How do they do it? How do people without brothers and sisters in Christ, survive? I’ve always known it to be true and I’ve seen it all throughout my walk with Jesus, but in the last six months there have been people who have been the hands and feet of Jesus to US in the middle of what Danny and I have felt is more of a category 5 Hurricane than a “storm.”
There have been some brave folks who have been persistent enough to step into our chaos and just be there for us. I know it takes bravery and it’s a challenge for others to know where they’ll land to come on the scene with our crazy routine- but I’ve had friends who are like family drop in and just be present with us. They’ve brought delicious pizzas and games. They’ve helped lighten our load by caring for our pets or running an errand. They’ve helped lighten our hearts by reminding us what it’s like to laugh again.
We’ve had friends and family alike, drop off a meal, ask us how we really are doing, remind us that they’re praying us through, and remind us that they’re praying for our son.
We’ve had friends and family overlook some of our forgetfulness and inconsistency in areas that we normally don’t ever miss, while our hearts have been heavy and our knees have had to buckle to hold up the load. These key people in our circle have just kept smiling like we never missed a beat, and continue to show up and fill in gaps on our behalf.
We’ve had friends and family do everything in their power to help our kids feel lighthearted as well, and to deal with them with extra patience, love and care. We’ve had friends and family who’ve been okay without digging for personal details and they’ve just put their hand on our shoulder and have walked with us, even silently…but just reassuring us they’re with us.
Yesterday, Danny and I left for a several thousand mile road trip to go see our son and move him to another program where he can receive ongoing therapy and care. One friend issued us a $2,000 check to cover a month of care. One friend loaded up a bag of snacks, energy drinks and coolers for our trip. All the grandparents teamed up to care for all of our reedlings besides the youngest two, and others have checked on us as we’ve been driving for two days. Someone else gifted us $50 to help with travels, and family rallied together to buy a large list of supplies that our son needs for his new program. I’ve had a friend who has messaged me to tell me she loves me and is there to help in any way.
If I’m completely transparent, I’ve never walked through a darker season in my life than the journey we’ve been on in recent months. I’m continually having to declare God’s word over our situation and talk myself off of the cliff of self pity, fear, worry, anger, and depression. My heart has truly never been more broken. Somehow in the middle of it all, we see Jesus holding up the lantern beside us as we tredge through “the valley of the shadow of death.” His rod and staff are visably seen comforting us through the body of Christ. In my spirit I see and KNOW he is leading us out of this dark valley onto higher ground. We will leave these days behind us and we know that what was meant for bad will be what we are all the better for when we turn around and see these recent months.
Yesterday, as our trip began, a friend who knows nothing of our last six months messaged me and told me that God had placed me in her dreams. All she could remember from the dream was that God was showing her that I was very hurt- and that I was walking through a deep sadness and that she needed to pray for me. She asked if she could call and pray for me.
This is what it’s like to be a part of the body of Christ. We need people, y’all. We need people in our corner. You need people in your corner. People, like the beautiful souls who are walking beside us, who will come and sit with you in the ashes and continue to speak truth to you.
If you’ve been one of these beautiful people to us, thank you. Thank you. When you shake my hand and tell us you love us because you don’t know what to say…when you remind us that you’re interceding on our behalf…when you step on the scene just to remind us you’re there, even when it’s uncomfortable for you- you are being Jesus to us. You are reminding us what we know in our hearts and minds but have surely needed to see with our eyes more than ever in our lives. That Jesus sees our pain. He knows. He’s nurturing us in this hurricane. He’s sustaining us in his grace. He’s leading us out by the hand and (while we are miraculously seeing fruit even in this season)-greater fruit is coming because of this season.