Nothing Stays Terrible Forever

Child on a beach with hands cupped holding stone pebble with the

Tricia, what does it mean to ‘hold on’?  You talk about holding on, in the sense of not giving up, but what does that really mean?  How do you do it?

Sometimes it’s good to have someone tell you when your phrases don’t make sense, when you’ve perhaps stepped into the language of Christianese or psychology subculture, and a little further explanation would be helpful.

“Hold on.”

I say this to my children when I give them my hand before we cross the street. 

You hold on to monkey bars so you won’t fall. 

You hold onto the waterski rope so that boat doesn’t leave you behind. 

And it’s a phrase we so often hand to the broken heart so close to giving up.  “Hold on tight.”

You don’t have to ‘hold on tight’ when you are in charge. 

It’s a reaction, a vulnerable choice, an act of vulnerability. 

You don’t “hold on” as a way of life; you “hold on” as a method of survival.

You don’t “hold on” forever—it’s a passing posture on your way to rest.

You “hold on” until the danger is gone, until your feet touch the ground, until you are safe again.

So what does it mean to “hold on” when it’s not a literal grip or grasp?  Hold on… to what?

I think it’s about holding on to whatever is keeping you from floating away. 

Find one thing that is solid, safe, and secure, and don’t let it out of your sight.  Don’t let it out of your grip.  Hold on tSilhouette Of Mother And Young Children Holding Hands At Sunseto the one thing you can find that is real and true.

Your child.

Your art.

Your family.

A playlist.

A song.

A phrase.

A word.

Hold on to that with both hands.  Live for it.

Don’t let go.  Don’t give up.

Stay here and hold on, believing that this is a passing posture that you won’t have to keep forever.  It’s just until the danger has passed, until your feet touch the ground, until you are safe again.

Believe in the balance of grace.  Nothing stays terrible forever.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. One additional thing I’ve learned about holding on over the last 2 years. Sometimes it’s not about me holding on, but rather believing that HE is holding on to me and won’t let go. Holding on is sometimes about “Trusting His Heart.”

  2. Thank you for this Tricia. Thank you. I love the stories you share and your amazing writing blesses me. I used to pray through the anxiety you wrote about dealing with even though I had no idea what you were going through. I’m now dealing with some really bad anxiety (though I’ve had no terrible loss such as yours). I head to a professional today in hopes of help but this morning was so rough that your words were a perfect fit. I will hold on. Thank you for all you do and write. I am greatly blessed.

  3. Your explanation brought much clarity to the concept of “holding on.”
    You hold on til you’re grounded again.

  4. Good words!

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