I feel like the luckiest girl in the world today. I really do. Something happened to day that I will be soaking up for the rest of my life.
How do I blog about this without sharing intimate details of my life with the world wide web?
Basically, like every single person who may ever read this, my life is complicated and has challenges. Big ones. Challenges that often feel insurmountable. Like I'm literally going to die trying to just live through them, much less overcome them.
A few years ago I literally came to the end of my rope in the area I am referring to. It wasn't the first time I was ever at such a low place, and it also wasn't the last. But the difference was that this time I reached out for help. Up until that point only a couple of people knew what all the stuff that had *really* gone on (and was currently going on) in my life. I didn't trust that information to too many people and was scared to death of what would happen if others in my life found out. I was afraid of judgement, gossip, being seen as "less than", and most of all- rejection. But I was at a crossroad- I knew I couldn't go on alone, and yet I was terrified of reaching out. At that point the options seemed really limited. Stay alone, in the dark, keep your stuff secret... and risk completely falling apart, OR reach out for help that may or may not be there. And so I took the huge risk and reached out.
Instead of rejection I found acceptance.
Instead of judgement I found compassion.
Instead of gossip I found my heart safe.
And you know what else I found? I found that this scripture is TRUE:
"Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
When I shared my burden with my friends something magical happened- I found I wasn't carrying the load alone anymore. Really! I found this to be an amazing and unexpected experience. As soon as I found the courage to tell people, I found that the load was lighter! It wasn't too much anymore. It was still heavy. I still felt weighed down- but I could sense that others were along side me shouldering a piece of the burden as well. Amazing.
These women who I have trusted with my heart have continued to walk along side me through these years. I am not going to make it through this life without these friends. I mean that. But that doesn't mean that it is always easy to reach out to them. It's humbling- every time. And sometimes it's embarrassing and even humiliating to need them AGAIN. And AGAIN. And AGAIN. But every time (and over the years there have been MANY times...) they have held up my arms when I found I couldn't any longer.
And at the end of last year I found I needed them once again.
Once again I swallowed my pride.
I resisted the temptation to pretend everything was fine.
Once again I reached out.
I admitted the truth about how low things had become and asked for prayer.
Once again I found my weary arms upheld.
But until today... I didn't know the extent of that help.
Today I found that seven of my friends who have been by my side for a very long time now- friends who know all my junk and inexplicably love me anyway- these seven friends have been praying for me and all my crazy situation every single day since they found out about the latest happenings at the end of last year. They divided the week up between them and have covered me and my life: marriage, family, everything! in prayer every single day since then.
And you know what??? The situation they have been praying for did a 180 about 6 weeks ago. Strangely, miraculously, the situation turned around and since has been better than I honestly ever believed it could be. Of course God gets all the credit for this dramatic change, but my friends played a part by continually bringing this petition before the Father.
When I found out about this behind the scenes prayer team I was literally speechless. I cannot put into words how it made me feel to know that these women love me so much that they would do this for me... I really do not have the writing abilities to describe how this love made me feel. But I think if I told you that it made me do the ugly cry right there outside of Starbucks it might paint the picture a bit more clearly.
How did I feel???
I felt LOVED.
How did I get these friends??? Fear wanted to tell me that letting people in on all my sickness would make them disrespect me. Would make them reject me. Would make them think I was pathetic and unworthy of time and attention. Instead... humble vulnerability grew something I hadn't counted on: respect. You know what one of my friends called me today? BRAVE. Brave! Me! That word went straight to my HEART!!! I am BRAVE??? I feel like a mess most of the time. But she thinks I am BRAVE???
I truly feel like a lucky, lucky girl.