Do you ever take the expectations of those around you–family, friends, foes, colleagues, and beat yourself up with them? Let your own assumptions sneak up into your emotionally tender spots and bite you? Paralyze you with the fear that you don’t measure up? Me too. Keep reading.
Turns out I grew up surrounded by a treasure trove and didn’t know it. The gift of having girls and women older than me in my life. Women who, whether they knew it or not, poured into me out of their life experience and faith in God. In my 30’s and 40’s, while in the throes of momming two tween-into-teenage girls, serving a husband who had suffered a physical disability and the loss of his career, and losing my dad and walking through my fifty-six-year-old mother’s grief with her, I discovered the value of hanging out with older women who could speak life and shine light on my dizzying days.
Drawers, cupboards, closets, sheds, and garages full of stuff. Unorganized excess. Baggage—emotional and physical saved for someone else to sift, sort, dispose of or save in an unbroken cycle of disorganization and distraction. We all come face-to-face with our stuff and sometimes we find ourselves buried in the stuff of loved ones. And yet . . . let’s talk about it.
We can hold a hurting friend, cry with her, wash her dishes, pick her kids up from school, and fix a supper, but when we pray Scripture over her, we’re giving her a gift that God promises to sink deep into her soul and give it roots. In today’s post, I’m sharing 12 of the verses I pray over my suffering sister-friends.
We donate blankets to the homeless shelter and canned goods to the food bank. We pack Christmas boxes of hygiene and personal items for children around the world. We purchase goats or chickens for needy families in Uganda. All these good acts express love for my neighbors. Some of our neighbors. What about the woman seated alone on the far side of the sanctuary or even the woman who sits in front of me at the Sunday service? Week after week.
“God never intended for us to die, to endure the severing trauma of losing each other, and I think, in some very actual way, these fragile human hearts physically break a little.” Rebecca Rene Jones share three gifts of grief with us that can fortify as we face empty chairs at the table this holiday season.
- Page 1 of 2