I'm pressing pause here for the month of June and have opened up my blog for some beautiful guests posts by a few very talented writers. Today's post comes from Shelly Miller, whom I met online through sharing blog comments. Shelly's words, always infused with grace, lead me to deeper places of worship, and always point me towards Christ. I am so thankful for her willingness to share her words here, and I just know you will be encouraged by this post--I definitly am! (PS: Next week I'll be popping back in for a DaySpring Giveaway, so if you haven't subscribed yet, now's a great time Just Click HERE to join recieve more inspiring words delivered right to your inbox!)
With every push of my sick boy in the swing under clusters of oranges hanging canopy, I drop my bucket into the well of loneliness. It hits the cold stone walls on the way down, echoes when it hits the floor empty. And a voice on the other side of my fence cracks the quiet open, pulls the rope and bucket back up again with arms tired from carrying a sack of whiny.
My pastor stands in the church parking lot on the other side of my concrete wall and his familiar southern accent in the middle of the desert moves me to the gate. I unlock it with Harrison on my hip. He greets me with his usual wide-eyed smile, asks me how I am because he hasn’t seen me in a while. My uncombed hair, bare face and eyes ringed red answer his question.
It’s been a month of passing sick between two children. I’m prisoner to cold medicine, Kleenex and the thermometer lying on the kitchen counter. My extroverting cup lays empty for days and his voice is the drop that breaks the dam of tears to fill the well.
I’m a mess.
He says he didn’t know.
My husband works for him, talks to him every day and I assumed.
He didn’t mention it.
Right there under sun rising tall above the pecan tree, he puts his hand on my shoulder and prays an umbrella of comfort. Pleads heaven for my children and weary soul.
It’s as if someone put his hands under my arms to carry me when I can’t take another lead-footed step. I swallow a spoonful of living water that quenches the lonely.
When I admit I am struggling, that life feels like one continuous upward climb without water or a plateau for rest, the captain yells charge and the cavalry of hospitable care moves to the frontlines. Their meals and helping hands restore joy.
That was over ten years ago.
Today I sit with a friend at Starbucks over iced soy latte and warm skinny vanilla. I admit the loneliness and it gives her permission to say it too. We hold each other up with empathy, sip from understanding. Crawl into mini-vans with smiles and refills of joy. The promise of more life from the well, jotted on the calendar for next week.
And what was true in the season of dangling toes from the swing of tired heavy is true today:
• Don’t assume someone else knows how you’re feeling if you haven’t told them.
• People are not too busy to care.
• Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
• Your honesty gives someone else permission to extract their burdens too.
• Keeping pain private robs someone of using her gifts, an opportunity to grow.
Are you weary from trying to do it all yourself? Maybe you have cried in the bathroom or on the floor of your closet one too many times lately. It’s time to ask for help. The cavalry is waiting for your call.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. ~Ecclesiastes 4:10
Shelly Miller is a writer, photographer, clergy wife, mother of two teens, and a leadership coach. She enjoys writing stories that make people think differently about life and helping women discover call. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications including Real Simple Simply Stated Blog, Outreach Magazine, and HomeLife. You can read more of her stories of redemption at Redemption’s Beauty