There have been few times in my life that I have felt overwhelmingly loved. Sure, I know people love me and have loved me. But the last two and half weeks have been nothing short of selfless, sacrificial, biblical love -- all poured onto me and my little family. And there has never been any other time in my life when I have been so humbled, for so long. I have never graciously or lovingly welcomed such humility. Until now.
I'm not sure my words could do my emotions justice at this point. In fact, I may start crying as I try to write them out. I'm so humbled, so grateful for the ways I have seen the hands and feet of the body of Christ move around and in me since my surgery.
My job is not easy, as a mom. Add being a wife and homemaker to this and it's pretty crazy and requires more than I have to give -- just another reason I'm grateful for the the Lord! Even so, I have seen my dear friends add all my "stuff" to their to-do lists so I can recover and heal well and quickly.
Not being able to clean my house, wash my laundry, stand for a long time, run errands alone or lift my boys has been so hard for me. Maybe even harder than you may understand. When Andrew falls, hits his head and starts screaming -- I cannot run to care for him. I can't run, nor can I lift him. When B is having a hard day and walks up to me and hugs my leg, then asks "Momma. I want to hold you. Please." My heart breaks a little because I can't lift him into my arms. And until just recently, I couldn't get onto the floor to even hug him.
On the other hand, watching my friends clean my house and do my laundry has been not only humbling, but very eye opening! Ways that I thought were the "right way" before have changed as I have seen their ways work better in making my home. My preferences on how the clothes are folded or the dishwasher is loaded have been kindly washed away by the Lord. I simply cannot care how things are being done at this point. I just have the opportunity to humbly say 'thank you' and be more than grateful that my chores are getting done by other hands.
So you maybe now be able to imagine the gratitude and humility that I feel as I watch my whole life, my whole "job" being done by the hands of people who love me. You may be able to see now why my heart could never say thank you enough to Sarah (my sister-in-law) who gave up her schedule, her work commitment, her life for five days to be here and do my job. Non-stop. The job the Lord has called me to do.
She woke up with the boys. She served meals. She cleaned and did laundry and put my children down for a nap. She held my boys and loved them just as I would. She drove my car and helped us with errands. She encouraged and informed me. She loved me, us, so tangibly, so humbly. I am still blessed by her visit.
I cannot forget my love, my Patrick. My incredible husband who has worked so hard. He has been mommy and daddy for two and a half weeks. He has taken off work and worked from home. He gets up with the boys at night and in the mornings. He brings Andrew to me to nurse. He gives baths and does laundry. He has cleaned and cooked and run errands. He has held me and encouraged me as I cried. He has run errands with me that stress him out. He has gone above and beyond to allow me to rest. He has served me and loved me and cared for me in ways that I have never seen. And he has done it with joy and with the kindness and beauty of God's words on his lips. What a beautiful testimony of God's love through marriage.
And my friends, my dear, sweet friends. These ladies have come to my house for ten days. TEN DAYS! Taking turns caring for me and my boys. They have let me nap while watching my children and theirs. They have cleaned and brought food. They have prayed for and encouraged me. They have kept me company and made me laugh. They have sacrificed their schedules, to-do lists and errands to care for mine. They have shown me, by their actions, that I am important and need to be cared for no. matter. what. They have gone beyond friendship -- they have become sisters and they have shown me what real life, godly love looks like.
It's selfless. It's enduring. It's sacrificing when you don't really want to. It's walking into a home that is not yours and making it just as you would want your home to be. It's reaching out and holding children that are not your own because I cannot comfort them or give them the affection they need right now. -sigh- I am loved by an Almighty God and, friends, He has shown His love to me through my beloved circle of friends, my husband and my sister.
How do I repay this love? How can I offer my thanks in words that are exactly what my heart feels? How can I give them what they have given me? I don't suppose I know, but I truly cannot wait to serve them and love them in this way. Whatever it is, however it may be, I long for the day to be to them what they have been to me -- more like Christ than any other thing I have ever seen.
I can only hope as they came into my home that they were met with gratitude and a felt the kindness of God here. And if they did, I can only think it was because of how incredibly they were living out just what the bible has called us to do -- love others more than yourself. They have cheerfully, kindly and joyfully lived out God's word over and over again.
What a blessing to be so loved. What a beautiful thing to watch the hands and feet of Jesus move boldly and swiftly. Grateful. Humbled. Overwhelmed by God's mercy. And so changed by the love of God, through these beautiful people who have loved me.