Wednesday, August 26, 2015

There's Power (and Beauty) in Numbers

The "J" Crew
 The last 4 weeks have been full. It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride with highs and lows. We've said "Good-bye" to a niece, celebrated her sister's wedding, enjoyed our 4th annual ReNEWed Life Women's Event and I've survived a week of being a single Mom while Job fished in Canada.

Tears and laughs, smiles and sorrow have all been a part of our days. Through it all I've been learning new Truths and revisiting familiar ones. The night Grace died I carried extra food to our church basement and instantly my eyes fell on a bulletin board. The only words I saw were, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) This was a verse put up in preparation for a bridal shower, but it quickly became my prayer as I whispered, "Lord, help us do this. Help us be there for each other and lift one another when we fall."

Local Friends and Sisters in Christ
In the days that have passed, God has done just that. He has brought people into my life and worked through them. Some friends are face to face and many of them are grieving too. We've shared hugs and tears, prayers and encouragement. We've been there for one another and I'm grateful. Others are far-away friends, but God has used them as well. It's been good to have others a bit removed from the personal, raw grief we are experiencing. These friends are able to listen and point me to the Truth. They have also been diligent to pray and I'm thankful for the texts, calls and messages they've shared to encourage and uplift. God is answering the prayer I prayed 28 nights ago in ways I never expected.

Far-away friends connected by Christ
Friend, I share all of this to remind myself and you of the importance of people. Life can get busy and it can be easy, and sometimes feel necessary, to move from one item on our to-do list to the next, but we must be intentional and invest in the relationships God has blessed us with. He is a relational God and our relationship with Him must be our priority, but then we must build the ones with the people He's put in our lives. These people are there for a reason - some are family and live daily life with us, others are church family who grow with us in Christ, some are neighbors who we can witness to and some are far-away friends that the Spirit connects. I believe each person enters our circle for a reason and lately I've learned they play a critical role when times are tough.

Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." I think we often think about doing this for others, which is good and Godly, but over the last month I've been challenged to be on the other end and let others carry some of mine. Friend, this is not always an easy task, but it's vital. If you're in a hard place, and that's not limited to grief - it can include relationship struggles, parenting challenges, marriage difficulties, a bad day, seek out another and share your pain with a friend. Remember the joy you experience when you're able to listen, help or pray for another? Give your friends an opportunity to feel the same! May we remember there's power and beauty in numbers! God works in us and through us and when we gather together He is with us! (Matthew 18:20)

To close I want to share a poem that has come to mind over the last few days...it's one I actually wrote nearly 7 years ago following our miscarriage. Truly a time when I experienced people being the hands and feet of Christ. Over the last month I've experienced the same. So to each of you who've reached out, prayed, offered sympathy and support I want to say, "Thank you, I saw Jesus when I saw you!"

“I Saw Jesus”
His eyes, His eyes welcomed with peace and love.
He cared when no one else seemed to notice.
He listened while everyone else continued to talk.
His arms embraced when others were too busy.
He was honest while the world tried to pretend.
He felt my pain when others didn’t know I was hurt.
He loved me as family because God is our Father.
I saw Jesus…when I saw you.

2 comments:

  1. Sweet friend... I will never have enough words to thank God for the gift of YOU in my life. I love you... xoxo

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    1. Noelle,
      I always appreciate hearing from you and your words here could easily be mine! Grateful for how God crosses paths and connects hearts! Love you.

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