It was a hard pill to swallow. I had fought hard up to that point and to be told to stop was like being told to give up.
I soon realized, it wasn't giving up, but it was surrendering to a whole new level of trusting God to fulfill His purpose in me to the praise of His glory.
We want to be self-sufficient. We don't want to be dependant upon anyone else. We don't want to be vulnerable.
God used many people in my life to teach me a humbling lesson in life.
In opening up my hands to surrender what God had ordained, I had to open up my life, my world, to those who desired to come alongside us and care for us in this time of crisis.
Not only did doctors and nurses and my husband and family help me when I could not help myself, we had countless others who poured out into our lives in varying ways and degrees.
We can not repay anyone for the kindness extended to us, but we are ever thankful to God for revealing His steadfast love and faithfulness through others.
As we continue on in this journey we are grateful for the opportunities that we can pour out the grace we have received to others in times of need.
There are endless ways to extend practical love and it may be as simple as reaching out a strong arm with a warm hug.
Or as empowering as humbly bending the knee with an earnest prayer.
You may bring comfort when you with come with a listening ear and a silent tongue,
a sincere smile,
a simple meal, a pot of soup, a frozen casserole,
or when you weep with those who are weeping,
and laugh with them when the mourning turns to joy.
Your demonstration of compassion may be as mundane as scrubbing their toilet,
mowing their lawn,
washing their laundry,
weeding their garden,
caring for their animals,
or hiring them a housecleaner.
A little goes a long way when you drop off a sweet treat,
or deposit a monetary gift for the mounting expenses,
set up an online community to provide steady help with a myriad of needs,
deliver their mail,
shovel the snow off their driveway,
knit them a shawl,
take them for a pedicure,
email a Starbucks gift card or two.
Don't underestimate the impact you will have when you hang a wreath on their door,
wash their windows,
write them encouraging words,
drive them to a medical appointment
or their children to school or extra-curricular activities,
repair their vehicle,
surprise them with a completely unexpected gift,
fill their fridge with groceries
or their van with gas,
plant pansies in their urns,
mail them a book with a scarf,
or a cheque,
or come to fellowship with them when they are shut-in and can't participate at meetings at the church.
The way you generously love and care for their children:
shopping for them,
hoping with them
. . . will be a blessing far greater than you will know.
These are only a small handful of the ways that will encourage those who are
hanging on in hard times and will remind them that they are not alone.
For although suffering is often a lonely road,
no one ought to ever suffer alone.