They've been jagged edges and gracious smiles. Nurturers and "get-it-done" types. Teachers and challengers. Some incited giggles and others served in quiet strength, every one of them considered heroes and none of them perfect. Boisterous, calming, or motivating; they've arrived in all shapes and sizes, colors and ages. Truthfully, none have been exactly alike.
They brought food and visited my husband and me at the hospital. They cared for our children and celebrated milestones. They never shied from wiping away tears as we've gone through the hard things. They've moved boxes, made phone calls at just the right moment, and breathed life into my faith. The kind, giving ones, they even taught me to feed my baby boy when nobody was there to do it.
They were all strangers to me just five years ago. Why would anybody do those things?
The strangers arrived in succession beginning in 2006. In the five years that followed, I got married, quit my job, moved five times, and had two babies along the way, a miscarriage in between. My siblings relocated to various parts of the country from our hometown and my parents divorced. Friendships faded and seasons changed. Our childhood home was sold and it was clear that my roots needed to plunge deeper into our growing family's foundation. Those years were uncertain and painful, exciting and growth-producing.
Life wasn't happening the way I'd imagined. It was hard.
We're told that "blood runs thicker than water." Maybe it's true, but I'm here to convey that I survived on a water I never knew existed, not until I came face-to-face with the uncomfortable and the unknown. It wasn't until I was stripped of everything familiar that I truly learned to rely on God. It wasn't until I had nowhere to turn that I allowed myself to accept help. That's true for most of us, I suppose.
I'm here to suggest that you may not wind up living in the town in which you were raised or the city you've chosen to raise your family in. The time may be coming for you to take a leap. Maybe you already have. The job may move and the man you love may just happen to live across an ocean. Your children may relocate and retirement, well, maybe it's just around the corner and a few states away. Only God knows to what adventures you'll be called.
"The Lord, Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deut. 31:8
God was there before I even thought to take the first step...Every. Single. Time. He showed up in big ways in every city, neighborhood, hospital, and workplace that my husband and I've stepped foot in. He's sent His sons and daughters to knock on our doors in friendship and to comfort our hearts as brothers and sisters. He's given us hope through His care and trust through His provision.
Living Water knows no boundaries...
And it flows through the veins of every believer He's placed in our path. They're our sacred sect, our precious tribe, our adopted family. They were there for us and they'll be there for you, too. He goes before you...
Be confident in Him. Be strong and courageous. Answer the call.
1. Who has God sent to you in your toughest times?
2. Did you realize it at the time? If not, can you look back and recall when He provided a need?
3. Maybe now you're in a position to reach out. Who in your life might presently need your support?
4. We all go through trials. Was your faith strengthened or shaken? Why?
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
(Prov. 17:17, Msg.)
Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
(Romans 12:15-16, Msg.)
Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces. (Proverbs 13:20, Msg.)
Photo Credits: Jeremie Cremer and Jeff Sheldon, Unsplash
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.