Being Held

Being Held

Many years ago, I was sitting in a counselor’s office completely brokenhearted over my marriage. The counselor was a nice person, but she had no real guidance to offer. Her therapeutic approach involved hours of long-faced listening. After that, her advice was simple: “The answers are within you.”

Right. I wouldn’t have been there if that were so.

Black and white grunge image of a teen girl cryingWhen you are broken, you stumble around looking for some kind of solace. I was vulnerable, and unfortunately, I received a lot of bad advice in those days.

But God is a God who sees. Hagar knew that. (Gen. 16:13)

On my last appointment with that particular counselor, something took me by surprise. She had me lean back on her couch and asked me to close my eyes. What now, I thought. She said, “I want you to think about your Higher Power, whatever that is for you.” I argued inside. Why was I paying good money for this?

But as she left me alone, I entered into a vision.

View to the seaside and hills - beauty of natureSomehow, I was standing on a hillside facing the Sea of Galilee. Shining water lapped along the shore about fifty yards away. A warm spring-like wind sifted through tall grasses, and the sunshine felt soothing on my skin.

In that beautiful scene, Jesus strolled up to me. He wore a white woven tunic. I felt comfortable with Him as if He were my own father. He opened His arms, and I leaned into Him, placing my head against His chest. He didn’t say a word, but held me as I wept. He seemed to have all the time in the world.

It felt like this...

It felt like this…

Soon, I realized my tears were not just about the sorrow in my life. They were also tears of feeling understood and even cherished by God. It filled a longing deep within me, a need that my husband was unable to meet.


Have you ever felt cherished by anyone?

Father blessing at Burning ManThat kind of love has the power to break the heavy yoke, bind up open wounds, cover a multitude of mistakes, and fill the gnawing emptiness in our souls. In truth, aren’t we all looking for that True Love?

God came to me in a vision. I hadn’t experienced that before. I was undone. I’m not sure how long I laid on her couch. It could have been minutes, but to me it seemed like an hour. I didn’t want it to end.

Soon our time was up, and she tapped me on the shoulder. I snapped out of it but left her office dazed and unexpectedly light-hearted.

It just goes to show that God can meet you anywhere.

A week later, I went to an Al-Anon meeting. Someone raised the topic of having a Higher Power, and the discussion focused on what that meant to different people. I told them about my vision, struggling for the right words to fully describe it. The room went completely silent. I wondered if I’d said something out-of-line, until several members came to me afterwards. They said my story was captivating. They’d never heard anything like it and wanted to know more.

Bed in surreal peaceful landscapeI don’t know how visions happen, anymore than I understand how dreams form in our minds at night. What I do know is this: You have to start from a place of faith, believing that God in His mysterious ways can intersect your reality. It’s like sowing seed and expecting rain will come.

Secondly, God is drawn to the broken-hearted, as well as those who are humble and contrite. Faith and the condition of our hearts can create the right atmosphere for God to speak, but those things never limit Him either.

Many years later, I wrote down a prophetic word for another woman who was angry and depressed.  As I reread my notes, the vision God gave me so long ago came back in startling definition. Though Jesus said no words in the vision, this was essentially the message…

“Come into My embrace for you have not rested for a long, long time. I am very present. Let Me hold you as you tell Me one by one the sorrows of your past. Take all the time that you need, for I will listen. And one by one, each scene of pain, as you pour it out will be washed away. And then you will have room in your heart for the joy I have to give you.”

Jesus is handing you something about identityCan you hear the tenderness in Jesus’s voice? Can you feel what it’s like to be cherished by God in your pain and sorrow? That is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Close your eyes right now and picture Jesus coming into the room. He has something for you in His hand. He wants to say something. Wait for it…


  1. Thank you for this beautiful message today… It has struck deep within my heart a chord of recognition. Many years ago I had a vision very similar to this, where Jesus and I sat under a tree in the midst of expansive meadows. My head rested in his lap and I felt completely cherished, peaceful and safe. I cried out of the sheer relief of having found such belonging and acceptance. But over the years I have forgotten that feeling of being loved and cherished for just being myself.

    My husband has not left our home, but he has abandoned our marriage. He has turned his heart against me and his focus toward friends, football and drinking. The man I once believed would never betray or forsake me has no emotional capacity to deal with his inner demons or willingness to work on healing his own heart or mine. So, what once was beautiful and sacred between us has crumbled to dust. We live as roommates on opposite sides of the house. He stays away as much as possible, and I have given up trying to convince him that our marriage and our son should be the most important investments of our lives. He once held and cherished me, heart, mind and soul. Now he is a stranger to me, who chooses addictions and distractions to cope with daily life.

    You have reminded me today that I need to seek the embrace of Jesus again. I may never feel the comforting embrace of my husband as I long to know it again… but I do know Who will always be here for me and He will never turn His Love away.

    Thank you for writing so beautifully and intimately of the path you have walked, of pain and sorrow and finding Home.

    • Nikole, my heart breaks for you…It is one of the most painful experiences in life to feel rejected or betrayed in marriage. Pray that your husband will encounter God’s Holy Spirit in his innermost being and feel the love of God and you seek that also for yourself. My prayers today are for you… Love, Susan

  2. Hi Susan, I believe the Holy Spirit led me to stumble upon this and other articles of yours today. I am overwhelmed by the wisdom that you transmit through these articles. Thank you Susan! I will be back often
    God Bless, Sherry

    • Sherry, thanks for your comment! Hope you subscribe to my blog. I only post every other Sunday. Visit my homepage to sign up!