I Am For You
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” – Hebrews 10:24
I’m in a season of my life of rebuilding after a lot of things have fallen apart.
The rug was pulled out from under me and I have in many ways started from scratch. Hitting the reset button on life is not simple. I’ve also had to discover my true, safe friends who could walk with me through the undoing and into the rebuilding. It’s been disorienting to say the least.
Some precious friends who were there through many seasons of my life were unable, for one reason or another, to go on this new journey with me. This has made those who have been able to even more precious. Diamonds, I tell you.
These truest of hearts have had the capacity to serve as companion through the mess.
The deconstruction of a life is a heavy task that involves grieving and mourning, processing anger and loss, acknowledging harm, and somehow coming around again to a miraculous place of dreaming.
One of my dearest friends, Tiffany Bluhm, has been a remarkable gift. We’ve known one another for nearly 20 years and have grown closer through seasons of longing and loss. I was privileged to walk with Tiffany through the pain of a broken romance and the unsuccessful adoptions of two beautiful children who were loved, wanted and prayed for. And she walked with me through the darkness of an unwanted divorce when most from my hometown and home church seemed to slip away.
Another dear friend, Carlie, was the person who dropped everything the night my ex left and came to stay with me, asking what I needed, how she could support me. She brought me food, held me as I cried, and gave me courage and strength.
One of the things both of these friends have done has been to accept me exactly where I am.
They challenged me and were willing to be bold and push back about concerns; but I never once felt like I was not loved or supported. They didn’t try to rush my process or make me feel like endless prayer requests for peace and provision were too much. They were patient with my pace, honoring my story, grieving with me, dreaming with me—not telling me how and when to feel what I was feeling.
This is a tremendous gift – the gift of being seen, known and embraced in the moment.
I have learned a LOT through this season.
One of my greatest lessons has been the revelation that the desire or actions to “fix” someone is not loving.
I grew up in a pastor’s home, and my parents are AMAZING. But I got the idea somewhere along the line in my specific spiritual context that it was more important to be perfect and to try to fix others, as well as myself, than to trust God in the journey of a very unpredictable and messy lifelong transformation process. Somehow control and certainty became more dominant and important than faith, patience, trust and mystery.
Life is uncertain. God’s love is certain.
But God’s love rarely looks how I’d expect. God’s love has shown up to me along this wild ride in some remarkable, seemingly ordinary, mysterious ways. It has shown up in…
- An envelope filled with gift cards from one church, and books and cards from another, both where I used to work.
- Invitations for ministry engagements when I wondered if the new twist in my story disqualified me.
- New friends out of the woodwork and a ragtag band of people helping me move in the midst of unsettling.
- My family embracing me, crying with me, affirming me and sheltering me.
- A precious new community of women with whom to journey.
- My inbox with messages and texts out of the blue from people sharing words of encouragement.
- Learning I’ve been prayed for by strangers who’ve heard pieces of my story and want to believe with me for the beauty God has promised from these ashes.
- A friend flying me to meet her in Disneyland just to have a good memory in that bleak season.
- A group of my best friends banding together to buy me a couch for my apartment.
- Random phone calls and reconnections with people who share similar parts of my story and want to take time to invest in me.
- Meals and conversations that were nourishing to my very soul.
- Surprise gifts and coffee dates and the glorious freedom of being given time to heal at my own pace.
- New songs, new stories, new experiences and the rising of dreams I feared had been killed.
There are more ways and stories like this than I can probably even recall right now.
There have been many days of darkness and times where I feel like “too much.” Many times when I just can’t see the good that is there when God’s love seems to be eclipsed.
But just like God sent love through human touch in Jesus, God has sent love to me in the human interaction of friends and strangers.
This reminds me that God is with and for me; that even though the unique challenges I face are my own, I am not as alone as I often feel. I want this same love and epiphany to be the way I live, to motivate others towards love and kindness.
How has God uniquely shown up for you?
I don’t know what that has looked like, but I do know this: you are loved more deeply than you could possibly imagine.
Please join the conversation and share your journey!
Jana is a thirty-something Seattleite, singer-songwriter (loves to “journal out loud” and not too shy about karaoke!), lover of people and our stories, Hospital Chaplain, and Counseling Psych grad student. She is passionate about empowering women to live with purpose and know our deep worthiness. She enjoys a good cappuccino and rarely meets a tea she doesn’t love. She’d love to unearth the true beauty in each person who crosses her path.