This post was written for the Five Minute Friday prompt: grow:
Ephesians 4: 16 (NLT)
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Lately, I’ve found myself reflecting on how God has placed particular people around me on my journey of faith. These are people who have sat with me, prayed for me, wept with and for me, and have linked hands with me, nearby and oceans apart.
Even those I have felt called to come alongside and support, have ended up blessing me, precisely when I’ve sat and listened to their hard. They may feel they have very little to give, as I have so often felt, but precisely in those struggling moments is when I see and feel God most vividly.
When they weep from the hard that just keeps coming, but still speak of God’s goodness carrying them through. When they share of doubts and fears and unbelief and yet also of the tethered hope that never relents…then my tears can’t stop flowing because through it all I see God carrying them…carrying them when they feel they can live no more.
You see, through every hard they have found themselves lifted up by other people of faith…Exactly when they’ve felt they can’t place one more foot in front of the other, then someone has arrived unannounced at their door, or sent them a message with words that prove a balm to their soul, or picked up the phone to give them that call or left a gift at their door.
And so ” joined and held together by every supporting ligament” we find ourselves growing. A community of broken, grieving, yearning souls, but souls resting in the strength of the love our God and Father is growing us up in. Precisely in the awful hard, the gaping holes, the memories that try to press us under, the fear, the doubts, the hurt … all of it…in this He is growing us up in His Love, as He presses us into each other, helping us to lean on Him: on His love that pours out of each one of us. Yes, surprisingly we are growing, even through all that which was meant to harm us, to pull us under. Precisely through that, as He is joining us together, knitting and weaving us one into the other, so that when one of us falls, the other holds us up, He is growing us in strength, in hope, in faith and love.
Last week I released my first ever book- Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering. You can read more about it below and find friends of mine reflecting on different parts of it here: Love Embraced Reflections.
Fear, Grief, PTSD and The Embrace of Love
Not one of us is immune to suffering. So many of us have experienced loss, rejection, trauma and/or deep hurt. But often we decide to keep working, to keep going and to keep numbing that which we are terribly scared will break us into tiny little pieces. Love Embraced records the author’s own journey through such suffering, in:
– caring for her mother dying of cancer
– grieving her mother’s death
– her diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and
– working through repressed childhood memories.
But, it also reveals how in starting to face that which she was too frightened to face, she began to embrace and be embraced by a mighty God into:
– strength and
– deep joy.