These are the words that come to my mind when I think of the kindness and love shown by a woman who I have only “met” online. I can’t tell you her name because she wishes to remain anonymous, but what I can tell you is that she looks like Jesus. Because she loves like He does.
At the beginning of December I received a letter from her that said this:
“Hello! I wanted to let you know about a prayer commitment I have taken on. As we launch into the season of advent, I heard a suggestion of community to lifting one specific person in prayer every day throughout the 28 days of Advent. As I sat in the pew at church thinking about who to pray for with a commitment of writing out a prayer for each and every day, I thought of you!”
The letter continued with her sharing more of her heart and encouraging me to rest knowing that I, and the desires of my heart, were purposefully and specifically being cloaked in prayer.
How sweet, right? I just couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that a woman who I only know through sharing my struggles on this blog and the exchange of a handful of emails would think of me! And not only that, devote 28 days to praying for me despite her own struggles, her own unanswered prayers, and her own heartaches and disappointments.
But the story doesn’t end there, which brings me to the purpose of this blog post.
Several days ago while getting the mail from my mailbox, I saw that I had a large envelope from this sweet woman. I wish that I would have had a video camera rolling when I ripped it open because when the contents fell out, I gasped! I was astonished to find within the package the handwritten prayers she specifically prayed for me wrapped inside a beautiful green bow. Don’t get me wrong, I believed she would keep her commitment, but as I read over each prayer, I was overcome with emotion as each one was written from her heart and with such love and passion for me.
I will be forever grateful to this woman because each prayer was prayed according to His word, and because it was, I know that according to 1 John 5:14 He heard her. And not only that, but in due time, He will answer.
I share her beautiful act of kindness with you today for two reasons. The first is this: Don’t be afraid to share your struggle with another person, even if that person is a stranger. I know many times we tend to keep everything to ourselves because we are afraid of the possibility of hearing rude responses, or being subjected to unsolicited advice, or even being let down with their lack of empathy. But unless we open up, and until we become vulnerable, we won’t experience the benefits that do come from letting others in. Benefits I believe far outweigh the occasional negativity.
So I urge you, if you feel as though you might be fighting alone and feeling alone, don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t be afraid to allow your casual chats to turn into conversations. Conversations that help educate others about the stress and devastation of miscarriages, failed treatment cycles and doctor appointments. Don’t be afraid to turn brief hellos with friends and family into moments of ministry as you ask for prayer, encouragement and support. Don’t be afraid to share your heartache with others either through a blog or sharing something on social media.
Because while this path of infertility has unexpected rain storms and high winds intended to knock you out of your nest and send you to your hands and knees scraped and bruised, beaten and scarred, there are thousands of others on this same journey, or even a similar journey, ready and willing to pick you up if you fall. They are ready to remind you that you are not forgotten when another prayer seems to go unanswered. They are ready to hold your hand as they whisper the truth that there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about because it’s not your fault. And when you feel alone and like a leper, an outcast that no one, and I mean no one understands, they are there to wipe away your tears and remind you that you are not different or alone. Because those feelings you have? They have them too. Those thoughts of jealousy? No one is immune. And those moments that knock you out of your nest? Have knocked them out too. You are not alone. And you don’t have to travel this journey alone. So reach out. And speak out.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to step out and be that person who sends a card of encouragement or offers to pray. But not just say you will pray, but be someone who actually follows through, whether in the form of a letter or in person.
The Bible says that as we pour out into others, God will pour back into us. Many people often ask me how I can remain so hopeful and strong in my faith and I believe it is because daily, through this ministry, I pour it out onto others. And in return, He continue to fills me back up, so that in turn, I can do it again. So if you need hope, or encouragement, or prayer, or (insert your own need), pour it out into someone else and then stand back and be amazed at how God do the same for you. Because He will. I am proof.
I can’t end this post without addressing the woman who lovingly prayed for me. So to you, whom I will call, “B”, thank you! You will never know how much you have changed my life through this. You truly shine with the love of Christ and are such an inspiration to me. I find myself wanting to be more like you and I want to thank you for that…for loving others so well and inspiring me to do the same. I can honestly say that I am thankful to God for allowing this hardship of infertility to enter into my life, because without it, I wouldn’t have “met” you. And I wouldn’t have been stretched to become better. So once again, thank you. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus. I am honored to know you, and I know He is proud to call you His own.
For more on the importance of sharing your struggles, please read one of my most popular posts: “You Are Not Alone: Flying Together with Broken Wings”
I would love to get connected with you on a more personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on. Then click here to find Waiting for Baby Bird on Facebook, or come follow me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!