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Sharpening Iron to Live Second

On the Edge of Darkness, Just be Held

Does it seem darker than before? How do you get the strength to go on? Feeling like you are drowning yet you raise your head and find the inner power to continue to push through.just be held, edge of darkness

As a husband, there are certain roles that you assume. Provider, comforter, healer, leader, I could go on and on. We believe we are to hold it all together no matter what. Then comes that moment in time, where the sands slip through our fingers, and we begin to lose our grip.

Fear and anxiety that we put our parents through as kids become a reality in that moment, as we lose control.

Whether it is a spouse or child, you can be brought to your knees in an instant. One moment you are complacently going through your daily routines. Suddenly your life is turned upside down, and you are rocked to your core, no longer having control.

My wife and I have not been blessed with children. I witnessed the stripping of all my power as illness took over her life. In a moment we went from our daily routines to feeling like we were barely breathing. Days and nights blended as I remained at her bedside. Every needle and pill she experienced pierced my helpless heart.

I painstakingly watched as the doctors treated my wife more like a number than a person. All dignity and humanity were taken away as they tirelessly tried to find a label or condition to put on her.

Our home was empty in her absence. Our rescue dog lost her mind as she sought her. Destroying her kennel, the carpets, our tranquil home now looked like a war zone.

Going through the motions everything else that mattered no longer mattered. My loneliness and weakness slowly took over.

I found myself pouring into music during my bouts with emotional distress. Holding it together is hard. Words of songs I had heard dozens of times now were therapy. Lies I heard my entire life now confronted me head-on.

Being a man does not mean you always have to be strong. I grew up thinking that only girls cry, that was how I was raised. Guess what? In times of emotional distress, men can cry too! There was a moment on the way to the hospital one morning when a Casting Crowns song, Just be Held came on KLove. I had heard the song so many times before, yet this morning Mark Hall’s voice and lyrics pierced my soul. I found myself on the side of the road crying uncontrollably, and it was okay.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

When we are man enough to admit our weaknesses, it is then that we show our truest strength.

Moments when we learn to depend on God and the prayers of others just to get us through another day. It is through those struggles that we find our real peace, and what it truly means to be a man of God.

Never do I want to experience the fear and loss of control that I did as I watched my wife in the ICU. If anything this experience has shown me the value of every day, the things we take for granted, and the unconditional love not only that we can have for one another. But also the unconditional love our heavenly Father has for each one of us.

Have you had a moment of weakness turned to strength? One that could not have been accomplished without surrendering. A moment when you found your life’s direction held in the hands of the potter as He reshapes your world? Share in the comments, I would love to hear your story.


About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

2 Replies

  1. Candace Crosby

    I have had several moments of weakness throughout my life. There were times I rushed to the hospital to see a brother in ICU due to a sports injury and 1/3rd of his kidney was severed and he was bleeding internally. Again, I rushed back to Jacksonville (from a business trip in Gainesville) crying all the way to reach my child who had been bitten by a dog and we rushed her to the Emergency Room. It was the longest trip imaginable and I prayed continually for God to keep His arms wrapped around her.
    Several times I had to comfort my mom as I planned my business trips around her, so I could take her to see dad who was in one hospital or another. There were times I watched a sister who had been through so much, and could no longer handle it and began to break down. Then my own mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was ready to go and meet her Maker. That was a hard one, as we were not ready to let go of her. Each and every time, an inner strength seemed to come from within.

    Several years later I was to go through it again with my husband’s parents, and I began to see his strength and energy become totally devoted to them. In the course of two years, we lost them both. It is so evident that God continues to work miracles. A beautiful young woman I know was hospitalized for several days. However, with prayer and God’s mercy, a second doctor was called in who was able to cut through the stereotype garbage, and diagnose the woman as having had a reaction to “over the counter” medication which sent her into a psychotic episode.
    Throughout each and every traumatic experience, I cried out to God, prayed almost every waking minute, and would begin to feel His presence. God is always with us. It is so true, that Jesus does pick us up and carry us in His arms when the burdens become too much for us to bear. Each and every person in our life is put there for a reason, and they are a precious gift. We need to treasure and encourage each other, and keep them focused on the simple truth that there is a better life hereafter if we but BELIEVE in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God loves us so much, and only asks for our love in return. Once these experiences have come to an end, we can look back and see how God is refining us, as gold in the fire. It is necessary for us to go through these tragedies so we may fall back on Him to guide us, lift and comfort us, and allow Him to work his miracles. God bless you, Charles, as you are a fine example of a strong, supportive, and loving husband.

  2. In July of 2014, my oldest son got hurt at church camp. The first call was about him being hurt, and they weren’t sure if it was a concussion. Next call was confirmation of the concussion and asked if I wanted him taken to a doctor. As I prepared to leave with my ex husband, we thought we were only going to pick him up and come back home.

    The next few phone calls were for permission to treat him. Then the doctor called, “Mrs. Barlow, this is not just a concussion. This is a skull fracture with bleeding. I don’t have a pediatric neurosurgeon so I’m transporting him by ambulance to another hospital.” I was on a 3 1/2 hour drive, helpless.

    He was in ICU for almost three days. It was dangerous because they had to watch the brain bleed to see if it got larger.

    I understand how you felt. I will continue to pray for your wife. I love you guys!