I don't know about you, but I would much prefer to be giving than receiving help or hand outs. However, many situations in the last two years have put us in situations where we are the ones needing the help, needing to ask for assistance, just needing.
It's a hard place to be. Feeling vulnerable and having to humble yourself to the reality that sometimes you can't do it on your own.
Within the mess and chaos, stumbling through one difficult situation after another, God provides. The biggest provision God has given us is our community. The family of believers and friends that He has placed us in. Without our church family, we would have been up a creek without a paddle many times.
It was them who sat with me in the hospital when my husband had surgery, them who helped me clean the house while I had a baby with RSV and a husband who couldn't stand.
It was them who gave us $1000, $500, $300 and more to put towards what we needed, they who have kept us afloat.
It was them who came over on a sunny afternoon to talk of parenting and faith and making it through hard times.
Them who brought us meals when we had a miscarriage, when we were grieving in ways we never knew we would. Then those who brought us meals in celebration of our precious gift, who sat and held our daughter in the hospital with smiles and laughter full of joy for the blessing that we had all been asking to receive.
Those who have prayed for us, laid hands on us, interceded on our behalf. Those who have fought for us, with us, against the evil one who seeks to destroy.
Those who have watched E countless times without asking anything in return. Those who have served us, loved us, cared for us.
Those who have made this passage come alive. Acts 2:42-47
"42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
The church's purpose lived out in our life, that we would receive God's love and provision through the kindness, love, and generosity of those He has placed in our life.
How do you do this mess called life without community? How do you go through your rough patches, through all the valleys and droughts, without people surrounding you? Telling you to keep going, keep walking. How do you keep from falling down under the weight of this world without your community holding you up?
Our family would not be where we are, even if far from perfect, without our community.
I look forward to the day when we can give instead of need, but for now, with humble hearts we thank Jesus for the family who has stood beside us when things were crumbling.