I can still pick her up. She is tall and willowy and almost nine. But I can still carry her.
And that’s why I’m here. To carry her.
She keeps getting picked on at school. So sometimes I carry her backpack from the classroom to the car for her.
She is sleepy because she’s staying up reading in bed too late at night, so I offer a piggy-back from her bed to the bathroom to brush her teeth in the morning. I carry her.
And when she’s sad, and she is sad quite a bit lately, I pick her up with her skinny little legs wrapped around my waist and her bony arms around my neck. I carry her and I’m tall so I can walk around the house like this for a minute until I find a sofa for us both to settle into.
And then I hold her.
Should she walk on her own to the bathroom for her teeth? Absolutely. Should she pull her own backpack? She usually does. Should I indulge her by carrying her once in awhile at nine years old? But is it even indulging when she simply needs a safe
place to land?
A safe place to be. A safe place to know that she is in the middle of those who love her. She needs a safe place to hear her mother’s heart for her and that we in this home are FOR her. That we will fight for her.
She needs to know that she matters more than the rest of it. More than the boys who bug her at school, more than the crazy feelings in her head, more than the difficulty of being nine. More than her frustration. She matters more than all of it.
And we parents, when did we become grown up enough to be in charge of any of this? Sometimes we need a safe place too.
But maybe we are too busy doing all of the things we need to do to carry a family, we forget to be carried ourselves. We forget that sometimes we break, sometimes we really can’t do it all.
And we try. We stay up all the hours it takes to make that deadline, to plan the event, to do the dishes and put all the toys where they go, only to be dragged out again and again.
And then once in awhile we really can’t push forward. It’s not bullies at school at our age, but it is life pressures, marriage pressures, relationship pressures, and professional pressures that put us from time to time in that place where our feet don’t move.
Sometimes we all need a safe place. We need to be carried.
I’ve found myself at a place in the last few months when I’ve needed to be carried, and when I’m finally there, I realize what a hard place that is. It’s humbling, it’s painful, and it’s true.
Sometimes I need someone to say, “Stand up for yourself,” and “You can do this; you have this.”
But sometimes I need someone to gently lift me and carry me because there is nothing left.
Let us be a people who are carriers of one another. Let us look with intention around us to find those who need to be lifted and held rather than scolded, and then Lord give us the strength to carry. And when it is we who need to be carried, let us have those around us who can do it.
When she was little, long before she grew limbs long and strong, she raised chubby arms to me and said, “Hold you, Mama?”
She meant, “Hold ME.” She wanted to be held, but she couldn’t form the thought right. Maybe we can be those Hold You types, the ones who carry others even when they can’t find the words.
Will you carry me? Can we carry one another? Because I don’t know a better way to live this life than this.Leave a Comment
That brought back such a sweet memory. My son used to say, “Hold you,” as well! I always thought it was so precious:) I hadn’t thought about that in years. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face this morning!
Tami Harbin says
Thanks, Sarah! I really like this!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
First, I just don’t get why a beautiful little girl like yours would be picked on and bullied at school? I fear for our society.
Second, when I completely get to the end of myself and I usually wind up in a lump of tears, I have this image that I envision. I picture Jesus, holding a tiny and scared lamb in his strong and protective arms. I am that lamb. I picture myself being held and nuzzled and calmed down by his loving presence. I am carried in his protective arms when I can’t walk another step on my own. He carries me.
Yes, Amen, that we need to carry each other. Thank you for a beautiful reminder this morning!
Beth Williams says
Love that picture of Jesus carrying us!
Thanks Bev! 🙂
Have you considered homeschooling? I just cringe at the thought of a girl getting picked on. School isn’t worth that agony. Praying.
Dear Sarah – what a beautiful reflection.
Brought tears to my eyes. My youngest son, who is 10, is getting picked on at school. He is such a dear, sweet boy – it breaks my heart to see him go through such awful pain.
My husband left in November so this of course adds to the pain.
One foot in front of the other all the while being carried by God’s love and grace.
Beth Williams says
Prayers for you and your family! May God give you the courage and strength you need to carry on! Prayers for your son also! May God protect him at school! I pray you all feel a sense of peace and contentment with God on your side always!
Prayers and blessings 🙂
Jenni DeWitt says
My 8-year-old son has been having a hard time at school, especially this week, so your words really echo with me. Like you, I do sense his need for the comfort of those earlier years sometimes. Last night at bedtime, I sang him the song I used to sing to him every night when he was really little. I could just see his face relax from the comfort of it. They seem to be making that transition from little-big kid to big kid at this age, and it can be hard, I think. But, as you say, we are all making our spiritual transition from little-big kid to big kid as we walk through this world, and sometimes we need to hear Our Father’s heart and that old, familiar song. Thank you for your post. You brought me to tears.
Jenni @ http://genuflected.com
Sarah – Thank you so much for sharing your heart. It is so beautiful. I feel loved, cared for, carried, and nourished by your words. I feel inspired to love myself enough to recognize those times when I need to be carried. I feel inspired and moved to “look out with intention around me to find those who need to be lifted and held rather than scolded.” To reach out to be a carrier.
Blessings and Hugs,
Thank you, Sarah…that was beautiful…brought tears. It is such truth that we all need carrying at times. I am more grateful each day that we have the ultimate arms in which to be held. I think of (and sometimes escape to) the song “Held” by Natalie Grant. My heart and prayers go out to you, Sarah, Trista, and Jenni with your young ones. My youngest is 20 now and yes, sometimes his sweet soul needs to be carried…no not physically…lol, as he towers over me….the young man he is becoming…but, there are times when his tender spirit needs to be held…just held.
beautiful. you perfectly put in to words all the things i intuitively did with my own children when they were young. they are now young adults, finding their own way, but 100% secure in the love that exists in “coming home.” thank you, Sarah
When I feel overwhelmed & need to be held I picture myself climbing onto God’s lap & putting my head on His shoulder while He wraps His arms around me…. Like I did with my earthly parents when I was a child. It brings me great comfort. Praying we all remember He holds us in His righteous right hand and wants to be our comforter.
When you are young, life need’s and have to’s were easy to do and you wanted to do them. As you get “older” it isn’t easy any more and by then life has tossed you around and some times it is a struggle to move on. To be held by another is a blessing that words can not really express but the support you feel goes so deep with in and the comfort is warm. With that feeling of well being,
comfort you sense a strength, courage to move on.
One of my favorite examples from the Word illustrates this so beautifully. When the children of Israel were in battle as long as Moses kept the banner raised they were winning. When his arms got heavy they began to lose. But then his friends came alongside him to hold him up. Aaron and Hur propped Moses up on a rock and each one took an arm and helped him keep the banner raised. This is a powerful reminder for me to keep others lifted up.
Yolanda D Young says
This is beautiful…..as believers are suppose to carry one another as needed; be a safe place for one another…It reminds of the New Testament Church…Acts2:44 “And all that believed were together and had all things common.” And Ephesians 4:16….this verse references us as being joined together and compacted by which every joint supplieth..
In this world of business….we often times forget we are suppose to be safe harbors for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Nicolette Choi says
This was beautiful and so completely on time! And my little ones said/say the same thing! Sweet sweet memories❤️❤️❤️
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
We so need to reach out and carry others around us, if we see someone is hurting and struggling, they need us! We cannot just keep going on with our busy lives knowing they are desperately hoping someone will notice their pain.
I hope everyone out there is reaching out to someone, or being reached by someone…
I know there is someone I need to check on right now.
Thank-you for sharing such a meaningful message with us. I also feel we need to be in tuned to reach out to those in need.
For anyone that feels as though they have no one to turn to
I thought I would include the last verse from:
“Footprints In The Sand.”
“My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your time of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints it was then that I carried you.”
Kristi Smith says
I think you are on to something here!!!! Thank you for prompting us to take a look at our Father as someone who longs to carry us. As women I think perhaps we feel like we should be able to carry the weight of everyone else around us, but when we get tired or need a turn being carried we are the first to shame ourselves. Why is it that we feel ashamed to ask for help? We do a lot of the carrying, so wouldn’t it make sense that we should be able to take a turn at being carried and not feel guilty about it? It’s like we should somehow not need to be carried, because we are the carriers.
Three years ago, when my husband died suddenly at the age of 48, I needed carried. His death happened so fast and the pain of loss was so crippling that I found myself falling to my knees. I was unable to absorb the sight of my husband lying lifeless on the driveway… let alone carry the weight of my shattering heart… or bear the burden of my two daughters’ terror-filled eyes. It was too much. I would like to say that I leaned into God, but it was more like my knees buckled and I collapsed in a heap of sorrow than I leaned.
I remember standing in the driveway and feeling like this was going to be too much. That I would surely be swept away in a tornado of grief. My mind was swirling and my emotions were imploding. I could not handle it all and I felt myself going down. You know the feeling. It was like I would suffocate under the weight of it all or be crushed like a bug on the windshield of the oncoming car. I was outsized by the mammoth of emotions driving toward me. It was like an explosion happened on some distant hill and an avalanche was heading straight for me. I was afraid I was going to be buried alive. The shear shock of it all was enough to knock me over. I fell. I fell fats and hard, but before I skid onto the hard concrete pavement… I fell against something else. At first I didn’t know what it was that had scooped me up and I will be honest with you, I didn’t care. I was being lifted. I was being carried. At this point, I am not sure that I was able to comprehend what all was going on around me. All that I knew was that no matter what else happened that night I was not going to be swallowed whole. I was going to be okay. My girls were going to be okay.
Whatever or whoever it was that was holding me up was not going to let me fall. I was in the firm grip of something bigger. But what is bigger than death. Something or someone stronger. But who or what is stronger than absolute destruction? I was being carried by something big, but not scary. Strong, yet caring. Solid, but not hard at all. What could this be? Who could this be?
It was the heart of God. God Himself had gathered me in His arms and held me against His chest and I knew the way that He was holding me that He would never let me crash completely. I had not aimed for the safety of my Savior. In my moment of weakness, I had not targeted anything at all. I knew God was a soft place to land, but I was not landing…I was falling out of the sky.
All I remember is that I was falling, but I did not fall. God swooped in and caught me before I was even totally aware that I was falling. There He was and in that moment God allowed me to lean on Him like never before. Not only did He hold me up that pivotal evening, but He continues to hold me up. Those next few months it was as if God had some sort of stabilizing material running down my spine that held me up. I did not stand of my own power I can tell you that!!!
During the coming seasons of grief God also taught me who else I could lean on. Not all the people that I had expected to be strong were able to help me stand. Maybe they were overcome by their own brokenness, in their own season of life with struggles they were facing, or perhaps they just had an inability to know how to handle something so severe, I am not sure.
There were those who could not handle it at all, but there were those that I could place my whole weight on. These were seasoned warriors who had at one time in their own lives fallen, collapsed, or were nearly smashed. They had built up incredible muscles and stamina and were true angels to me. I could lean on them with my whole weight of fear, anger, disappointment, sorrow and they could take it. They were stronger than me and they allowed me, even encouraged me, to fall back into them. I am forever changed by their willingness to help me stand when I had no strength of my own.
And then there were those who we learned how to lean on each other. We were able to stand together because neither person was placing more weight than the other. We simply fell forward onto each other and that was enough to keep us both standing. Like a suspension bridge we stayed above the water by leaning onto each other. Their strength became mine and mine became theirs’.
Maybe as women we feel like we should carry the burdens of everyone else, but I am grateful to a God who caught me when I needed it most. God Himself had been the safety net that gently cradled me and caught me in mid-air. I am forever indebted to the dear people who allowed me to collapse into them and for the lovely people who allowed me to lean on them as they leaned on me.
Compared to crashing to my emotional death I would much rather be carried. How about you?
Thank you again Sarah for reminding me that God loves to carry me and I am so glad He does.
Dare to DREAM,
Author of “DREAM…a guide to grieving gracefully”
for more information visit http://dreamsmithbooks.com
Thank you for sharing. This touched my heart as I thought back to a conversation with a friend about her daughter this morning. And then my realization that I myself am at a point of exhaustion where I just want to be held.
Thank you so much for writing this. It is encouraging to see that you notice. I have felt unimportant, unnoticed and unheard for quite a while now. Today I again got in a situation that hurt so much in those areas and I hardly cried about it. I feel like that little girl in me has simply accepted that this is the way it is. That things will stay the same and no one will come and carry me, ask me how I am, say my name, listen to my stories… But I have seen a glimpse of hope in everything you wrote, so thank you! You are a blessing to me.
How are you? I hope that starting right now that you will see a change for the better.
Wow thank you! I did not think anyone would read my comment… I have been a bit better, but still struggling. God is good! I know everything will be alright again. Thanks Penny, you really blessed me with your comment!
Beth Williams says
You are very important! God loves you and so do we! I will pray for you! May you feel God’s loving arms around you carrying you during this time!
Peace and blessings 🙂
Laurie Wallin says
You know what I love about this? It’s not grand or theoretical. I can do it daily with the people in my house, at the store, picking up my kids at school. Thanks!
Susan Gruener says
Thanks so much Sarah. This sounded so much like me…. and my daughter… and my grandson…my family. I think almost everyone needs to read this. We do all need to be carried. I’ve been there too. So glad we have a God that is always there to carry us… He’s always ready, always willing, always waiting for us, and He’s so able.
Angie Ryg says
“Maybe we can be those Hold You types, the ones who carry others even when they can’t find the words”
Yes. Just this. May He grant me the eyes to see those who need to be carried.
Anne Marie says
Thank you for reminding me that it’s ok not to be able to do it all alone.
Sharon Martin says
I really needed this morning to start my day. There are times when I really need someone yo carry me, and say, everything is going to be alright. So nice to know I’m not the only one out there that feels this way. Thanks!!!!!
Beth Williams says
I try my best to encourage people all the time. I enjoy sending e-cards, notes, cards, etc. Whatever to tell someone I’m praying or just thinking of them.
Last year it was my turn to ask and need carrying. I moved my aging dad into assisted living and dealt with many health issues–in ER 4 times. He also had a couple of psych issues. My job stress and my hubby’s almost job loss was a lot for me. It overwhelmed me! Fortunately people were there to pray and carry me.
It is good you bring us all to know this truth at this time. I hope i can learn to be carried and carry others when the comes by God’s grace
Do you know someone like me? I have been divorced for 26yrs I have a 28yr old daughter with her own life as well as friends whose own families take priority…I have learned to lean on God and people may see me as strong…I am active serving the Lord…but partly I am busy to avoid the loneliness I still can’t shake….maybe God will answer my prayer if the reason is to let others know our silent pain…we rarely ever get a hug or are included in family time…we just keep going hoping to forget the silence of aloneness…don’t forget about us…we may not ask but we need you
Such a beautiful post. I love the insights you’ve shared. You sound like a great momma. 🙂
Love it, love it, love it!!! I have an 8 year old amazing boy and I do the same with him ;o) love it!!
Beth Williams, thank you so much! I don’t know what to say.. Thank you, your words and prayers are very encouraging!
I remember when my littles used to say “hold you”- so beautiful! Yes, let’s be willing to both carry and be carried.
Thank you Sarah, may you continue to be lead by our Father as you share your thoughts and revelations.
I just needed a reminder it’s okay to be carried. I keep telling myself not to burden others, for we all have our own load but you reminded me how blessed I feel when I carry others and sometimes I need to allow others to bless me!
I have just lost my mother and although she lived a long life, I am truly heartbroken. I know God is here right beside me, but also know I’m holding it together on the outside to not be a burden on others. You helped me remember God has placed others in my life for times such as these…it’s time to let them in and be carried.
Such beautiful words…in tears right now as I read this.
I, like so many others just need to be carried, the need to feel loved and safe.
I am feeling so alone and lost.
My marriage, health, work and life in general is just falling a part and my heart is heavy and so very sad!
Thank you for sharing this today as it bring some comfort to know I am not alone or (crazy) in the need to “be carried”….