Friday, May 3, 2019

Hard and Dark Places

I had a friend text me this morning. She's not someone I see or talk to a lot, but we have a deep love for each other. She sent me a very encouraging note letting me know the things she was praying for us, and for me specifically, and we corresponded back and forth for a bit. One of the final things she said to me was that if I needed someone to come alongside me in the "hard and dark parts" of wrestling with God that she could handle it! I have found myself pondering that all day...
"the hard and dark parts". 
Finding out your daughter has CF is hard. Finding out your son has it, too...starts to feel a little dark. Spending 2 weeks in the hospital watching your daughter fight to be able to breathe well is hard and dark. Seeing her weight dip below 100lbs...was really hard. Learning a new normal is hard and I'm sure will be for a while. I haven't had too many dark parts, but I'm sure there will be more before it's all said and done. Hard parts? We have plenty of those. Just having her get a positive flu swab 2 days ago made me want to scream and hit something!
We've experienced an overwhelming out-pouring of love, encouragement, meals and offers of help over the last 3 1/2 weeks. We stand amazed at the people the Lord allows us to have as part of our community near and far. I know many of those people would totally be there for the "hard and dark parts", but there was something about my friend offering...going there with those specific words...that stopped me in my tracks. 
My friend is well acquainted with "hard and dark parts". She's had to fight her way through many of her own over the last few years and you can tell. The struggle has been real, but she has struggled well. She didn't avoid these spots. She didn't deny they were there. She waded in and did hard work and she has come out the other side with a beauty and a grace she probably never imagined could be hers.
My friend taught me something today. She taught me that a lot of people may offer assistance and genuine care, but it takes someone who has done their time in hard and dark places to not be afraid to go there with others; to name them and call them out! She taught me that these hard and dark places are never wasted and He will use them in my life and eventually allow me to use them to go there with others. My friend made me a little more brave today as I was reminded how she made it through her hard and dark parts and found joy in the midst of it all!!
2 Corinthians 3-5 ~ "All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too."
Thank you, friend!!! You encouraged my heart today and helped make me a little more brave!!!

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