The Hug that Came from Heaven

My brother in the Lord wrapped his arms around me a few days ago and refused to let go. Even when I tried to get outside of his hold as I have done for years when somebody hugs me, he refused to release me. Even when he felt my resistance that comes from years of battling the haunting of having been sexually abused, he held me even harder.

Even though he knew I have been abandoned by my father, my family, and two husbands, he did not turn away. He just clung closer, he strengthened his grip on me, he fought for me to receive from him, and he carried on with his endeavor. I carried on with my mission, too. I felt the fear I have felt for so very long – what will he do to me? What will he take from me? When will I discover this place in his hold isn’t safe? It will all go away. I will be left, broken and barren. Abandoned again. My brother in the Lord used every ounce of strength he has, every ounce of love he knows, every ounce of tenacity, to never let go. He opened up his arms only when he knew with certainty I would walk out of his embrace with knowing something I have never really, truly, known, believed, and understood.

Twenty-hours later, I understood. I had told him I can be as tenacious as a pit-bull terrier. This is how I hold onto God. I hold onto God because I refuse to ever let Him go. But I never understood until my friend held me that this is how God loves me. He loves me with the certainty, with the fervor, with the determination, with all the strength and mercy and grace and forgiveness and compassion and commitment and safety and everlasting, unconditional, everlasting, eternal, forever love in the universe. And no matter how I feel, no matter how I look, no matter how I act, what I have done or accomplished or not done or failed at, no matter where I come from, no matter how rejected and hurt and abandoned I have been, He remains – holding me, never letting me go.

I do not recall anything my friend told me as he held me with one exception. “I think you need a hug,” he said. And I know he could only have known this from God. He could only have known from God how desperately I have needed to be held – and how I, myself, didn’t even know this. I have resisted this for so very long because of the haunting from my past that I figured I had killed the need in me. I figured I had gotten rid of the longing to be loved. I figured I could love God even when I have not truly believed that God Himself loves me. But I had not killed the need. I had only foolishly come to believe that I did not have the need, nor the desire. I was simply too afraid, too haunted by my past, and still am, to be honest, to understand that God in His infinite wisdom would know just exactly how to bring me to a new realization.

No matter what humans have done to me, no matter what humans still do to me, no matter what humans will do to me, no matter what I as a human have done to others, no matter what humans have, and are doing, and will do to others, God with His unfailing love will never let me go.

Not ever.

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