As I sit in my living room, with a homemade “Mommy, you rock” banner hanging from the mantel and heart-shaped Post-It notes across the hearth, I am humbled. Cards span from one end to the other, from friends down the street and from 700 miles to the East in our treasured sweet home Alabama.
The kitchen is an explosion of lilies, roses, sunflowers, alstroemeria and my favorite of all God’s cheerful flowers, the gerber daisy.
My desk has become a thank you note writing station in progress, such is the generosity from our village these last few weeks, the past few days in particular.
The experience has taught me so much about all the ways you can show love and support to someone you care about. In the uneasy moments, these thoughtful gestures have carried me through.
As I’ve written about before, I’m a Words of Affirmation girl (if you’ve read The Five Love Languages, you know what I mean). Quality Time is a close second. So the collective effect of these last several days has left me in awe. My cup runneth over.
When a call comes in from a friend, someone who reached out to pray for me – with me – and we miss each other, and the most beautiful prayer arrives moments later via text – that’s powerful. Praying with someone one on one is such an intimate gesture – indeed it’s something I find intimidating to do with others. Yet here is someone who did it for me, and I will carry that with me, paying it forward as I can.
Seeing incoming calls flash on my phone from friends who we have always loved, even if through life and child-rearing we’ve lost touch a bit – that’s powerful too. When the conversations are anchored in mutual authenticity and genuine care, all the better. It re-opens the door for intentionally investing in each other’s lives as we did before, no matter the miles that separate us now.
Not too long ago, a package arrived. Tucked inside was a homemade, heart-shaped pillow, made from the softest fabric, in a breast cancer ribbon print. It was accompanied by a note from the mama of a high school friend of mine, someone who knows this journey intimately and who hand-sews 600 of these pillows each year for breast cancer patients at UAB. I was so moved that she sent one to me, along with spot-on instructions about how to use it. Since surgery, I’ve not slept without it, and it’s made recovery much more comfortable.
There is a beautiful devotional book gifted to me from a dear friend, and I think of her each time I thumb through its pages. Our fridge is filled to bursting with all manner of deliciousness, and our children are hands down living their best lives with sleepovers, swim outings and extended play dates with neighborhood buddies.
All of it has taken my mind off of the fact that we are waiting for results. It’s helped me realize who my friends are. And it’s taught me specifically how to be a source of help and how to minister to others, no matter what the circumstances might be.
Indeed, there is tremendous love in the waiting. Thanks be to God for all of it.