Hold this hand!

After I wrote my last blog one person responded and said something like, ‘yeah, but I’d like to hear some of the ‘sensitive matters’ you referred to.’ And so I thought, really? Should I tell the truth and shame the devil?:) Only mold grows in the dark, right?

I guess in revealing stuff about yourself you could help someone or, you could just be helping yourself. Kinda like learning to swim, yes? By learning to be a good swimmer you might learn how to save yourself if the boat you’re in capsizes or if you become a lifeguard you could possibly save others. Maybe you could do both? Well either way, here’s to sharing a bit—sensitive or not. Let’s ‘swim.’

One day I was in Barbados, and two friends invited me to go to the beach. Oh there couldn’t be a better treat. It was a sunny forever aqua-blue kind of day. One friend was a ‘watersports attendant’ of sorts. She worked in the summer with a team that rented jet skis, and gave rides on all kinds of paraphernalia. And she was like a fish. 🙂

So at one point after dipping in the water for abit the ‘Trini’ came out of me. You know the macho macho kind of thing not really unique to Trini’s but I dare say since I am one. Beside the point. So I said to the ‘fish,’ ‘why don’t we swim out for a bit?’ She was like, ‘yeah?’ ‘You sure?’ I was like, ‘of course, I know how to swim.’ Lol. So after a little hesitation she was like, ‘ok, let’s go.’ Out we went. Your boy started making all kinds of fancy strokes left and right with the ‘fish’ right next to me. I was feeling good. Then after swimming for a little while I realized the ‘fish’ wasn’t stopping! We had gotten a ways out to where we could see much more of the island. Definitely no where to stand. We were in deep water. And guess what? I was ‘bun.’ Like in ‘bun bun.’ Exhausted. I called out, ‘here is good.’ She smiled, and said, ‘ok, let’s tread for a minute.’ Then to my relief after paddling my feet for a few seconds she asked, ‘do you want to go back in now?’ I think I responded by just nodding.

And so we started swimming back in but after about two and a half strokes I couldn’t go any further. I was totally out of breath. The ‘fish’ looked at me and in a moment’s notice before I could take the second gulp she was on her back and then she commanded, ‘hold this hand!’ Yes! She said, ‘hold THIS hand!’ But she didn’t have to say it twice. I grabbed it and for dear life held on as she proceeded to one-handedly backstroke the both of us to a point where I could put my feet down and catch my breath….When we eventually got back to the sand my other friend who had wisely remained said, ‘so what just happened out there?’ …I don’t think I responded and the ‘fish’ must have just smiled. It was a solemn never-forget moment.

I’ve had other people also say to me ‘hold this hand,’ in one way or another throughout my life. Whether it was the girlfriend who after I stopped ‘drinking’ and had no friends, said, ‘why not take this part in Sabbath School?’ ‘Come join my group of friends.’ Or another friend who said I’ll date you even though I know you were unfaithful to your last friend…and proceeded to give me a second chance.

I remember the first credit card I got. You know the one that got maxed out with me having no money to even make a minimum payment? Yeah it was ‘hold this hand son’ that got me out of that. Grateful time.

And when I finished college and didn’t know where I was going to find a job, another ‘fish,’ a big one, said ‘hold this hand’ I’ll hire you through the back door, then proceeded to show me the ropes by giving me my first break….

I was struggling through grad school, working full-time, and for a year had the blessing of a child to look after when several hands came forth including a group of classmates who invited me into their study group and stuck with me till I marched. I earned all my grades mind you.:) But the encouragement, the support, and teamwork were the ‘hold this hand’ help that I needed through the rough assignments.

Weird things happened in my young adult life. At one point, I began ‘searching’ for God. Yeah, don’t ever do that. If you can’t see him working in your life just wait. Be patient. He’ll show up.:) In my search for God I started having these grandiose thoughts, followed by severe depression. It was during this time I made the decision to adopt a more conscientious, and responsible lifestyle. It was a stronger hand that held me and me Him, to this day. Shhh, I’ve been free of maniac depression for over 20 years and counting. And yes, some things are better not spoken but sometimes we need to let others know: that miracle you’re praying for might just be found in the medicine you don’t want to take….Trust the process and the Provider!

Hey, we all need that helping hand at times or someone to say, ‘hold this hand!’ Good accountability partners that can keep us focused are sometimes hard to find. However, in addition to holding ‘that’ hand comes the strength and wherewithal to extend your own. I feel like I don’t even have a choice now the many times one’s been extended to me.

In photo: Ps. John Scott, Jalen, Me, Joshua, Mel, Leila Riviere (whose hand I held), Ps. Shantel Smith.

Playlist while writing:
You lead: Jamie Grace
Make me over: Tonex
That’s what I believe: Donnie McClurkin
All things get better: Geoffrey Golden (long game)
Free to be me: Francesca Battistelli
A secret place: Karen Clark-Sheard

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