“What do we do? Is it too soon to start showing up with food? Do they need space or people around them? I never really know what to do in situations like this. I like to get task orientated in these moments, but I don’t know where to start. It feels like it should be different this time, right?”
“I know. I already asked if we needed to clean the house or do laundry or anything. Let me just be here a little more and find out what’s needed. Maybe you could bring lunch out here.”
There’s really nothing to offer your friend when you hear the news that she’s lost her husband. There’s even less to offer when you look her sweet babies in the face and think about their loss of their father.
Even still, I found my way through their back door. And I offered lunch. And hugs. And shared tears. And the promise that they are deeply loved and fiercely prayed for. And I tried to find things to do for them, but really—there’s nothing you can do aside from just being there.
Today, I am feeling a little less task-oriented, and my mind is flooding with questions. Questions that have no answers outside of Jesus and really… that should be enough. But if we’re honest… in situations like this, I struggle to really rest there. So today, I’m thankful that Jesus welcomes my confusion and tears, and I’m trusting that He will use this for His glory. And in the spirit of fleshing this out, I offer you notes from my journal that inspired the very first blog I posted…
I am reminded that God is the ONLY one who can bring peace to a whirlwind of emotions.
I am reminded that, no matter how hard you try, you can never prepare yourself for the loss of a loved one.
I am reminded that God is still in the business of picking up the pieces to broken hearts.
I am reminded that, no matter how many memories you recount, it’s not the same as making them.
I am reminded that, even in the death of one of your closest friends, God can still bring glory to His name.
I am reminded that it’s still OK to cry. “Life” doesn’t give us that permission. Tears have great value. Not one tear that is poured out before God ever goes unnoticed… God not only gives His children permission to cry; He rather encourages it.
I am reminded that, in a room full of people that you’ve known your entire life, you can still feel like you’re very much alone.
I am reminded that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so remembering to tell each other today that we love each other is a must.
I am reminded that, no matter how much you’d like to avoid it, “goodbye” comes whether you’re ready or not.
I am reminded that God is who says He is and can do what He says He can do. Which means, He is absolutely capable of using the death of one of His children to bring glory to His name. He is God.
Now… go hug your loved ones and be thankful for the time you have together. And be bold enough to tell that stranger looking “down” that they matter. Bake a pan of brownies and walk through that neighbor’s door that’s struggling.
I’m learning that to just be is enough. And to those of you that come beside me to just be when that’s what I need… thank you.