Showing up! That is what people have been doing for my family for the past sixteen months. These amazing people have taught me about love, humility, and the blessing of serving others.
Before my cancer diagnosis I never fully appreciated the value of just showing up. I had many opportunities to show up for other people, but I put so much pressure on myself to do everything perfectly, that I invariably talked myself into believing it was too risky to even try.
I really wanted to help, but my focus was stuck on me and my insecurities instead of the people I could have blessed. What if they didn’t like the meal I brought? What if I said the wrong thing? Should I stay and visit, or hand over the food and beat a hasty retreat? Now I’ve learned that serving means more than just bringing a meal, which is a good thing because that obviously causes me a little bit of stress.
Thankfully, because of the graciousness of those who have come alongside us throughout my treatment, I have come to realize that this is NOT a journey we were meant to walk alone. Truth is, it is a privilege and blessing to be allowed to enter into someone’s pain and when we show up, even with our fears and insecurities, God meets us there with exactly what we need.
Just showing up says “I see you”, “I’m here for you”, and “You are loved”. It’s not about doing it perfectly, but about doing it together. Showing up requires sacrifice and it is costly but it is possibly the greatest gift anyone could give or receive.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1John 4:11
When I think back over the last year I am amazed at the ways people have demonstrated their love for us, and by them just showing up how perfectly God has met our needs. So many friends have delivered wonderful, delicious dinners. One family gave us $200 to help with our bills. Another friend paid to board my horse because she knew hope is so important in healing, and her gift brought us hope.
Others stayed with my family during my surgeries, and some sat with me through chemo so I wouldn’t be alone. One friend shows up to play cards just to make me feel better. You’d think she’d let me win every once in a while, but I guess my need to win is a completely different blog.
Someone planted flowers, another sent an overflowing care package, and many still send cards to let me know they are thinking of me. Then there are the many who continually pray for us. Oh what strength all this “showing up” has brought us!
So, the next time the Holy Spirit nudges me I will be ready, armed with the examples of this amazing body of Christ that I get to call “sisters” who, like me, are…just living the thing.
Reference: “Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together” – Kara Tippetts & Jill Lynn Buteyn