Y'all, the enemy wanted me (and still wants me) to hide. To keep private the pain. Keeping hidden pain that intense - it intensifies - it soon introduces me to shame and embarrassment and sometimes even guilt.... any which of these could lead to isolation. That's the enemy's playground. It's hard to be thankful for the times I'm in. Thanking the Lord for where he has me in these hurts... I struggle with doing that. But after my post last weekend, I understood a little better.
My last post went live around 10pm last Friday night. From about 5 minutes after I hit the "publish" button and for several days following, I had an outpouring of not only love and support, but of similar stories. I received Facebook messages, phone calls and texts of people sharing with me their hurts and heartbreaks - thanking me for my vulnerability that gave them that little extra something to then share with me.
Y'all - the enemy wants us to hide from each other and isolate when we hurt. Jesus wants us to hold each other up. Every message I read, every text I opened up, every call I took, I thanked the Lord for my circumstances because it was bringing together the hurting, it was building relationships, it was reminding me that this isn't only a time a mourning, but a time of growth and rebuilding. Being vulnerable is scary. It also has incredible reward sometimes. While I'm hurting for those of you who identify with me... who are walking a similar path, or who have walked this path before me... I'm joyful in the fact that we don't have to journey one step of it feeling alone. I don't have to isolate and try to sort through my mess in the dark on my own. I can bring it all into the light by seeking the Lord and taking a risk with vulnerability. That gives me freedom. That brings me joy.
Joy also comes in the acknowledgment. So many people reached out to say "I'm praying for you," "How can I help?" "I'm standing with you in this." That's the church... that's the design of the Lord. Know Him and know each other... help support each other. Let iron sharpen iron. So thank you, for being the hands and feet of the Lord and for reminding me that love never fails... I have felt loved this past week. I have felt seen. I have felt heard. If you could have asked me last week to predict how I'd feel today, it would not have been "loved, seen and heard." But God knows what I need and He provided.And this kid. He brings me joy. Merry Christmas, guys. Thanks for doing the hard things alongside this little family.