When Trent our youngest son was a toddler, I would gaze down at that precious cherub face gently framed by his golden locks of hair, and ask him, ” Do you want mommy to hold you?; especially when he seemed in need of a snuggle of comfort or reassurance.With his nod of approval he would be swooped up in my loving arms with sheer delight, embracing the joy of the tender moment. More often than not, he was content and fully engaged in life with endless bounds of energy and no need for mommy to hold him. He had places to go, people to see, and by golly things to do.
When I come to think about it, reflecting on Trent’s childhood photos, it is safe to say there are way more photos of him it motion than sitting still. Yet every now and then his little spirit needed comfort and if I was busy and not as keen to his needs, he would come to my side tug on my clothing or wrap his arms around my leg; all the while looking up with his brown eyes and squeezable cheeks saying, “Mommy hold you me”. My heart would melt at his adorable rendition of my all to familiar question and soon he would be in my arms greeted with a kiss and the comfort he was longing for. “Mommy hold you me” is one of my all time favorite sayings during his toddler years, and has been one I draw on as a spiritual lesson as well.
Hold you me … is like saying, “Love others as you love yourself”.* Matt: 22:39
One colossal hurdle for me has been the journey of learning to love myself. Reeling from crippling low self esteem and a distorted body image, which in my early twenties lead me on a painful journey of battling anorexia prior to marrying Kevin. My unhealthy body image would have morphed into bulimia after we got married if he had not caught me with my head in the toilet trying to throw up. Confident I had locked the bathroom door to hide my shame, surely had it not been for that divine intervention I would have began to spiral down the chasm of bulimia. Coupled with that divine intervention, was the gift of Kevin’s faithfulness and love to always compliment me no matter what the bathroom scale registered. That unconditional love allows me the freedom to learn to love myself as God intends… banishing the lies of the enemy and the worldly distortions that had bombarded my soul .
Through the years I have been ruthless… unyielding to extend grace or unconditional love to myself… instead allowing a grueling taskmaster to hammer at my soul without mercy. Punishing every flaw and imperfection, begging it to submit to the unattainable idol of perfection. Though I could love and forgive others in my limited capacity I could never seem to extend that luxury to myself. Looking back now, if I had a friend that treated me as badly as treated myself I would have dropped that abusive relationship like a hot potato. I’m still learning to love me as I snuggle up in the arms of a profoundly loving God; attuning my heart to hear His heart and thoughts towards me… His beloved daughter. Just as Trent needed that reassuring comfort and love from me.
When a scribe asked Jesus which commandment is the first and principal of all? Jesus answered, “The first is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater then these. ” *Mark 12: 30,31 Paraphrased
“The scribe admired and embraced the truth Jesus laid out and when Jesus saw that he answered intelligently (discreetly and having his wits about him) He said ” You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Loving God out of and with our whole heart and out of and with all our soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (your faculty of thought and your moral understanding ) and out of and with all your strength “* AMP Mark 12:32,33 Paraphrased
Oh to not be far from the kingdom of God, Such freedom ! He wants all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. When we press into Him we are comforted and loved with the deepest love that goes to the core of our being. Bringing healing and wholeness into every nook and cranny of brokenness. How can love for ourselves and others not flow out from that rich abundance?
Profound revelations from the mouth of a babe. Now with that resounding love and freedom I have places to go, people to love and by golly things to do! Please join me as we have Jesus, “Hold You Me”.
“Give away a breathtaking amount of grace.We have an endless supply since it comes from an infinite source”
Live in Grace, Walk in Love. Bob Goff
“How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end] I would still be with You.” Psalms 139:7,8 AMP