When we go through dark times. Hard times. You realize how important it is to have community. To have people not only praying for you but to SHOW UP. To DO something. To be there for you. To carry you through.
The past month I have faced something so hard in my life. I have never felt so scared, anxious, isolated, and alone. I tried different doctors and could open a pharmacy from all of the various prescriptions we tried to alleviate the problem.
The hardest part of all of this is that I was going through SO MUCH but still had a resposibility to take care of 2 little girls and provide for my family and keep up with grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry. These tiny, tedious tasks took it out of me because it took everything in me to just make it through the day. I felt like a shell of a person and spent most of my days crying and sticking the girls in front of movies. I was barely functioning.
I am not writing this post directed towards any person in particular so hear me clearly. SHOWING UP is something that I have been BAD AT in the past but after walking through the past 4 weeks, I will never be the same when it comes to helping those in need.
Prayers are amazing. But to stop at "prayer hand emojiis" does nothing to help the person in crisis. If you are far away, send scripture and encouragement and check in regularly. Like... DAILY. Pray them THROUGH the situation until answers are revealed. Intercession is so important and letting them know WHEN they have been prayed for means so much.
Let me say this bluntly. The person who is in crisis is likely NOT going to have the strength or mindset to delegate or tell you exactly HOW you can help them in that moment. So when people would ask "What can I do to help" I would draw a blank. I have no idea? Where do I even begin? Take my kids... do a grocery run... come clean my house? ANY of these things would have been helpful but the person walking through a dark time doesn't want to be a burden to anyone and sometimes it's hard to vocalize what exactly we need because we don't even know where to begin.
This is where WE NEED TO STEP IN as the HANDS AND FEET of Christ. We all have different strengths and talents and serving is not something that has come naturally to me in the past but I am going to try to be proactive instead of passive moving forward.
A few examples that literally got me through the past 30 days:
- I had a friend show up at lunch one day with her son and some Chick-fil-A. She came into my messy house and talked with me and prayed for me.
- A PHONE CALL always goes 100x further than a text or email. If the person doesn't want to talk, trust me- they won't. Ha! It's quite easy to screen a call. But some of the most healing conversations took place for me in person or over the phone.
- I had another friend send me $50 (because finances were tight due to all the mediciations and doctor copays) so that my family could go out to dinner one night and celebrate a small piece of good news I had received that day.
- One of my sweet friends drove all the way to Richardson from ROCKWALL with her 5 children to bring me a homemade meal. All of her kids brought pictures and cards for me with scripture and picture scribbles. Salt. Of. The. Earth. And what a LEGACY this friend is leaving and modeling for her kids. I get weepy just talking about it.
- Someone did a grocery run for us.
- Another friend watched our kids ALL afternoon and another one that evening so we could go to certain appointments.
COMMUNITY. It is SO necessary. AND in the same breath, equally as important to do it CORRECTLY.
In the past, I was SO guilty of just texting "I'll be praying for you" and then never following up. As a believer who just now feels like she is re-entering society, I am immensely grateful for this lesson. I want to be the Chick-fil-A friend. I want to be the girl who drives and shows up with dinner and cards. Not only because of what it will mean to THEM, but for what it will do to take the focus off of me for one moment and allow Christ to move through me. He doesn't use the qualified, He uses the WILLING. And what better EXAMPLE to model this behavior WITH my children.
Let's step in and be proactive. We are better than "prayer hand Emojiis." We are CALLED to be more than that. BE a community. Support those in need because there will come a time in your life, where you will be on the receiving end. The Lord has been SO tender and near the past week and has weighed this topic SO HEAVY on my heart. "We are better than this" is what I keep hearing Him say about how we are treating friendships these days. Actions speak louder than words. People are HURTING and lonely and isolated all around us. We just need to open our eyes and ask the Lord who and how He can use us. Social media can be so very misleading. The highlight reel NOT the behind the scenes. Pray and ask the Lord to lay people on your heart. Let Him USE YOU! And guess what? You will be SO BLESSED in return!