I’ve seen this truck several times at the end of my street. It’s a medical supply truck. I thought it was for the tiny lady who lives at the top of the hill.
I once knocked on her door trying to catch my obnoxious puppy. I assumed she owned the tramp that Gifted Puppy chased. Nope. She said, “I’m a shut-in.” My heart broke a little bit that morning. And this is a good reminder that I need to get to know her better.
However, when I pulled into my driveway yesterday, I noticed the truck in my next-door-neighbors’ driveway. He’s fighting cancer and it breaks my heart. They’re the grandparent type of neighbors who adopt you before they even remember your name.
My three-year-old talks to them like nothing’s wrong. She just shares her life. How wise.
Tragedy struck our own family hard last year when my beloved sister died from surgery complications. I almost forgot a few days ago as I picked up the phone to call her.
When I was sending my family a group text picture of my sweet little ones graduating from preschool, her name popped up. Tears sprung up out of nowhere. It’s ok. I missed my sister. She’s the one who would’ve responded first and with “Cute” and “So big” and “I miss them.” Oh, sweet Michelle, we miss you most.
I took a Facebook break that didn’t really last all that long, and when I rejoin, I see the tragedy of divorce and death affecting dear friends and loved ones.
Hug, Say I love you, Repeat
The only thing I know to do when these things happen is to pray and reach out. You never know what that listening ear will do for someone who is carrying a burden too big for them to bear.
When my three-year-old was beside herself because she slept through the awards program at church, all I could do was pick her up and hold her. She knew what to do – draw near to love.
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. — Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)
Routines to the rescue – everyone needs breakfast
When my sister died, I didn’t feel like I got the time and space I needed to really mourn her loss. I was too busy with my kids. How can I sit in bed and cry when someone needs help in the bathroom or seventh breakfast?
There were times I felt guilty that I wasn’t a mess. In my mind when tragedy strikes, the world should break. And it does at times, but I realized something. The routines of life and are a gift for the brokenhearted.
Ask a three-year-old. You still need breakfast and hugs and to dunk all your puppies in the kiddie pool.
I had a reason to not sit in my bed and cry – three precious, hungry children who seemed preoccupied with where people and pets go when they pass on. They were constantly asking to pray for our lost puppy and my sister. In their innocent, precious way, they get it. They understand on a soul level that we are not carrying this burden alone. Jesus sees every tear and every hard moment.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. — James 4:8 (NIV)
And you know, it’s not just tragedy that puts us at the brink of wanting to stay in bed and cry. This life is really hard. We’re all struggling – watching a loved one suffer from a disease, wayward children, personal struggles that don’t have clear answers.
It’s ok to fall apart
A few months ago, I was about to crumble because I had so much on my plate that I walked into Bible study bursting with frustration.
The leader looked at me and asked me how I was. I couldn’t help but hand a little of my burden to her. She wrapped an arm around me and prayed for me right there. That little gesture showed me that even when it all seems too tough, we are not alone.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help bearing your burdens.
A few nights ago a friend’s three-year-old daughter was carrying her own tea to the dinner table. It was about to spill. I told her to take a big sip. That still didn’t help, so she asked me to carry it.
That’s what He wants you to do. When it’s all too much, put those arms up and ask for help.
“Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
If you’re going through something tough, (nothing is too small) please know that you have a Helper and Healer. If you need prayer, please reach out to someone. I’d be happy to pray for you. Just leave a comment or email me at amanda c brandon at gmail dot com. Blessings, my friends.