Held

 Daughter, I am holding your life in the palm of my hands.

 From our first breath until our last, our hands hold all of the power.

When we take our first breath, when the first rays of light enter our eyes, our hands — so tiny and fragile — open up big and wide in an attempt to find something to hold onto. In a moment of sheer panic as we leave the comfort and safety of the womb and enter into a world of chaos, our hands search for something safe, something stable, to hold onto. And in that searching we eventually find the finger of our mother, the one who gave us life, and we grasp. With all the strength our miniature body can muster, we clutch onto the finger because that touch is enough to calm our hearts.

As days pass, our minds and bodies develop and mature. Our hands grow bigger and stronger. The power in them increases. We develop the skills to hold our bottles, pick up cheerios and put them in our mouth, and eventually use a fork and spoon to scoop nourishment into our system. Our hands doing all of it. Giving our body the power it needs to keep growing and living.

As curiosity takes root in our heart, we desire the ability to move. To discover. After months of developing, our hands push us up into crawling position and carry us forward. Soon after, they reach upwards in an attempt to grab onto something, anything, as we pull with all our might, trusting that our hands won’t let us down. Fighting the law of gravity, we pull, struggle, and eventually stand. Soon, standing just isn’t enough for us, and we are driven to take steps. With our hands stretched out, searching for stability in the air surrounding us, one foot lifts and takes a step forward. In an instant, we plummet toward the ground, and it is our hands that catch us. Stop our face from smashing into the ground. It is our hands that give us the power to move, adventure, and discover.

The discovering stretches our minds, and the minds uncanny power begins to break free as neuron transmissions are fired and connections are made. Our hands develop the ability to hold books — the avenue where insane learning begins. Our fingers fiercely hold onto crayons while our wrists cause our hands to make slight motions. These slight motions are the beginning of creating. Of expressing. As these slight motions become more refined, we develop the ability to create images and write words that express our feelings and thoughts. Images and words that make and break relationships, create and destroy new opportunities, heal and hurt hearts. All because of our hands.

And in a chaotic and exhilarating world, our heart is gradually refined and matured. Relationships are formed. Feelings are discovered. It begins with holding onto the fingers of those we cherish, and in due time, with a little body that doesn’t get us more than three feet off the ground, we reach upwards searching for that hand, that safety net, that guides us and leads us. We learn that using our hand to wave at someone causes them to grin. We begin to mimic what we see going on around us — handshakes, high-fives, pats on the back, hugs. Our hands holding the power to convey something our words sometimes cannot.

As I look down at my hands, I see creases and marks covering the surface. Creases and marks that make up my fingerprints that only belong to me. I see scars and scratches. Scars and scratches that came from a life of adventure. I see veins that pump life into my hands. And I see limitless power.

Power that has given my hands the ability to give me life.

They have taken me on a grand adventure…

They introduced me to my love for Cheetos and chocolate milk.

They have provided me with my obsession to explore — to rock climb, to skydive, to hike.

They have written my hopes and prayers in journals, essays and applications to get me through college, and letters to express my love for others.

They have held the hands of those I care for and love deeply — whether in their last moments or the beginning of their adventure.

They have been raised in complete surrender, worshipping my Father.

Creases, marks, scars, scratches, veins… all of it telling my story, where the power of my hands has taken me.

If my hands, in my insignificant and sinful state, are that powerful, just think of His hands. Just think of what happens when I latch my hands with His. His power, guidance, goodness, and love fiercely flow into mine. Like a rushing waterfall, when I choose to grasp onto the hand He is offering me, it empowers mine, further empowering the rest of me.

He created us with the innate desire to be held. To hold the hands of those we love. To feel protected. To feel cherished. To feel guided. In the midst of life, when the ones we love cannot always do the hand-holding, He is waiting, with outstretched arms, to hold us.

Eventually we grasp on, realizing that He is the only sure thing in this world, and then we quickly discover that He has been holding us all along.

Holding us in His hands.

Hands that have the power to put the earth in its place. Move mountains. Make it rain. Create His children. Hurl down the wrath upon those who deserve it. Reach out and offer grace to anyone who wants it. Heal the terminal patient. Renew the broken spirit. Repair the broken relationship. Orchestrate the universe.

Those hands… majestic, beautiful, intricate, powerful… wrap themselves around me.

With a chapter of my life soon closing, and another one beginning, I can’t shake the immensity of this truth.

My life. My little life. My insignificant life. Is Cherished. Guarded. Protected. Held. By the hands of my Creator. My Shepherd. The King of Kings. God Almighty.

The world is screaming at me to panic. To fear. To plan. Because my future is unknown. Because soon I will be handed my diploma and adult life will begin. Because I have a lot of things to learn. Because I am bound to fail numerous times. The world is screaming at me because it doesn’t know who holds my life.

But I ignore it all because my Father promised me something.

Daughter, I am holding your life in the palm of my hands.

That is enough.

Enough because my hands are the avenue through which I live and love. They are the part of me that has been fueling my body with power from my first breath. They are what reach for stability when I need it, fuel me when I’m tired, and take me on adventures. My story is written all over them. Engraved into each crevice and crease. Pumping through every vein. If my hands have the power to hold my story and keep it going… then how much more powerful are His.

His hands are the safe refuge we desire. They fuel and nourish our bodies. They guide our every footstep. They inspire us to create. They offer us unconditional and undeserved love.

They provide us with the power to breathe and to live.

They are why I am here.

They are my forever home.