Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."  

 1 Corinthians 1: 3-5

Me and the beautiful birthday girl, Claudia
A few weeks ago my "village" and I celebrated the birthday of one of my very dear mama friends.  As we were sitting around the table and laughing while we listened to each other tell stories I couldn't help remember the last time I had this group of moms over for a night of fellowship and camaraderie.



On December 31, 2013 I gave birth to my second daughter, Ezraela Eaven.  I was 18 weeks along and had found out earlier in the day that she no longer had a heart beat.  We had a memorial for her the following Friday.  My husband and I debated on who we would invite to the memorial.  I have a group of amazing women from my church, whom I count as sisters, and if it were up to me I would have invited every last one of them.  My husband didn't want the group to be quite that large, so I sent out a Facebook message to the ones who were closest to me, asking them to come over Sunday night instead.  I knew, from my experience with other tragedies in my life, the worst possible thing that I could do is be alone during my "mourning" period.  The way for me to heal was to surround myself with people who loved me.

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing...not healing, not curing...that is a friend who cares." 

Henry Nouman


Looking back, I can't honestly remember how many women were able to make it.  There was a "sudden freeze" and snow storm that night so several who wanted to be there could not.  I believe there were four or five in all.  They brought, along with food and wine, listening hearts and the greatest sympathy I have ever experienced.  There was one point in our conversation where I felt the need to rehash all of the details of my delivery.  During that time the only thing you could hear was sniffles and the rustling of tissue.  Tears streamed down my face as I shared my tragedy and in solidarity, tears fell down their faces as well.  My sweet group of friends did the most important thing they could do at the time:  listen.  They didn't try to give me advice or try to cheer me up.  They didn't try to analyze what might have went wrong or tell me that God was in control of everything.  They just listened.

As I reflect on that evening I think of Job, who basically had everything stripped away from him, including his health and all of his children.  Job had three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar.  Usually when I think of these friends I think of the terrible advice they gave Job later in the book and how they tried to blame him for what happened.  But looking back, I remember in Job 2:11-13 how they came to mourn with Job and for seven days and seven nights, no one spoke, "For they saw that his grief was very great."

"The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most.  I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity."

Ulysses S. Grant


In Job's grief his friends knew when to be silent.  They didn't try to fix his problems, they just allowed him to grieve.  I am not sure my friends and I could honestly sit for seven days and seven nights quietly.  We are women after all.  However, the friends who are closest to me have let me grieve.  They have held me in their arms while I was sobbing, they gave me hope for the day when I will see Ezraela again, they took my 2 1/2 year old little girl at the last minute because I needed some time alone, they  have sent me texts to tell me that they love me and ask how I am doing, even though  they knew the answer would be, "I'm having a really rough day."  The sent me flowers in the hospital, sent cards in the mail, came over and painted nails with me and threw me a surprise birthday party.  These friends have held my hand each step of the way.

Psalm 23 says, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me."  Sometimes during our suffering we can't feel God's presence.  What did David mean when he said that he wouldn't fear any evil because God was with him?  I think it means that sometimes God gives us friends to walk beside us during our trials.  Friends who love us unconditionally and will be the loving arms of God to us.

Sometimes God gives us friends to walk beside us during our trials .


God created us to be a community.  He did not create us to be alone.  He created us to rely on each other and hold each other up when we are falling.  He created us to be the hand that wipes the tears from eyes and give a hug to show that he is there.  He created us to rejoice with those are who rejoicing, but also to mourn with those who are mourning.

I am so thankful for the "village" that God has given to comfort me.  I do not know where I would be without them.  Revolution church and mom's group, I love you all.  And cannot thank you enough for the genuine kindness and love you have poured out on me this year.  

Comments

  1. This is so touching, Dorothy. As always, your beautiful soul reflects in your writing. I love how openly you express yourself, even when the words aren't easy. I love you!

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    1. Thanks Melanie, that means a lot. I love you too!!

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  2. LOVE your Nouwen quote & beautifully written as always, Dorothy.

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    1. Thanks you Laura, that means a lot coming from you. I actually found that quote when I was looking for one for Claudia's birthday card. Coincidence? I don't think so.

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  3. Hi Dorothy! I'm Heather and I was hoping you would be able to answer a question I have regarding your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!

    ReplyDelete

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