There are benefits to grieving aloud. That sounds funny but it’s true.
I’ve been very public with my struggles and that’s actually been one of the most helpful things for me in this process. It’s not for everyone but for me it’s been a major part of the healing.
By putting myself out there I’ve had so many people reach out and bless us in so many unique ways. My local tribe has stepped up big. They’ve brought food, given money, paid bills, checked in and so much more. They have held my hand and sat beside me and cried with me and listened and taken my kids to fun places. I am hesitant sometimes to even mention the ways we have been loved on because I know how very blessed we are to have such amazing support. I am painfully aware that not everyone does and the last thing I would ever want to do would be to make it into some kind of sick competition about who got the most when their loved one died. That’s not not my point. My point is that by putting myself out there and letting people know what we need, many people have stepped in and taken such good care of us.
Again, I know this is not for everyone. Some desperately need to grieve in private. They should be allowed to do so and their privacy needs to be respected. This is not a one size fits all thing we’re talking about here. I can only speak for myself and my journey here. For me, being raw and real and pushing the “publish” button is helping.
Through my VBS Facebook group, I’ve connected with people from around the world. Strangers from Colorado, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania sent gifts through my church. Literally thousands of believers have prayed for our family. The picture below is the contents of a blessing box I received from a fellow young widow who ministers to others by sending out the boxes. I also received other books and a prayer blanket along with scripture cards and very encouraging, hand written notes. All from strangers.
It is so encouraging because THIS is the church. THIS is the body of Christ coming together and holding each other up in the hardest of times. Not because we know each other but because we know our Creator. In a world where Christians are so often known for what they are against, I’m living proof that we should also be known for what we are for. We are for love. We are for each other. We are for petitioning the God of Heaven’s Armies to fight for our brothers and sisters when they can’t fight for themselves.
These beautiful people who have said my name before the Lord of the Universe, they are warriors and they are fighting for us. I am fully convinced that the prayers of the saints are all that has held me up on many a hard day. In their churches, in their cars, in the middle of the night, my friends and even strangers, continue to lift our family to God and their words do not fall on deaf ears.
Thank you, my mighty warrior friends. Thank you for your kindness, your love, and your prayers. Every one is a weapon against despair, hopelessness and fear. Together we stand stronger against the enemy. As Vance’s family motto reminds us, “Two are stronger than one and a three fold cord cannot easily be broken.” Keep praying for us. And when you need others to fight for you, don’t be afraid to ask. These warriors will have your back, just like they’ve got mine.