Relief. That's the only word to describe it.
In the middle of the night, Marianna came down to our room crying, having just woken up from a nightmare. It's the first nightmare she's ever had, and she told me this morning that she dreamed someone had taken her from a car. But last night I didn't ask questions. I just pulled out a blanket and let her lay down next to our bed.
But even with the close proximity, she continued to whimper. I kept telling her, "Honey, it's okay. Momma is right here with you." That wasn't enough for her. Soon I saw her hand peaking up from the top of the bed, and she said, "Mommy, I need you to hold my hand."
I moved to the edge of the bed and let her hand latch onto my fingers, and it wasn't ten seconds before her other hand flew up and grabbed my hand as well. The two handed grip on her lifeline, my hand, was what she wanted. It wasn't enough to be in the same room and know I was with her; she needed to feel my touch.
Even at 3:00 in the morning, the parallel between her need for me and my need for God struck me with complete clarity. Yesterday, when I saw Adrienne's limp body, what I needed was God's touch. I knew He was there, but I wanted to feel His presence.
I told you that I was reading The Shack, and one of the things that I think really draws people to the book is the fact that God, manifesting Himself in human form, is able to be there physically for the main character, Mack. God can wrap physical arms around Mack, and show that love that is sometimes so difficult to feel.
Really, that's what we all want. We want that closeness that can feel His presence, sense His arms, and know, not just in our head but in our heart, that He is there. And that's why we have His Spirit. In the absence of a physical touch, the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart and soul, providing a tangible comfort and physical peace in those moments of difficulty.
I felt that yesterday as I held Adrienne's body. I didn't know what was happening, but I knew I was not alone. Real arms would have been a beautiful thing, but I'm so grateful that God gives us His Spirit to minister to us in the meantime.
One day we will see with our eyes, one day we will touch Jesus, one day we will KNOW. But for right now, even when I cant grip God's hand with both of mine in a physical sense, praise His name, I can do so spiritually. He is real and He is here, always, and most especially in times of trouble.
Just so you know, this is how I found Adrienne this morning, sleeping deeply and peacefully, with only her clothes, the little hospital gown and bracelet, to speak of the trauma of yesterday. She is happy and feeling good. Again, thank you, Jesus!