A Sense of Community

I often reflect back on my time in the hospital. I read my previous posts and wonder how I possibly managed to make it through each day and then to get up and do it all over again. It’s funny, I never realized how sick Jane really was or what a roller coaster we were on because every day I was just taking care of my daughter, like any other mother would. Of course I was exhausted at times but mostly joyful for every moment I had with Jane. Nonetheless, it was not an easy journey.

One of the neatest things I have learned through this time is how important community is…friends, family and the random stranger that pops in! I know without a doubt that Daniel and I woke up every day with renewed strength because the Spirit of Christ carried us. He used His church of believers to do that. Every day or so we had somebody checking in on us…visiting, bringing words of encouragement, giving love abundantly and refueling our worn out bodies physically and spiritually. This help was with us the entire time we were in the hospital and right up until Jane’s burial. I vividly remember leaning against the wall in my house while people were gathered around and singing the afternoon after we buried Jane. I so badly wanted to fall to the ground, but I KNOW I was being held up…then something funny happened…after we buried Jane our support system went back to their own worlds, carried on with life and it literally felt like we were dropped to the ground- smack into the concrete! We had more pain than ever…our daughter was no longer with us, my arms were empty, our hearts were completely broken as the reality of Jane’s death began to set in, it felt like God had slammed the door on our faces and the people scattered.

So, as expected, I wondered and thought a lot about why this would happen. I knew I couldn’t have expectations of people; I knew that wouldn’t be fair. I knew people had lives to get back to. I knew this was given to me by God and there was no way on earth I could pass it off nor would I want to. I went through much turmoil just thinking about it and wondering how I could keep going. Slowly by slowly, Daniel and I received some very encouraging letters and my spirits were lifted tremendously. I was finally able to take a….very…deep…breath! And, more recently we had a group of people come visit us. At this point, I think I was floating a little.

I am just soooooo thankful for these moments of renewal. I had been on the ground for a long time and I couldn’t quite find the strength to get up. You know, it makes total sense why Apostle Paul wrote letters of encouragement and accountability. It’s easy for me to wonder when I will fall again or how long this “good feeling” will last. But for now, I’m basking in it! The encouragement and the love shown has lifted a tiny portion of this suffering. I’m taking a couple steps forward, I’m smiling a little more, pleasing Daniel by laughing at his jokes a little more 🙂 I have found that I underestimate what a little card or a phone call or a visit can do. It’s worth millions!