To Hold His Hand

12.15.14 To Hold His Hand Lisa Smith

When my husband and I go out to parties or fancy events, I always ask him to put my lipstick in his pocket—with my phone, wallet and keys. He carries my stuff so I can hold his hand.

Because in order to hold his hand, I must first empty mine.

Glasses clinking, friends chit-chatting, party going, when it happens. Gathered around a dinner table, someone makes the one comment that spurs the inside joke. Under the table, I squeeze my husband’s hand.

Later that night when a snarky comment is made about one of my kids, I squeeze my husband’s hand tightening my grip on his strength, his stability, his ability to smile at snarky comments.

As he grabs my hand to leave, I hear it. It’s the “cocktail effect.” My name is mentioned, my ears perk up. I didn’t hear all that was said, but I do know the feelings that come with the eye roll and catty laugh that follow. I just squeeze his hand harder as we walk together.

When I hold his hand, I don’t have to speak my mind, I can hold back the tears and I find the strength to walk away. I just keep walking hand in hand with him. Remember, he’s carrying my stuff so I can hold his hand.

Because in order to hold his hand, I must first empty mine.

Sometimes holding hands takes work. Like when we were all diaper bags and babies. My hands were always full. I learned to shoulder the bag and balance the baby in order to grab his hand. Graduating to potty training and toddlers left me full of chubby fingers and the stuff they made; they learned to carry their own creations so I could hold their daddy’s hand.

Now that our children are older, my hands are always holding the steering wheel—I drive them everywhere. All the time. And, I remind myself when we are in the car together to take one hand off the wheel to hold his.

Because in order to hold his hand, I must first empty mine.

At the recent Soli Deo Gloria retreat Jen shared about overcoming sadness, anger and control over her husband’s pornography addiction. When her husband stumbled, she grew angry. She felt responsible because she had agreed to hold him accountable. She couldn’t trust her husband and she wasn’t submitted to God.

Through desperate prayer, she was finally able to give her husband and his addiction to God. Once she let go of her control and obsession, she was able to take God’s hand. She let Him carry her stuff so she could hold His hand.

Because in order to hold His hand, she had to first empty her own.

Walking hand in hand with God; He taught her to offer forgiveness and to extend grace. When the disappointments came, she learned to just squeeze His hand.

As she squeezed His hand, the forgiveness and grace came as God ruled her actions. Yet, when she walked alone, without His hand in hers, emotion ruled her reactions.

As Jen spoke, I saw my own hands. And they weren’t holding His.

They were full of stuff.

Spending days working to empty my hands was only emptying my heart. My effort to finish my tasks in order to spend time with Him was backfiring.

I need to grab His hand before I fill mine with daily duties.

Because in order to hold His hand, I must first empty mine.

Without His hand to hold, I live in reaction to life instead of living in action with God. I need His hand to hold. I want His hand to squeeze.

Extending forgiveness and grace to others is easy when I’m extending my hand to His. Squeezing His hand in response to life’s hurts, allows me to gather the grace I need from His grip.

However, I must remember:

In order to hold His hand, I must first empty mine.

Friend, what are you holding today that prevents you from holding His hand? Look at the places in your life that need forgiveness and grace. What must you drop to extend them? Extend your hand to Him today. Let Him carry your stuff so you can hold His hand. And, when life gets hard, just squeeze.

Remember, in order to hold His hand, you must first empty yours.


  1. Kathy Scott says

    I love this writing, Lisa! The timing of this post is pristine for the events in my life at this time. It really sums up so much of what I’ve learned about my relationship with my husband and the Lord, lately. The more I let go of me, my husband can lead and show me love, and so can God. Beautifully written!

  2. says

    Love this! reading it just after walking hospital halls holding hands with my husband. Doing lots of sitting and waiting and praying.