I am held up

Friday, April 8, 2016

Easter Sunday, I sat in a church packed full of my family (minus my brother who was literally pulling someone out of a burning building that day) to celebrate the Resurrection as well my youngest son's decision to be baptized. The most beautiful thing about that day actually wasn't even either of those things. It was that I sat in that church building not just with my immediate family, but with my children's family as well. Their first mama, their sister, their sister's parents...all of us there together at the request of our son who wanted to share that momentous day with his entire family. When we sang about letting the chains fall off and the gates of glory opening wide, it was enough to nearly make me leave the room in tears. 

The next few days though, I held children as they processed, yet again, through their past in tears. Redemption doesn't come without a cost. For my children, the cost has been high. There's so much pain and confusion to process through even as we see healing occur nearly daily. It was an emotional week, both highs and lows, and I was grateful to sit there with them. Honored to hold them up when they felt the pain would take them under.

This week, I got to be the one held. It was one of the very worst weeks. I failed at being the parent I know I can be, the one that my children need. To be fair to me, they weren't all that successful at making great choices either. It was a rough week all around: emotional and traumatic, both for me and for them. I've cried more than I wanted to. I've yelled more than I wanted to. I've been angry. I've been graceless. I've been hurt and oh so lonely. I felt like I might break. I'm pretty sure my children think I'm already broken.

Yet. There's been joy. There's been grace-filled moments. There's been love. There's been a serendipitous lunch meeting with fellow mamas going through the same kinds of things. And at the very moment when I was not sure if I could make it through this week intact, there was a friend.

Friends are hard to come by, I'm sure you'll agree. A friend whom you can fearlessly text with all the vulnerability you can muster and say, I think this is it, this is the moment I break...well, that friend is a treasure indeed. All of the reasons that keep me from truly baring myself to others pale in the face of a friend who responds with immediate prayer, with a Scripture and a song to guide you through the darkness.

It's not just platitudes. While it's encouraging to be told that God is with you, it's convicting to be told to fear not. To trust. To BELIEVE that God is with you. Particularly when you know that you haven't been living that way at all. A friend who'll encourage and convict in the same breath? That's a real friend. One that, even though she lives hundreds of miles away, is God's perfect grace in your life for that day. I am held up. In much the same way that I hold my children as they process their pain, telling them truth when they want to believe the lies, I am held up tonight by a truth-giving friend. I am blessed and grateful beyond measure.

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