Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. ~Hebrews 10:23
A moment to breathe and she left. Only by the power and covering of the Spirit could she go. A baby on her hip, she quickly packed the car and went. The enemy had already come to steal and destroy. She was not going to let him kill.
She sped away from the abuse and into the loving arms of her parents. As her mom embraced her, she could feel the rapid decay of her presence as alcohol was taking the last sip of life from her mother. Within a year she was gone.
A single mom, facing a road of legal fights, financial struggles, loneliness and countless twists and turns, she had no idea what would come next. But with each step, she chose to live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
As her friend, how could I hold her hand tightly enough to fill it with a love that would fill the holes of betrayal and loss?
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. ~Zechariah 4:6
Nine years of chronic pain finally got a name – actually several names and none with a cure. The relief of finally knowing what was happening to her body was swallowed by the fact that it was not going away. It could stay the same. It could get worse. Too young to have her body betray her and too busy as a mom and wife to be slowed down, this was her new reality.
She literally had to give in to this body. She would push it to its limits, but she had to submit to the fact that strength could only be gained by acknowledging weakness. Humbled yet hopeful. Prayerful through pain.
As her friend, how could I hold her hand tightly enough to fill it with a love stronger than the pain surging through her body?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
The older sister who always protected her baby brother just heard the words that he only had months left of his life. She knew she couldn’t protect him any longer. She knew God was in control. She knew it would take a miracle…and that anything was possible. She knew she had to set up doctors appointments and walk through chemo and be loving and not allow fear to rule and trust God and be an example of Christ through this trial…
But how? How would she get through watching her brother slip away? How would she face a future without new memories with him? How would she believe God was going to turn this into something good? How could she know her faith and yet feel numb to her faith? She grasped for God’s peace and any inkling of His presence.
As her friend, how could I hold her hand tightly enough to fill it with a love stronger than the heartbreak of her brother’s diagnosis?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28
As I held their hands, a friend at a loss for words and knowing I had nothing to offer, I felt love pouring back into my hand. I felt God’s love in their faith, in their struggles, in their questions, in their moments of doubt and in moments of silence.
As I held their hands, I learned that it’s okay to share verses when it seems redundant, because God’s word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). His truths are not simply inspirational quotes.
I also learned through holding their hands that it’s okay to be angry, be searching, to question and to not have any answers or words that will make things better. God is in the middle of the flames (Daniel 3:23) and there is power in prayer. Prayer together and prayer in private. Prayers that are silent and prayers that are spoken by the Spirit. There is power and healing and strength and love in the name of Jesus.
There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. ~Jeremiah 10:6
You keep track of all my sorrow. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. ~Psalm 56:8
Never stop praying. ~1 Thessalonians 5:17