In Titus 2:3-5, Paul exhorts the older women in the church to mentor the younger women for the sake of the gospel. I believe there's nothing more important than putting my arms around my sisters in Christ and urging them to continue fighting this good fight, because Jesus is worth it. I hope everyone who passes through here will leave feeling encouraged.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Sometimes life is rough. As Christians we do not grieve
without hope, but that does not mean we don’t grieve from time to time. Whether
it’s grieving the loss of someone dear to us, the loss of a dream, or of a
friendship, we grieve. I say that to say that I have had a rough
week. My circumstances are weighing heavily upon me until I feel
like I am hunched down beneath them, a sort of emotional Quasimodo.
By the time I got to church this past Sunday, I was barely
able to hold it together until the lights dimmed. About ten seconds into the
second worship song, tears began rolling down my face. I couldn’t even help it.
The chorus of the song we sang went like this:
Our God saves, our
There is hope in Your name
Mourning turns to songs of praise
Our God saves.
I needed (and I mean I really, really needed) to hear that
there is hope. As someone who scores sky-high on the ‘encourager’ portion of
spiritual gifts tests, I try to share hope with others. I don’t want
anyone to feel hopeless. I don’t want anyone to grieve alone. Even if I don’t
know what to say, I’ll hold their hand and say a prayer. And I am grateful to
say that on Sunday morning, I did not have to grieve alone. My friend Summer
was standing beside me. She saw my tears and put her arm around me. A moment
later, she made me trade places with her so I could be in between her and our
friend Andrea.It may seem like a small
thing, but to me it was huge. In my grief, Summer wanted me to be comforted on
all sides. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses of Scripture, Psalm 139.5
“You both precede me and follow me; you place your hand of blessing upon my
It meant a lot to me to be surrounded by support and
love…and hope. And it meant even more to me that during the invitation, my
friends took me by the hand, walked me to the altar and prayed over me. They
didn’t even know what was wrong. But they knew the solution.
My problems didn’t magically resolve. Part of walking this
journey with Jesus means choosing to trust him when my heart feels plain wrung
out. I don’t always like it. I don’t always feel
like it. But thankfully, I’m surrounded by friends who will bear up under my
burden with me and make the load on my shoulders a little lighter.
If your heart is hurting today, I’ll tell you what I won’t
do. I won’t give you a spiritual to-do list of how to feel better. Not today. Today,
if you are bent over under the weight of your circumstances, you find (healthy)
comfort where you can. If that means getting a pedicure, do it. If it means a
stop-off at Starbucks, make it a venti. You have permission to hurt. Even-especially-
if no one understands why.
And then, when you are sucking down your caramel Frappuccino
and sporting Cajun Shrimp on your baby-bum-smooth feet, I would remind you of a
prayer that was prayed for you by the Apostle Paul a couple thousand years ago:
“I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven
and on the earth is named. I pray that according to the wealth of his [God’s]
glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the
inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that,
because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and
thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be
filled up to all the fullness of God.” [Ephesians 3.14-19]
And then I would probably invite you to my house for a sleepover. J