"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2 NIV
I did some research on what it means to "bear with" another. "To bear"- to hold up or support; to lift a burden from another. I have personally felt the weight of some burdens this year. If you haven't seen my 2017 wrap up, you can read it here. Even though I have so much to be thankful for, my circumstances have often felt heavy. And when I said I was feeling lonely in it (here), my people really stepped up to love me well. Initially, the sudden burst of attentions pricked my pride. My cynical nature tried to keep me in the pit with the belief that others were reaching out to me in pity or guilt. But when it came down to it, I had asked for help. I needed to be able to except it when it came. So I gave my pride the ol' heave/ ho and allowed others to minister to me in my sorrow and weakness. And I could not be more grateful for the kindness and love shown to me and my family.
There are more ways to love someone in the midst of difficulties than there are bottles of beer on the wall. The possible scenarios are endless. From the grandiose to the quick and simple, others have held me up and supported me. If you will indulge me, I would love to share with you - in no particular order - the top ten ways others have been bearing with me in love.
1. A text asking how I am feeling today.
2. Gift cards for my husband and I to treat ourselves and facilitate some self-care.
4. An invitation to watch movies and laugh with a friend in our pj's.
5. A gift from coworkers with 25 signatures on the card.
6. Old friends who took the day off and drove in from out of town just to see me.
7. Family who are encouraging us to dream.
8. An acquaintance who takes me to lunch and says, "I don't want you to walk through this alone."
9. A Savior who was born into this broken world to die on a cross and take away my sin and shame.
10. A God so amazing that He forgives my ingratitude and unfaithfulness and orchestrates all of this to remind me that He has my back. "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1