Monday, January 26, 2009

Hearing the Heartbeat

      Though years pass by in warp speed, the memories hold strong, as if they were yesterday.  I loved the moments of my children resting on my chest.  They came crying, tormented by a fall, anger or restlessness.  I would grab them up into my arms, as I spoke over them words of comfort.  My breath washed over them as I wiped away their tears.  Eventually they would snuggle in close, laying their heads upon my chest.  As they listened to the sound of my heartbeat, the unshakable strumming soothed them into silent rest.

     Other memories flood my mind of snuggling in close to my groom, laying my head on his chest while his arms surrounded me.  I could hear his heart beating, strong and steady.  A soothing sound, the consistent beat would bring me to a quiet slumber.  I was safe in the arms of love. 

      There’s something about hearing the heartbeat of one who loves you soothing you to a stillness that consumes your body.  As you nestle in close, between their shoulders, the anxiety that you feel seems to dissipate.  You are securely enfolded in love.

     This place of stillness with Papa is unlike any other place on earth.  With tears or words of frustration and anger I  make my way in.  He takes His arms and wraps them around me, inviting me to this place of hushed rest.  It’s the place where His voice soothes away my aches with truth.

      It was a hard weekend.  Conversations with a couple of family members went “south” taking with it my peaceful home.  On top of that a dear family member, my great aunt, died.  She was my 3rd grandmother.  She represented Papa God to me with her heart of giving and care.  

      Feeling a rawness from life’s circumstances I stumbled in this morning to tell Him where I was.  Sometimes it’s hard to put words to the emotions that are consuming me.  Sometimes words are plentiful.  Either way, His invitation is the same.  

     “Come nestle up close to me, Jewel.”  “Tell me what’s going on.”

       I feel His arms surround me as He breathes His breath of life over me.  I can rest secure in the arms of the one who loves me perfectly.  It’s OK that I’m not perfect.  It’s OK that I mess up. He doesn’t care.  He doesn’t see my imperfections.  His love covers it all.  He sees through the eyes of love that draws me in.

     “Be still, my love, I will hold you.”  “I’ve got you.”  “You are here nestled in next to my heart.”  “Do you hear my heartbeat?”  “Be still, listen.”  “Let it settle you down.”  “Dwell here today.”

     His heartbeat strong and steady soothes my heart as I rest enfolded in His arms.  His arms are always there to welcome me in.  He waits to love me.  The beauty is, I don’t ever have to leave this place.  I have an extended invitation to dwell here for as long as I desire.

     There is no place on earth that feels like this.  I am consumed by His great love for me.  For years I didn’t know how to be here.  I stayed on the outskirts of love, hoping that somehow my sacrifices would invite me in.  A child afraid to hop into her Papa’s lap, I stayed back.  What if He didn’t want me up there, I reasoned.

     So, He drew me up to sit.  His invitation is extended every moment of every day to rest between His shoulders.  He waits to love us.  I see it now.  Freely I come.  For now, I know that there is no safer place on earth that this place.  It is here I hear His words and am comforted.  Now I know that He would move heaven and earth to have me here.  He already has.

     Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders."  Deut. 33:12

©copyrighted:  2009 Julie L. Todd


karin said... Reply to comment

My sympathies in the loss of your 3rd grandma! You were blessed to have had her influence as part of your life for so long! Your post about the various loving encounters during which we hear their heartbeat and they ours and relating that to our heavenly Father is straight from my heart as well. I love also when the Lord gives me hugs from my brothers and sisters in Christ - Jesus with flesh on! May you be comforted and consoled in your time of grief.

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

I'm so sorry for your loss, Julie. But I'm glad that you turned in towards your Papa. Rest, my friend. Rest.

ktwalden said... Reply to comment

So sorry you lost your dear great aunt, but how assuring it is to know you will see her again! Your passionate words about God's amazing comfort reminds me of an old song - "Sheltered in the Arms of God". He is our shelter....and all we have to do is come....

skoots1mom said... Reply to comment

losses are never easy...sending you comfort prayers..may your memories become even more golden

"as we rest between his shoulders, he pats us on the back and shows us our names written on the palms of his hands!"...

Laura said... Reply to comment

I'm so sorry, my precious friend, for the loss of your aunt. She must have been a very special lady to carry the gift of God's love to you. Yes, let Him hold you. Only He can sooth those hurting places. Let His heartbeat comfort.

I am praying for you, julie.

devita said... Reply to comment

I am so sorry you lost your grand mother. hugs and prayers for you, sister.

LisaShaw said... Reply to comment

Precious Julie, may the comfort of our Comforter the Holy Spirit, embrace you and your family at this time.

Love you.

Gail W. said... Reply to comment

Julie, I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother #3 - do any of us ever have enough grandmothers? Your post took me to that beautiful place you describe, in Papa's lap as I quiet down and listen to His steady heartbeat. Thank you so much for all your beautiful, powerful words!

Amy said... Reply to comment


My heart goes out to you...may Christ speak His beautiful words of comfort to you during this time of loss.

With love and prayers,

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie,
Thanks for visiting my blog site today.I dropped by here after reading the encouragement you left for me... and I have read, so far, the last three posts you wrote. You are right, we do speak the same language...even the way the Father speaks words to you, He does that to me too! As I was reading about Hearing the Heartbeat, Sloughing Off, and Expectations... this is the thought that came to my mind. I think we will be neighbors in heaven and will get to spend a lot of time together! I'll be stopping by here again, and will look forward to reading your archives...Glad the Lord allowed our paths to cross. I've been getting to know many wonderful women ever since I met Gail, and that wasn't too long ago! Bless her heart. Know too, that I'll be praying for God to comfort you in your time of grief. See you around!

Shanda said... Reply to comment

I read this while holding Zoe close to my heart! :o)

I just keep wondering when all the stripping away will be finished so that I too can truly understand such experiences you have with the Father. I'm sorry about your relationships with the family and the loss of your great aunt. Thank you for using these raw times to share and teach how you find rest and comfort in Him.

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Hi neighbor...I just finished reading one of your previous posts, Leaving It All Behind... there was no comment form at the end of it so I'm putting my comment here. It was so beautifully said. I echo every word you wrote. We have a destiny that's already set and ready to operate and be activated, once we give God the freedom to do so. Thanks for sharing!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Hello, sweet friend.

Thank you for your encouragement this week. Doing better. I love that He has shared a special message about the Meadowlark with you, too. Isn't it amazing how He works?

Thinking of you...


Shanda said... Reply to comment

You've been in my heart and on my mind...
have you received a BIG snow yet???

Much love to you this weekend!

Blessed Mom of 8 said... Reply to comment


I'm so sorry for your loss. May God continue to comfort you and your family during this time!

I too love the heart of God and how His beat will always match ours right where we are - not a moment too soon or too late. Always perfect and right on time!

Praising God for how He loved on you just the way you needed it and that you know to run to Him with every emotion that just doesn't fit in anywhere else but with Him!

In His amazing grace,

SharonB said... Reply to comment

How truly blessed I was as I read this. I needed the reminder of where true rest comes from.

Thank you for your visit and kind comments. You are right...I am on the journey toward healing and am often reminded that in some form we all are as God reaches into those places that we have not yet offered up to Him.

Blessings ....

chickadee@afamiliarpath said... Reply to comment

hey, thanks for stopping by. sorry to hear about the death in your family.

Saija said... Reply to comment

sometimes it's those saddest moments that draw us closest to our Heavenly Father ...

jubilee said... Reply to comment

This is a word I needed to hear. Thank you.

May God comfort and undergird you with his strength.

elaine @ peace for the journey said... Reply to comment

To rest in the arms of Jesus and close to his heart, is to, indeed, find our peace for the journey. Praying you know it in full measure this day.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.