Whose Hands are Holding You?

google images- tracyboyd.org

google images- tracyboyd.org

Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
Hannah Moore, 18th Century

When my husband, Alan, and I were dating he suggested we go skiing. He was an outdoors man who could do all kinds of rugged things and I liked that. I had been to a ski resort…been on snow… while standing on skis. But I actually couldn’t ski. I didn’t want to confess this so I gave an enthusiastic “yes” to his offer.

We took off on a cold, sparkling blue sky day to a nearby ski resort.

Stepping onto the sky lift, we took the most romantic ride to the highest point on the mountain. It was everything I’d imagined. We snuggled all wrapped up in water resistant clothes and wool gloves, scarves, and hat.

But the romance quickly escaped me as I slipped off the ski lift butt first.

I vividly recall the terror. I remember how my eyes filled with tears.

Alan lifted me up. There I stood gazing down from the top of the mountain with no end in sight. Evergreens lined the trail of white against the backdrop of blue sky. Suddenly I was frozen with fear.

Thankfully Alan knew what to do. He skied backwards down the mountain holding my hands pulling me along very slowly. It took a while. Fast skiers got within inches of me.
Watching the other skiers, I felt…


Seeing how far I had to go made me feel even more anxious and hopeless. I was gliding down the mountain by a guide but the adventure was still terrifying. And to be honest, I didn’t completely trust in Alan’s ability to get me off the ski slope.

My tears still dribbled but were nearly frozen. My heart raced and I could feel the pulse in my neck.

I will never make it.

But I did make it. Even though Alan had my hands, my eyes focused on all that was around me.


Fast forward 30 years.

I have no idea why I dreamt this last night.

I dreamt that I was in a ski race with my husband. There were hundreds of people surrounding us. Suddenly, my husband was skiing backwards down the mountain and again, holding my hands.

But this time my eyes were closed the whole time.

We finished the race in record time and while we were in line awaiting our trophy a skier, who came in after us, asked, “How did you get down the mountain so quickly and calmly?”

I replied, “I knew who was holding my hands so I just closed my eyes.”

Even at night my heart instructs me.
Psalm 16: 7b

I woke up.

Wow…what a dream.

Then it came to my mind that the difference in the ride down was where I had put my eyes and the trust that had developed in the one who was holding my hands.

When my eyes are closed there aren’t distractions.

You know, the people around me.
Going faster than I am.
Moving better than I am.
More talented than I am.

On the slope with eyes closed I was unable to compare myself, my abilities, my talents to others skiing by me. With eyes closed I couldn’t see the difficulty of the slope. I focused on the prize and trusted the one guiding me.

The Christian life is the same way.

Sometimes we find ourselves looking around at our mountain of obstacles and we are thrown into a pit of despair. The mountain just seems too steep.


Or with our eyes we watch and see what appears to be open doors of opportunity being lavished on others and we wonder what’s wrong with us. Why is God moving her along at a good pace but I’m moving so slowly?

Jesus is our prize…the end result. He is THE GOAL where we focus our eyes.

Maybe right now your circumstances are frightening or simply impossible. Looking at other’s accomplishments and successes leave you feeling inadequate. You feel…


You become frozen with fear.

Whose holding your hands today? Jesus? Then close your eyes to everything that is distracting you and place your eyes on Him.  Trust Him and hold tightly to His hands.

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

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34 Responses to Whose Hands are Holding You?

  1. kelly williams says:

    Wow!! love this one friend. Oh how He loves you and me…….

  2. Carrie Adams says:

    Great analogy! And your dream was sooo from our Holy Spirit! Thanks for sharing!! :~)

    • Hi Carrie! Thank you for reading and your comment! Yes, the dream surprised even me. I wish I could have a dream like that every night– especially if it tells me what I should be doing and the right path to take! 🙂

  3. Constance says:

    This is so applicable! I am sure we have all felt “silly, inexperienced, inept, and incapable” in some area of our lives. Thank you for reminding me where my focus should remain!

  4. Julianne Presnell says:

    Awwhh I love my dad

  5. Ann Tatlock says:

    Debbie, this is exactly the message I needed today. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement!

  6. Shesh…talk about timely. Perfect words of encouragement when my knees are bloody.

  7. Jody Parry says:

    Oh I needed this today!! Thanks for sharing. There are A LOT of obstacles facing our family right now in the midst of a VERY busy season. I need to just hang on tight knowing that He’s got me and He’s got us!!

  8. Jan Westmark says:

    Beautiful Debbie!! And what an amazing dream!! My mountain seems too steep at the moment – but I will focus my eyes on Jesus, hold his hands tight and NEVER let go!!! Looking forward to our top-secret, super spy adventure tomorrow!!

    • Thank you for reading and your comment…my super, spy adventure partner! I’m in agreement that often the mountain appears too steep so we need to hold on tight and place our eyes on Jesus. I love it when God talks to me in a dream!!! Only wish it was more often. You’re the best! 🙂

  9. sondrakraak says:

    What a great story! I’ve been on a ski slope and had similar feelings.

  10. Debby McAnally says:

    Thank you for sharing Debbie … I love that “even at night my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16: 7b

  11. LynnK says:

    Thank you Debbie, I so needed this as you know , I got distracted on Friday but , with the encouragement of my super friends like you , I am able to close my eyes and feel secure in His hands. Love you !!!

  12. Gerda says:

    Hi Deb,
    Wonderful insights–especially loved Psalm 16:7b.

  13. Lisa Allison says:

    Wow Deborah! You just don’t know how badly I needed to be reminded of this! There have been some stressful things going on, and I’ve been totally distracted and overwhelmed at times…so thankful for you and your insight!
    Love and miss ya!

    • God’s timing is completely perfect! I’m so sorry things are stressful. You know that I will pray for you. God’s got ya, Lisa!:) Thanks for reading my blog and always encouraging me!

  14. yvonne montgomery says:

    Thank you Debbie, my how you give such encouraging words to help in Christian living! Those Hands remind me of the hymn – “The Nail-Scarred Hand” – V. 1, Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life? Place your hand in the nail-scarred Hand. Are you weary and worn from its toil and strife? Place your hand in the nail-scarred Hand.
    Keep these blogs coming … we need them!! Love you, SWEET GIRL!

  15. Pam says:

    I loved this story. I needed it too. Thanks so much for sharing it. You were a blessing to me with one of my most precious gifts from God. I still think about all the praying I did when signing Jessica up for school. I wanted so bad for her to attend private christian school but just couldn’t afford it. I felt so guilty and scared when I first took her there and I prayed so hard. God then blessed me with you. I am forever grateful to you Debbie!!!

    • Wow…that was God working for you and me. God granted my transfer to Vance and I was overjoyed to Get Jessica. It’s hard for me to fathom how God answered both of our prayers…and here we are today! I love Jessica still. You are an amazing woman to have raised such a godly young woman. Thank you for reading my post and your wonderful comment!

  16. Michelle says:

    Deb, I am so glad you shared this story to remind me that if I let go He will be there to guide me. I know that I’ve had all those feelings overwhelm me a lot lately; it is hard to know what to do with them all sometimes. I struggle with handing it all over to God on a daily basis it seems lately. thank you for sharing your story, faith, and wisdom with me to remind me that it can get easier if I just turn it over. I am So blessed by the journey that lead me to walk into your classroom years ago. You are a remarkable woman who continues to amaze and inspire me. I love you!!! Keep spreading your messages and reminding me to close my eyes and look inward.

    • Wow, what an encouraging comment! Sometimes I doubt my ability to really put into words what I feel, or what I feel God is teaching me. You must know, Michelle, that when you walked into my classroom, God used YOU to teach me also. You have been a faithful friend to me. I will never forget the way you believe in me and encourage me at just the right time. I write with the pen you gave me and am reminded that the best is yet to come. Please pray for me… that I will do what God wants me to do. I will always pray for you and your family. You are indeed My Favorite Forever. I love you like my sister!

      Blessings, Debbie Presnell http://www.debbiepresnell.com debbiepresnell.wordpress.com

      “May God grant you the desires of your heart and fulfill all your purpose.” Psalm 20:4

      • Michelle says:

        You’re always in my prayers and I look forward to your blogs. I believe you are doing what you should be doing and yes, the Best is still to come! Love you.

  17. Melisa Smith says:

    He has the whole world in His hands and I am thankful that includes me!

  18. I love, love, love this story, Deb! What a sweet husband you have! What an awesome God you serve. Love you sister, Susan

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