"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." John 7:38

As a little girl, the biggest, strongest, most courageous, fearless and handsome man in the entire world was my dad. It seemed there was nothing he was afraid of, and when I was close to him, I didn’t need to be afraid either. I knew he’d take care of me no matter what.

If we were in a situation where he knew I needed to stay close for my protection, and his peace of mind, he’d hold out his finger and I’d grab hold. All of us kids knew to grab hold, and we didn’t argue. When my siblings and I grew up and had children of our own, we would laugh as we recalled stories of how trained we were to hold dad’s finger.

In the final hours of dad’s life, when he was barely speaking, and rarely opening his eyes, I asked him if he remembered how he’d hold out his finger to me. He nodded and slowly and lifted his finger off the bed just a little. I grabbed hold.

I asked him if he was going to see Jesus that day. He said, “Yes.” I told him that when he saw Jesus, to look for his hand, and to grab hold of Jesus’ finger and not let go. He said that he would. A few hours later, he did.

Why is this story my very first blog entry? Because today, my life is in transition, and I’m not sure where I’m going and I don’t want to wander off and get lost in the crowd, or find myself in a place that I am not prepared to navigate. God is moving me from my cozy little cocoon, where I’ve taught for over fourteen years, from the women who know me, love me, and listen to me week after week into an area that I am not sure I recognize. I feel like that little girl who needs to see her dad hold out his finger, so that she can grab hold and know she is safe and protected.

Without realizing it, my dad taught me well. He taught me as a little child, to grab hold of my Father’s finger. And, so, I look to my Father, God, and I am grabbing hold of his finger.

I am holding on tight, because I know that He will guide me and He will protect me. He is the One and Only, the biggest, strongest, most courageous, fearless, beautiful God in the entire universe, for He created the universe, with His finger. He created me. He has a plan for me, and He will bring that plan to fruition.

So, as I begin this next chapter, I want to say “Thank you!” to my dad, thank you for teaching me to hold on. And, to my Father, to whom I am holding, “I’m so excited to walk this path with you, for I know, that no one can snatch me out of your hand.”

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