Faith, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Embrace: The Power of an Embrace

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—EMBRACE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

EMBRACE

There’s something indescribable that happens in my heart when one of my boys slings an arm around my waist or my neck. From the time they were infants, there was something so . . . accepting in the simplicity of them wrapping their arms around my neck and squeezing.

Something so beyond satisfying as I held them close to my body.

Nowadays, those embraces come less often, but the sense of love—of safety—that comes for each of us is almost palpable.

There’s something that conveys safety in the wrapping of an embrace.

It’s true with physical embraces. What about those intangible embraces?

 

When we walk through a difficult season and God shows up? When He reveals himself in a way only God could? That’s like an embrace. It’s a tangible reminder that He loves us.

When He brings me face-to-face with something in my heart that needs change? That’s a hard embrace. But the hopeful thing is, He doesn’t just show me, He helps implement the change in the perfect way only He can.

Only a loving Father embraces the hard places in us and loves us enough to bring about change. Because it’s often in those hard lessons learned that we are gifted with freedom.

When we walk through seasons when that desire we’ve longed for, maybe even pinned hopes on, doesn’t come? We have to learn to trust. To wrap our arms around our Father’s neck and cry into his shoulder.

He holds us close and whispers words of love and truth as we pour out our hearts to Him.

 

God’s embraces may look a little different than we expect. But we can be assured that His safety is always there for us.

He’s not a predictable God, or a “safe lion,” as C. S. Lewis wrote, but He is always a good God, a loving Father, and a safe haven for us.

What about you? When have you experienced God’s embrace in your life? What’s one way God has taught you to trust Him?

Click to Tweet: What is in an embrace?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Heading Home Five Minute Friday—Embrace

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33 thoughts on “Embrace: The Power of an Embrace”

  1. Nature embraces me often–a hummingbird will show up just when I need to delight in something amazing. A sunset will embrace me with arms of purple and gold at the end of a hard day. God sends his messages over and over–I just need to pause and accept the embrace!

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    1. I love this, Anita. God knows what will speak to our spirits, what will be an embrace for us. I need to be better at pausing for His embraces too. Enjoy a sunset and some hummers this weekend. 🙂

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  2. Jeanne, I love how you wrote that “only the loving Father embraces the hard places in us and loves us enough to bring about change.” There is such a truth to this words. I need to be looking to God to change all my hard places, not to others. So good!

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    1. Bonnie, I still forget to look to God and not to others to heal and change my hard places too. I’m better about looking to Him. Thank you so much for sharing your words here!

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  3. I think I spent so much time waiting for the embrace that I ended up missing out! When I started a gratitude journal is when I realized how God’s embrace is there in all things, in all ways! Amazes me how changing your mindset can let the Spirit in!

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    1. Marisa, I’ve had times when I looked for a different embrace than God was offering, and I’ve missed it too. I have a gratitude journal too. It’s such a beautiful reminder of the many ways God loves us, isn’t it? Thanks so much for sharing one way you find God’s embraces. 🙂

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  4. What a wonderful essay, Jeanne. You’ve given a strong theological principle such personal warmth!

    I’m not sure how to describe the way in which I feel God’s embrace; it’s really a quiet thing, almost intangible, the still, small voice of encouragement coming after the mighty wind of despair.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Andrew. I am glad you hear His encouraging words for you after those hard winds blow. Listening to His truth and His love for us is healing. Thank you for sharing how you sense God’s embraces, Andrew.

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  5. Jeanne, thanks for your words here. As I get older and some of my former certainties become a little more fuzzy and fragile, I find that that sense of God’s embrace actually gets stronger. I can’t really describe it other than just that sense of “all-rightness” even in the midst of difficult times. Trusting that God embraces all of us, for our good in all things, is a lifelong lesson, I think.

    Jeannie (#27 in linkup this week)

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    1. I would agree with you, Jeannie. Some of God’s embraces do get stronger. I like the way you described it. It resonates. I agree that we’ll probably be learning how to accept God’s good for our good in all things throughout our lives. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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  6. Love this: “Only a loving Father embraces the hard places in us and loves us enough to bring about change. Because it’s often in those hard lessons learned that we are gifted with freedom.” Beautiful post, Jeanne! Thanks for sharing ❤

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  7. “Only a loving Father embraces the hard places in us and loves us enough to bring about change.” Yes! I’ve made choices out of desperation that were not in my best interest but out of my desire to control the slippery ground under my feet. But God reaches in and holds us up while allowing the consequences to speak of trusting in Him. The reality is that I had wiggled out of the embrace.

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    1. Hmmm, Stephanie, I have made choices out of desperation too. That’s never a good place to make decisions from. I loved what you said here: “But God reaches in and holds us up while allowing the consequences to speak of trusting in Him. The reality is that I had wiggled out of the embrace.” Just beautiful, friend!

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  8. Hi, Jeanne, the wild lion! I came across that somewhere else recently and the image is so true. We serve an untameable God who asks us to trust. Learning with you. P.S. that photo of you and your son = pure joy!

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    1. Hi Christina! I’m so behind on blog things. 🙂 Spring Break does that to a mama. 🙂 I love that image of Jesus. He definitely is NOT tame, but He is infinitely good! Yep, that pic of my boy and me is so old! He’s so big now. 😉

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  9. Jeanne,
    My son is 24 and I still love his big “bear hug” embraces…I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of them 🙂 God has embraced me at my lowest points in life and it gives me courage and confidence that no matter what i face, He will always be here. Enjoyed your 5 minute post!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, you give me hope that my boys will continue hugging me into adulthood. I LOVE their hugs. And yes, I am so thankful for God’s reassurances that He will always be there for and with us. Thank you so much for stopping by. I always love your wisdom.

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  10. So much this! The freedom is worth those hard embraces for sure! Only a loving Father embraces the hard places in us and loves us enough to bring about change. Because it’s often in those hard lessons learned that we are gifted with freedom.

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    1. Christy, please forgive me for not commenting sooner. The past five days have been C-R-A-Z-Y. I’m only just beginning to breathe again. 🙂 I’m so thankful that God is faithful and that He always stays with us. That He loves us enough to soften those hard places in our hearts so we can become more like Him. Thank you so much for stopping by, friend!

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  11. A beautiful, heart hugging post, J! Jesus hugged my heart hard for many months after a heart-wrenching break up about three years ago. And felt those heart hugs many times since. He never let’s go….

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  12. This is a spectacular post.
    The heartfelt, warm hug of Jesus is all a man would ever need to keep on going. That embrace accompanied by an outpouring of His abundant grace and strength. That embrace when His love overhelms you and engulfs your whole being. Thereby, merging your heart and His into one. And finally, utimately residing in you as a everlasting joy.

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    1. Kingsley, God’s embrace is pretty powerful, isn’t it? Like you, I’m so thankful for His outpouring of grace and strength. I like your description of how our hearts merge with His. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here!

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