*Names in this reflection have been changed to protect the identity of the child.
As the students poured into the classroom from recess; exhausted, sweaty and full of stories to share, I noticed her crying and gripping her water bottle tightly. Her face was grimaced and she was clearly in pain. She began to cry and pace the room. This was not the first time I had seen this response to rest time – sometimes she was able to self-soothe with a little encouragement, but this time felt different. She stopped at her table spot and burst into loud wailing. She couldn’t move, frozen with fear. “Tania, are you okay?” “Tell me what is making you sad.”
She couldn’t breathe. I would recognize this anywhere – because I recognize it in myself. She was experiencing a surprise trigger. Something was threatening her safety. She said thru her tears, “I’m scared their gonna come and take me away …”
Something about this time for Tania was different. The Holy Spirit prompted me to pick up this tiny first grader and cradle her in my arms. I turned the worship music on for rest time, and held her. We rocked back and forth in my chair as I held her to my chest and she nestled her head into my shoulder. It was a precious moment of stillness.
As I rocked her, I had an impression of the heart of my Heavenly Papa.
What if he comforts and validates my pain in this same way?
What if He soothes and tenderly reminds me I am safe?
I believe the God of the Universe wants to hold us the way I held and comforted this little girl. He longs for me to nestle into Him, to be nourished in His safety. In the moments I held Tania, she had nothing to fear. She was held safe – her body was calm.
Isn’t this the same effect when we take refuge in the arms of our Heavenly Papa?
“You stand up to rescue the oppressed of the earth.” – Psalm 76:9
“…but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.” – Psalm 71:20-21
“I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.” – Psalm 69: 29
“I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” – Psalm 63:8
“Pour out your heart to him, daughter, for God is our refuge.” – Psalm 62:8
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 62:5-6
“You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress. In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.” -Psalm 59:9 -10
Rocking this trembling little girl, gave me such a clear picture of my own trembling. At times, I shake like a leaf out of my fears for the future, my fear of men, my fear of not being good enough, and my fear of emotions. Holding Tania, reminded me that my Heavenly Father holds me fast.
As I continue to attach to God as my Heavenly Papa – the painful imprints left from the masculine figures in my story – begins to dissipate. Through this child- God gave me a picture of what it is like to be loved, known, cherished and nourished.
My Dear Sister,
Today, He says to you, “let me hold you”, “LET me stand with you and protect you”…
“Dear One, I want you to experience the strength of my arms , the nourishment, warmth and safety just the way you’ve held a little one. I want you to know, I warm and comfort you. I hold you, reassure you, I long to be in relationship with you and I long for you to allow me to hold you. In fact, I love when you let me hold you and soothe you into a place of peace. You are beautiful, I cherish you. I hold you when the chaos of life is too much to bear. I connect with you deeply and authentically. Our vulnerability brings warmth and life. I am with you and you have access to my arms anytime you want.”
You are WORTHY to be loved, protected and chosen.
I am WORTHY to be loved, protected and chosen.
Jesus, you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to YOU I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge, the God who shows me UNFAILING LOVE. (Ps. 59:16-17)
You are not alone.