Tag : friends
Tag : friends
Have there been times when you were afraid/ fearful? This is obviously a rhetorical question, but what I want you to think about is what you did or didn’t do about that fear?
When I think about being fearful, a sweet memory comes to mind. It was my first trip to Oklahoma to visit with my dear friend, Kim. We had become close friends when we lived in Prosper, Texas together. Gathering daily for a walk once we dropped off our children at school, we would talk and talk and talk as we walked.
Now there’s just one thing you need to know about Kim before we go any further. Kim has four children, all adopted from Korea. Kim and her husband, Joe, adopted each one of these children with the understanding that more than one of them had some special needs. While God blessed her with four beautiful children, there were, in fact, two of the children who have life-altering special needs. Over the years, Kim and I had talked about all of our children and their needs, trials, and how we deal with the ups and downs of parenting. I felt familiar with many of her family’s challenges. Still, I had only visited with her children minimally, an hour here or there at birthday parties or little visits at her home, but nothing truly immersed. This particular visit would be a three-day adventure, and I would be staying in her home.
Some of you may not think this is a big deal, but as Kim shared with me, many parents with children who have special needs can sometimes feel apologetic if their child has behavior issues that could be wrongly interpreted as poor parenting, such as unruly or abrasive behavior, destructive tantrums, and so on.
I want to confess that as I had agreed to come and visit, I was, in fact, afraid. Specifically, Kim shared one of her daughters was in the middle of a medicine change and dealing with side effects of moodiness and increased agitation. I wasn’t afraid of her daughter’s behavior, but rather of the uncertainty I may say something or do the wrong thing that would upset her daughter. Afraid that I may witness a meltdown. Afraid that I would witness something I couldn’t help change or fix. Also, I was fearful that our friendship would be tested, and I wouldn’t measure up as a friend who could handle, accept, or understand her special needs children.
Before the visit, Kim called me with that much-needed intel about how the children were doing, what I might expect to see, and some simple do’s and don’ts. She even asked me if I was sure I wanted to come. I was afraid, but instead of backing out of the visit, I went anyway. I wanted to love on my friend who had moved away and whom I had missed. I wanted to show her love by loving on her family the best way I could, and I prayed it would be enough.
It’s when we are most afraid that we have to lean into love. Fear is going to come, and fear will go, but LOVE is constant. So when you’re afraid, when you are most fearful of all the what if’s, make sure you look inside and remember why you’re going to do what it is you’re going to do. LOVE.
I thank God that love does not require perfection. The trip to see Kim and her family was a success. I learned a lot more about living with children who have special needs. After the trip, my friend shared she had also been afraid. She said it’s a lot to ask a friend to come alongside the chaos that can, on occasion, be her life, and that she felt more love for me because I was willing to take on the challenge.
So remember, when you are afraid or filled with fear, GO ANYWAY. Show love the best way you can and gather all the precious moments with your loved ones.
Need a spiritual lift? We’d love for you to join us for our next POP Chat, tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST. Our guest speaker is former Principal, Current Life Coach and Ministry Leader, Starlet Bell, and her topic is “Praying and Fasting for a Turnabout Year.” Our guest Worship Leader is Author, Singer-Songwriter and “Bible Chicks” Podcast Host, Carole Brewer. It’s one hour of Worship, Teaching, Discussion and Prayer. The entire Pearls of Promise Team will be there as well! Here’s the link to sign up:
Do I go or not?
A friend of mine’s mother passed away and the funeral was on Friday, almost an hour away from my home. Overall, it would be a three-and-a-half hour commitment to attend.
Normally, I would not have hesitated to be there for my friend, but this time, I felt penned in by pressing schoolwork. I had earmarked Friday to write a research paper, and needed to study for an upcoming test on Monday. It was a big church. I didn’t know if she’d even see me there.
Ironically, the paper I am writing is all about how we should respond to God’s love, and one point is that “we are commanded by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
While making the decision, I pondered, What would be meaningful to me? I knew if I were in the same shoes, I would be touched if someone put aside a busy schedule to support me, so after a lot of prayer and godly counsel from my husband, I made the decision to go.
Friday morning, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and could not go back to sleep, so I decided to get up early and work on my paper. I completed every section but the last one which was: “We should respond to God’s love for us by serving and loving others.” It would have to wait until I got back home.
The church and funeral was beautiful, but when my friend gave a eulogy about her mother, I couldn’t believe my ears when she thanked everyone for attending and said, “You were not here on your own. You were commanded to be here.” I immediately thought about my paper. It’s a commandment to love others. And sometimes that means putting our personal schedules aside to be there for someone else. To make this even more impactful, when my friend left the sanctuary, she did see me and welled up with tears. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’d made the right decision.
Not surprisingly, I came back home and finished my paper, just in time to attend a church worship event at the Texas Motor Speedway, topped off by fireworks. I had many reasons to praise God. Alleluia! I completed my paper! But I also praised our loving Father because he reminded me that the people in our lives are more important than our to-do list. If it’s of Him, He will help us accomplish what’s on our plates.
First and foremost, we are commanded to love.
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you (John 15:12).
Join us September 30th at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom for our next POP Chat where our guest speaker will be KCBI Radio Morning Show Host, Author, and Popular Speaker, Rebecca Carrell who will be speaking about “We Become What We Behold.” Our Worship will be led by Author and Radio Show Host, Donna Renay Patrick. It will be a great time of Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Click on the link to sign up!
Do you seek godly counsel when perplexed about a situation? It’s important to reach out to other Christians when you’re not sure how to proceed. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” I did that this past week. I needed some advice about a couple of scenarios I was facing so I sought counsel from long-time sister friends. They gave the exact same direction, which in my mind was a confirmation of what I was already thinking.
But when we are struggling, our help shouldn’t only come from our pals. Sometimes it’s a natural tendency to run to our friends first—we long for human conversation, a person on the other end of the phone line. We crave their discernment, however, our all-knowing loving God, who knows the number of hairs on our heads, wants first fruits. He desires for us to take our confusion, worries, and relationships to him before anyone else. Isaiah 2:22 says, “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?”
The book of Hosea is written to God’s chosen ones, the Israelites, and reveals the Lord’s broken heart because His children have turned to others besides Him. They have embraced idols and worshiped other gods. The one true God feels like He’s been cheated on and because of that, pronounces judgment for the Israelites’ unfaithfulness. He reminds them in Hosea 14:8, “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.”
Where does our help come from? “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1).
I know it’s difficult when we can’t see God face-to-face and we can’t reach out and touch Him, but over the years, I’ve found Him so faithful to provide direction.
If I’m not supposed to proceed in a certain direction, I ask Him to block it.
If I am supposed to move forward, I pray for His favor.
He gives it.
He places people in my path, His Holy Spirit’s voice in my spirit, and the words of the Bible often leap off the page when He’s speaking. I know He cares about the details of my life, just as He cares about your specifics.
The next time you have a problem,, it’s important to ask other believers for advice, but always remember that no one knows you better than your heavenly Father. Check in first to His divine Help Desk.