As I sit here and reflect, I am amazed at the number of people God has put into my life during this season. This season, this year (and a bit), has been the hardest of my adult life. Yet, in this season, in this hard, He gave me gifts of friendships, of people, my people, of those who would pour their lives into mine and really be His hands and feet to me.
I speak often of my people, the ones who walk close with me and have pulled me out of the creek so many times. These are the ones who I do life with the most consistently and the ones I’m learning to count on when life gets too much. I tell you of them often and I am so grateful for them.
But tonight I’m thinking of the others. I’m thinking of the ones who speak into my soul at just the right times, the ones I see once a week (sometimes less), the ones who bless me in passing and may not even know that they did. Those are gifts to me. They speak words into my soul that remind me of the truth of what God says about me, about my situations. They remind me of a different perspective, even when they don’t know what I’m walking through.
God uses these people in passing and they may never even be aware of their influence. These treasured friends and acquaintances cannot be overlooked when looking at the gifts of this season. These are the women (and even a few menfolk) who have spoken something to my heart in a time where my heart was unsettled and sometimes deeply troubled. They have been encouragement when my warrior heart wanted to lay down the sword and surrender (and believe me, I’ve wanted to do that so much in this season).
These are the people who I may not have even noticed or paid attention to normally, but in missing them, I would have missed God’s blessing of their words or actions or reminders. In these people I see grace, I see mercy, I see a reminder of how I should be living and thinking. Sometimes they are my gentle nudge (or big shove) to stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing the things I know I should. To stop believing the lies I hear from the enemy and start remembering the truth. To live well despite my circumstances.
Today, I sat in a room with 7 women, some of whom are older than me, some similar ages, all with different life experiences. As I listened to them talk and share, I thought about how blessed I was to be in this community of women, to hear what they have learned, their struggles, and their triumphs. To hear the places God speaks to them and even the places they might feel failures. To know that even though I may not have walked the path they did, our struggles are not so different after all, our hearts are not so different after all.
Today someone said something about needing to put a quote on their mirror and talked about putting things in dry erase on your mirror. (I’ve been doing that for years). I said, yes, I probably need that one too but I’d have to erase the one that has been there for over a month. She said, “well! Maybe it’s time to make that one permanently on the wall!” And laughed. But I think she’s right. I think that might have been a God nudge to say, “hey that truth is never going to change and you’re going to always struggle to remember it. Make it permanent.” And so I have a canvas drying now to put it on.
There are others too. The little posts on Facebook that are seemingly easy to scroll past, some of those have truly touched my heart. Someone taking the time to message me personally with something they saw and thought of me. Even people I don’t know posting something that God knows I need to see, those are a treasure.
Then there are the practical nudgers, the ones in my every day that remind me to reign it in when I start spiraling. They remind me that I cannot, in fact, control all the things (“we work with humans after all”). They remind me that I need to take a minute to breathe, to step away and remember what I can do. To ask for help when I cannot do it all. To let other people help me sometimes and that letting people help is not a sign of weakness but of intelligence and of strength.
This is my A-team. It takes all of these people to get me through, to encourage me through the journey, the hard and the good. You take the slack for my people, who may need a break from time to time, though they never will admit that. You speak into my life in a million ways, big and small. Without your wisdom and your love, I would struggle so much more than I do.
What I can say (and what I’ve joked I’m putting on a shirt) is: I’m working on it. I am working on my heart. I’m working on quieting my spirit. I’m working on relinquishing control….of all the things. But the big thing, I’m working on asking for help. Sure, I’d like to think I’m self sufficient, that I can handle all the things on my own, and while maybe I can (arguably not well), the gift is that I don’t have to. God has surrounded me with people who pour into my life in big and small ways. And when I’m alone, He pours into my life Himself, if I can quiet my soul long enough to let Him do it.
That my friends is the gift…a quiet soul that can breathe once again. And companionship on this difficult journey through a broken world. That is my “church” in all its forms. And for that I am so so grateful.