Peace for those with Empty Arms (Unforced Rhythms Linkup)


December 8, 2014 by Beth Hess

peace-1024x682(pp_w579_h385)Empty arms carry some of the heaviest weight.

Maybe it’s Distance. Divorce. Depression. Deployment. Death.

A relationship unreconciled. A wound unhealed. A longing unfulfilled.

Maybe your hole is left from a dream that never came true. Or the one that ended before you were ready.

Oh, my friend, I have been praying for you.

Again and again this advent season, God has brought you to my mind.

You with the empty arms. The ones that feel especially vacant in this time of joy and celebration and light. I hear your soul’s songs of lament even among the 24-hour broadcasting of reindeer songs and snowman tunes. I see you standing timidly with your single candle of hope while it feels like the rest of the world is fully embracing multi-colored bulbs and twinkle lights.

And I have been holding you closer to heaven, dear one. Asking God to be extra close to your tender heart. Begging Him to show up for you in expected places this Christmas. Praying that you will taste of His love for you in new ways.

And that you will have peace. Oh, how I have been praying for your spirit to have peace.

For your soul to sit in stillness, acknowledging every ounce of your sadness, crying every necessary tear. But knowing, deeply knowing, that you are held.

You and your empty arms are embraced so very tightly in His.

Now. Always.

May you know it. May you feel it.

Now. Always.


HEY, BETH... Where are the links!?! HEY, FRIENDS... Over HERE!

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)

The wonderful Kelli Woodford (Chronicles of Grace) was inspired by these verses to name a Weekly Web Gathering of grace as “Unforced Rhythms.” She is taking a well-deserved blogging break in December, but she has graciously let me borrow the UR link-up community for the next few weeks. Your words are welcome here. So very welcome.

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list… 

(due to technology issues, Linky is not allowing the actual links to show up on my post page… I hope to have this resolved by next week, but please COME OVER HERE to add your link and/or read precious words from my Grace-Filled friends)

22 thoughts on “Peace for those with Empty Arms (Unforced Rhythms Linkup)

  1. Sharon says:

    Beth, what beautiful words today. My arms are a bit empty as I am going through these first holidays after my dad dying in January. But oh, how the Lord has held me close. I feel it, yes indeed.



  2. I pray for God to fill every emptiness and void .
    God bless Beth.


  3. Loved your opening line, Beth. I’ve never thought of it quite like that, but there is such truth in those words. When life is challenging, for some reason, we feel it more at Christmas and in the New Year. I, too, am praying for those who are struggling. Thanks for sharing this – I love the heart of this post. Blessings to you and yours.


    • Beth Hess says:

      There are times the weight feels extra heavy, yes. I guess I’m just noticing so much ache around me these days and want to be more aware of being light to those dark places. I’m glad it spoke to you.


  4. A necessary prayer and awareness, thank you Beth. And congrats on getting the Linky set up – you rock!


  5. Beth,
    Oh that first sentence…Thank you…and I pray God will also cover you with peace as you pray for others …blessings to you 🙂


  6. joepote01 says:

    Thank you, Beth, for those gracious words of comfort, and for hosting the Unforced Rythms link-up, this month.

    May you have a blessed Advent season!


  7. ambercadenas says:

    This first line, “Empty arms carry some of the heaviest weight”, is profound and perceptive. Your words, dear friend, cover like a gentle blessing, and when I reached the part about peace, I breathed it in. Thank you.


  8. joanneviola says:

    What a beautiful & comforting thought for many this time of year. His arms are always full as He envelops His children!


  9. It’s so important to remember and lift up those who are alone or feeling abandoned this Christmas, Beth. I love how you’ve challenged us to think through a different lens than the one that focuses solely on our experience and the needs of our circle of friends and family. Glad to meet you too! I’m not sure I’ve visited your blog before, but it’s so nice of you to provide for Kelli (and all of us) a lovely place to land in “the unforced rhythms” of life. 🙂


  10. […] at Unforced Rhythyms and Monday […]


  11. Natalie says:

    What a kind and gentle prayer from your heart. Thank you.


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