Sometimes we don't know how to help. I have failed at reaching out to others in the midst of personal tragedies in their lives. There have been friends in our lives that I now know needed help and support and due to being blind to the needs that were there, we didn't answer that call. And it isn't something I necessarily blame myself for. I think that, until you go through a similar circumstance, you don't know what to do. I had friends with babies in NICUs, friends who miscarried, and friends who needed us in other ways. Many times, people in these circumstances talk about the silence, how they felt alone and isolated. I don't think it is something that people do out of ill intent though. I think people just fail to see how they can mobilize and act. Sometimes we are weighed down by the hard times too and because we don't see a way to fix it, we choose not to act in order to prevent further discomfort.
I had several friends that helped us out so much when dealing with our troubles last year with Johnny's diagnosis, pregnancy, and birth. There are two in particular that always seemed to know exactly what to do, exactly what to say, and exactly how to show us love and support. Not surprisingly, these two friends have gone through situations that have been extremely hard. They know first hand what to do in the face of difficult, emotional, and frightening circumstances. They know what works, so they do that for others.
This weekend we got word that friends of ours are going through almost the exact circumstances we faced when having to readmit Johnny to the hospital for jaundice. This time, I knew how to act, how to help, how to show love and support. It felt good to pay it forward. I may fall short many times, but God prepares us and gives us opportunities to love one another. After filling their physical needs, I knew how to pray for specific needs too. That experience was good to draw on. Maybe there was someone that I knew praying for me when we were in the NICU, I certainly felt bolstered considering I was five days postpartum, worried about my son, and a little emotional. I pray for so many things for this family and their medical team.
And so the cycle continues, this Mommy will take care of her little one and then pass it along to the next friend who needs it. I encourage you today to answer the call to love, it is fulfilling on multiple levels.