What It Means to Be Held

June 21, 2011 | 42 comments

A boy we love is laying still on the hospital bed, attached to tubes and machines whirring steady. I am holding his hand.

And I watch the mama — my sister — rub his head over and over and over. She has a steady rhythm of her own, and it sounds like love. He’s 17, but this is her baby, and her only one, and she can’t imagine the world without him.

This is our vigil, here in this shadow, under a cloud in a valley. Our family is gathered in a waiting room, in prayer and in pain — but also in thanksgiving for the way that God is working moment-by-moment miracles.

We enter his ICU room — two by two — but really by three, because God goes with us. He holds all things together, and we’re asking Him to put broken pieces together.

A hundred miles away, another sister is with another son in another hospital. And my heart is breaking, wanting to be in two places at once, yet thankful knowing that God can be everywhere — all at once. And for that, we give thanks.

Two of my nephews and three other teenagers were involved in a serious car accident Sunday afternoon. One teenage girl has died, and all the others, including my two nephews, have suffered multiple injuries. I am back home today, trying to hold a few things together here,  and giving my girls extra hugs and I-love-yous, and keeping the Bible open on the kitchen table. The Word heals

Yes, this is a storm. And no, we do not understand. But even so, we will say: We believe. We trust You, Father.

Will you take that moment to pray for our families, and our dear nephews, and for all the families affected by this accident? 

“He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.”
— Colossians 1:17

Clinging to His promises and leaning hard into Jesus,


by | June 21, 2011 | 42 comments


  1. Lyla Lindquist

    Like a watchman waits for the morning.

    Waiting with you, watching, doing what watchmen do.

    Sending love.

  2. Julie

    “Let all that I am wait quietly before God…for my hope is in Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation…my fortress where I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6

    Praying that as you wait quietly…His peace will surround you all.

    Keep your eyes on Him sweet sister….


  3. Dawn @ Dawnings

    I’ve been praying since I saw this on Facebook.

    It’s a beautiful, terrible thing to be helpless, a recipe that drives us to our knees where we belong.

    Praying for all involved to be “re-membered” in body and spirit.

  4. Kathy Josephson

    Continual prayers for all.

  5. Elizabeth

    Jennifer, I am stopping to pray right now. Love you much dear one.

  6. Laura

    Oh, Jennifer. Praying for these teens and their families, that they’ll feel His love, that He’ll just encircle them with His peace.

  7. Linda

    The Lord has placed you on my heart for the past couple of days Jennifer – you and your dear family. Praying His grace and palpable presence with each of you; praying for healing.

  8. Nancy

    I can’t even imagine. Praying to the God of all comfort Who alone can bring healing and peace.

  9. Sheila Lagrand

    We go confidently before His throne and ask for His healing, His comfort, His peace.


  10. Kim Harbath

    Healing prayers sent from Ogden, Utah.

  11. Diana Trautwein

    Oh Lord, have mercy! Holding you all before the throne of our good and gracious God. Praying peace, healing, hope; comfort in grief and uncertainty, calm assurance as you all kneel before the mercy seat. Oh my, this is hard.

  12. Lynda

    Praying for your family. xx

  13. Lynn Mosher

    Oh, my. Jennifer, how heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. May the hovering Spirit of the Lord watch over both boys and may all know a special touch of His presence, bringing peace and comfort. On my knees at His feet…Lynn

  14. Beth Herring

    oh, sweet Jennifer – praying for both your nephews and their moms as well as the families of the other kids involved! I pray that the sweet comforting spirit of our Lord rest on y’all in a MIGHTY way!

    Love to you my sweet friend,

  15. Ann Kroeker

    “…in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    • Ann Kroeker

      (with all love, know that I am praying, and so many others…and as we pray, may peace that passes understanding guard all of your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus)

  16. S. Etole

    I cried unto the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all of my fears … Ps 34

  17. Lisa Marie

    Holding you and your family up in my prayers. God is holding you all.

  18. Lisa Auter

    I am praying with all the love in my heart, praying that He will be the port in your storm… I am so glad we have God to rely on and turn to. God bless your family, Jennifer. All my love, Lisa

  19. laura

    Oh, Jennifer, Jennifer. I am praying so hard. Covering you all. So much love.

  20. Jeanne Damoff

    Dear Jennifer, I’m praying with you as one who has walked this valley, stood beside this bed, believed and trusted like you are, because where else can we go? Even when His ways are beyond us, He is the only One with words of life. He is the Always Good, even here. May all of you know His grace above all things. May His will be done in the lives of your beloved nephews and sisters. Not one word He has spoken will fail, but all will be brought to pass.

    So much love,

  21. Holly Coppola

    The Coppolas are praying….and praying….and praying. You are in our hearts and on our minds. There are rainbows after storms for a reason…hang in there. Hugs to everyone.

  22. Deidra

    I am praying, and singing and trusting – with you and for you all.

  23. Teri

    Hold fast, dear ones… God’s grip is strong enough, but He loves to hear the voices of His children, too. Sing His praises in your prayers…
    Hold fast, help is on the way…

    Praying for you all

  24. Janice

    Sending prayers your way!


    Yes, this is a “STORM” and what a storm it is…I am hoping and praying it passes soon!!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all every day!

  26. Kelly Sauer

    Oh my. I had not seen this. How are you all now? You are in my heart.

  27. Connie@raise your eyes

    Still praying…also as one who has stood by another bed, sobbing, praying and trusting.

    “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”

  28. Shirley Franey

    I know how this is for the whole family. My prayers are with you Shirley

  29. Megan Willome

    Oh, Jennifer. This hits me hard. Praying with you.

  30. Lori Ghiglia

    Jennifer, I just read this and am praying for healing right now. This is a very hard providence, my heart is heavy for you and your family. God is in the midst and will meet (I am certain, has met) you there. Peace friend.

  31. Stephanie Greene Hanna

    I have been thinking of your family since I heard of the accident~along with all the families involved. Such saddness and sorrow and yet a reminder of how quickly our lives can change. Know that prayers are being sent!

  32. Kay

    Jennifer, I’ve been off the Internet for a couple of weeks and just am catching up today. I was startled and saddened by this posting. I am so sorry. Please know that I am praying for your family and the other families as well. My heart aches for these parents and for these teens. I’m praying for God to flood them with compassion and His grace, sufficient for every need.

  33. Beth E.

    I am just now finding out about your nephews…I am so sorry! Please know that I am praying for them and for your entire family. I know all too well how life can change in an instant.

    Stay strong, dear one…


  34. Jacquelyn Stager

    Thankful for the strong faith in your family that will see you through these dark days. When I was growing up a man in our church used to sing this and I’ve never forgotten the words: “In times like these, we need a savior, In times like these, we need an anchor. Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the solid rock”. My heart aches for the losses all around and I pray for God’s peace and healing to come.

    • dukeslee

      Thank you Jacquelyn! Such good words for us … And yes! The Anchor Holds! Thank you for your prayers.


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