Recently, I wrote about our son who has been having trouble adjusting to first grade and the fear that paralyzes him on most days. I would like to share another aspect of his journey with you in hopes that it will encourage someone today.
On most days when we drop A off at school, he is teary-eyed and scared of leaving us. We encourage him the best we know how and send him off with tons of hugs and kisses. One of the days that A was crying after he was already dropped off at school, a sweet family friend saw him from across the playground and was instantly drawn to him. She could clearly see he was distraught and upset. She could’ve just gone about her day, head down after school drop off, staring down at her phone and thinking of her ‘to do’ list; instead, she took the time to walk over to A and comfort him. She decided in that moment, in the middle of all the busyness and chaos of school drop off, to stand and pray over him. She prayed comfort, peace and courage over him so that he would go about his day as the warrior God has created him to be. In that moment, she didn't care that people in a public school setting may have been judging her, all she cared about was the broken heart of one of God’s children. When she texted to tell me this sweet act of kindness, I couldn’t help but get tears in my eyes. My heart hurts for my son everyday knowing he is so sad and I can’t instantly fix it all. I spent the day knowing God truly held A close, closer than I ever will be able; I have to trust that God will hold true to His promise to never leave nor forsake him.
Walking this journey with my son has made me reflect on the goodness of God, even in the midst of our trials. He finds us feeling alone and isolated in a crowd of people, He sees us not being able to get out of bed because the darkness feels too great, He mends our broken hearts and spirits and wipes every single tear. All of this has reassured me that God is still working behind the scenes and is carefully piecing together our stories. When the pain is overwhelming and life continues at full speed all around us, God already knows how He will use our stories, our pain and our losses, all for His good and glory.
He gives us people who are willing to stand in the gap for us. The ones who say they will pray for us and actually do. The ones that call and follow up to see how we are after a bad day. The ones who show up in a bad season to encourage us and tell us we will get through it all. When we surrender to the hard things and the pain of our situations, God gives us freedom, joy and peace through it. I challenge us all to even be grateful for the hard times, as it will force us to seek God more fiercely.
God doesn't work independently; He works through His people. This is evident in our lives, our experiences and throughout the Bible. He uses His people to preach the good news of Jesus; to show love, hope and compassion to those in need.
In the book of Ruth, Ruth stands in the gap for the widowed Naomi despite her own pain. I love this story of faithfulness and loyalty. Ruth put her own needs aside and remained with her mother-in-law as she was in her darkest moments of grief. Through the loss of both their husbands and Naomi's sons, they found God’s provision and sufficient grace. They may not have both known it at the time, but God used them in each other's lives to rebuild their futures and heal their hearts. Naomi was ready to give up, she thought her story was finished after the death of her entire family, but God knew differently. He was busy orchestrating a plan and placing them in the right place at the right time for restoration and redemption in their lives.
I want to encourage you today, friend, that God isn't finished with your story either. Sometimes chapters in our lives get inserted when we least expect it, but let God start to trade in your sorrows and sadness for joy. Let Him use people in your life to love on you and speak wisdom. Let them into your life and let them help you stand up, dust yourself off and allow yourself to get stronger every day from your circumstances.
Do you have someone standing in the gap with you on this journey of life? Are you doing it now for someone you know or love? Whether we are a complete mess, feeling isolated, alone in a crowd or unable to take the next step, God never leaves or forsakes us. Activate your faith in taking the next step in your journey even though He has not revealed the full picture of your life. My sweet son is stepping out in faith every morning of school and continuing to trust in his God to provide the people and tools he needs to get through. God can help all of us get through minute by minute if that is where we are or provide just enough strength for our day. Wherever you are today, allow people to stand in the gap with you, rip the band aid and allow full healing to begin and trust a provisional God who loves and adores you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”