Sunday, August 21, 2011

Everlasting Arms

As a little girl, no one is stronger than your Daddy! My parents were very affectionate toward us growing up and still are. They hugged tight- none of those framed armed hugs. My dad's arms could squeeze me like a snake with his prey and I loved it! The feel of his tight hug became a part of me. As I worked with children with special needs I realized I had my own occupational therapy need. I need deep pressure at times, the deep pressure my parents offered when they hugged me. My dad's hugs were especially special.

After I went to college, met My Dear and married I could still receive my dad's tight hugs but My Dear's hugs were needed as well. My dad is a much bigger man than My Dear so their hugs are different. When I self diagnosed my need for deep pressure, My Dear quickly learned the Boa Constrictor Squeeze and since he was far more accessible to me, those hugs worked. My Dear knows that when I flop toward him like a wet noodle that is when I need the tightest squeeze!

While on a mission trip to V*etnam, I really missed those hugs! One day on the trip I had such a moment before God it drained me....literally drained me. You know, like the wet noodle. In V*etnam, a man is not to hug another woman's wife. Although my girlfriends offered their hugs, it was not my daddy's hug nor was it the Boa Constrictor hug My Dear gives. Our friend Bob was on the trip. His build is a tiny bit more like my dad's with big (and hairy) arms. (Guess folks in V*etnam do not have big nor do they have hairy arms.) I knew it was against V*etnam social norms but I knew Bob's wife (my friend) and My Dear would not hesitate so I stole a much needed big armed, man hug which worked!

Recently, I was challenged to explain what God is to me. All I could think about were those strong arms that have held me and hugged me when I needed it most. Those arms that comforted me through the saddest days of losing someone I loved, the arms that held when I could take no more. I recall the moments when the hugs were tight out of pride on my wedding day, my college graduation, and when we announced a baby was coming. Those days were the days the I felt God most of the joy and in the sorrow.

One day, in church, the pastor shared a passage in John 12 about the "arm of the Lord." THOSE were the arms I had felt all of those times. That was the Boa Constrictor squeeze telling me to press on from My Dear. The squeeze to DELIGHT me from family and friends! The hugs just because He loves me from my dad and the big arm squeeze I received in V*etnam to tell me that He forgives me. There is a lot of curiosity about God and what He is doing and what He looks like but this I know, I have felt his Everlasting Arms.

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