think of the goodness of God and how rich our lives are with the people he gives us to love. We literally get to watch our children as they paint the canvas of their lives right before us. We get to see the beauty unfold but we, sadly, also can see the dangers ahead … but it’s their canvas, not ours. As if that weren’t emotional enough, we get to watch our children watch their children paint their canvas. See what I mean? It’s almost too much! That sounds strange but I bet you have felt this at one time or another. This gift is so beautifully all encompassing … so life altering and, yet, so frightening delicate … that in the midst of my joy I feel a sudden sweeping fear in my heart as I sense the world’s darkness pushing back at the goodness of the gift. I realize in a moment life could turn to a dreadful place I never saw coming. I force my mind to move far away from those thoughts — to cling to the truth in God’s word.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock, Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
There is a song called, He Will Carry You, from my college days by Tim Sheppard (at Gateway Church now), these words have always touched me…He Will Carry You.
He will carry when your love won’t go any farther
When you’ve waved goodbye to the very last dream of your life
He will carry you when the tears fall down like a river
When you cry in the night not to wake the morning light
He will carry you, He will carry you, Shine His love on you
When you’ve given up He will lift you up,
Wrap His arms around you
When you can’t go on He will make you strong
Never let you go
He will carry you no matter how heavy your load
And even though He loves you so
You gotta take a lotta heartache if you ever wanna grow
So don’t give in to the fears within
You gotta know He’ll be there to catch you when you’re falling
He’ll never turn away when He hears you calling…..”
He has carried me through all the moments of decision, crisis, fear and pain. The most wonderful things in our lives also have the potential to be the most devastating. Life is a strange mysterious series of small moments that culminate and mesh perfectly into a single canvas that represents our lives. Knowing my Lord will, as Jude says, “Hold you” is what keeps me grounded. I know He will carry me, no matter how heavy the load. Thank you, Jesus!