In the days that followed Knox’s birth, I was continually reminded of how blessed we are to have friends and family who love us so much. I’m going to be painfully honest here (not that I’m anything less any other time), but in the months prior to losing Knox, Kerry and I felt isolated. Me especially. I’ve never been one to have really close friends that weren’t family, but I was really feeling alone. I just don’t have many friends, especially friends my age. I *knew* I had friends, but I wasn’t sure who I would call if something really bad were to happen or if something really great were to happen. But…
God has used this experience to remind me just how loved and supported we are. The large majority of our family lives in Kansas, and we were thankful some of them were able to come and care for us after we got home from the hospital. Family is so important.
In church circles you often hear fellow church attendees referred to as your “church family”, but in some churches they don’t feel much like family. In our church though, our church family really feels like family. Our lives are inextricably woven together and we are so very blessed to have 2 “families” we are part of.
1 John 3: 17-18 says:
17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
Our friends and family didn’t just love us with their words, but also with their actions. Our church family provided meals for us this whole last week. It was such a blessing to take a little stress off and be able to focus on healing.
But even more than that, we knew we were being prayed for a daily basis. We were checked in on a regular basis to see how we were doing. And not just “can I bring you anything”, but asked us “how are you doing…and we really want to know”. I could be painfully honest with those who were around me. I could cry, question, yell and just sit with them. I was able to be me without being judged or afraid of my emotions. It is a freedom that many in churches (or families for that matter) don’t feel like they have.
They were the “friends” I wasn’t sure I had before this happened. I was reminded time and again that I am blessed with friends who love me, care for me and are there for me, all the time.
I have to say, our church isn’t huge, but our church is genuine and cares for everyone who walks through the doors whether it’s your first Sunday or your 100th. We are blessed.
In addition to our church friends and family, I have been reminded of how much I am cared for by my “online” friends. One can joke about whether online friends really count…but, for the most part, I would say they do. Some I have never met, but we are tied together by the births of our children years ago or other major life events. Some our lives intertwined years ago and some are new friendships. But I have had several friends email or call to say they’re praying for me or checking to see how I’m doing. Some of you have shared personal stories, scriptures or just provided encouragement. I have been blessed to know that our story has touched others and that others are helping share our grief.
I feel blessed to know that I have a support system that many of us rarely discover except in times of tragedy. I’m reminded that God often cares for us through the ministry of those around us. I am blessed with friends and family who care for me.