Bearing One Another’s Burdens

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Bearing one another’s burdens…I’d like to dive right into this topic – right after a bit of background and catching up we have to do.

The past few days have been exhausting – both mentally as well as physically. I had a doctor’s appointment this past Thursday that was much less than fun. To recap, I left the doctor’s office with the necessity to have a tetanus shot, another referral to see cardiologist, and surgery scheduled for three weeks from then.

The tetanus shot was because a crafting (cutting) tool rolled right off of my desk, and into my leg. Since there was a puncture wound, the doctor thought it prudent.

The referral to cardiology is to see if they can rule out my heart as cause for some other medical concerns they cannot pinpoint the cause of.

The surgery scheduled is to remove a lump/mass from my back (and possibly one from my stomach) and then sending to pathology to determine what it’s made of. We are, of course, praying it is not cancerous, and nothing else to be concerned with.

I’m also semi-looking forward to the appointment with the breast surgeon to hopefully have answers on that front. All this waiting without having answers is bothering me.

I would like to stress something though. I do not fear a diagnosis, even of cancer. No, I do not WANT one – but nor do I live in fear of it. The absolute truth is that I serve a God larger than life, and He knows exactly how to take care of me – regardless of the outcome. It is His peace and strength that continues to sustain me. Even when there are days I feel like losing hope, I know that He is holding me. The God that holds this entire universe also holds me in the palm of His hand. What a loving and safe place to be!

What has truly made a difference, especially recently, is people. The people that God has in my life have really made a huge difference. As I keep saying, God created us to be community people. We all need other people, myself included. We are not meant to walk through life alone. Not me, and not you. This past week though, God has truly shown His love in such a real way through the compassion and love from friends. As I was discussing everything that is unraveling in my life of recent history, I remarked at how much I’m learning to reach out and connect with people. The reflective response made me think. “Imagine if this had all been going on a year ago, think of how different it would be” and that was so right. I was at a relatively dark place at times, and I cannot say how it would be different – other than really not good.

Another instance of God in action through the heart of friends was to hear a friend’s reaction to my most recent doctor’s appointment. A few days after having explained the situation, we were talking. Not sounding particularly chipper, I asked how the week had gone, or what was going on. The compassion that they probably didn’t even realize they spoke with really illuminated God’s love for me in a real way. It was shared that there was just a lot on their mind, a week full of life unfolding before their eyes, and that they also were struggling with me on the news and/or possibilities of these current medical concerns. At first, it made me sad because I had (especially without intending to) made another person upset or sad themselves. Not my goal. However, as I thought on it, I was appreciative that God has people in my life that are walking through life, and through this situation with me. I truly am NOT alone. This person and particular situation isn’t isolated. There are other people carrying this with me, and I am grateful. I don’t want them to have to, but blessed that they are.

Yesterday, in fact, I was out eating lunch with my children. As I stood up to leave, I was light headed, and spoke with my son about it briefly. Another couple who was nearby heard, and asked if I was alright. Complete strangers. They asked if it was a medical condition. I explained briefly that it was, but I’d been seen by doctors, so far with no answer to explain why this happens. I knew it would be over within minutes, so wasn’t worried too much. What happened next was a phenomenal display of God’s love in human form. The man asked my name. Not sure where this was going, I told him my first name. His response was that they would pray for me tomorrow when their small group Bible study meets before church. It didn’t stop there. They asked if there was anything else, and I felt a strange peace in sharing (very briefly) what’s going on with regards to the unknowns with me medically right now. With compassion they said they would pray, and would continue. They would pray for peace that only God can give. After we spoke, I asked where they went to church, said thank you, and we went on about our day. I was, however, blessed by such a small thing. No, it wasn’t earth-shattering. It was two complete strangers following the heart of God in a little way that made a huge difference.

There have been many people I have reached out to, and who have reached back to me – in prayer and friendship. I could tell you story after story about the people who God has used to bless me in small and large ways. God is faithful – 100% of the time.

The title of this blog post is what I set out to write about here — how, as Christians, we are called (Galations 6:2) to bear/carry one another’s burdens. This passage of scripture may not be directly speaking of carrying situations such as my own, but God used it to speak directly to my heart, to show His love in a real way through the body of Christ, and through such a variety of friends who care. I strive to be that person that people lean on when times are happy, and when times are tough. I’m not, however, used to being that person needing the same.

The entire point I am trying to point out through this entire post is that God loves us with a crazy love. It doesn’t always make sense, but it is real. He calls us to walk through life together. Just as I am finding how not alone I am, you are also not alone. No matter what situation you are facing, you are not alone. You are loved. The God who holds the universe has you safely in His hands. Trust Him with your life, and don’t be shocked when He acts on your behalf – when He shows you love in ways generally unfamiliar. He is a God of love, and a God who cares about even the most minute detail of your life. Allow God to be God, and watch how He takes care of you!!

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