Love Abundantly: Reach Out and Hold Me

I tried something different this week.  I actively and intentionally loved people abundantly.

First, I put together a package for my dearest friend.  He is going through a time and I sent him his favorites.  The stuffed penguin and chocolate was a long distance hug.

Second, I surprised another friend with two cards.  One was snarky (totally our sense of humor).  The other was serious (what I would say if I could get around my snark).  It was an embrace of this challenging season she is walking through.  The snarky card shared: when life gives you lemons make lemonade.  When life gives you a pile of crap, don’t make anything.

Finally, I asked a friend if we could pray together.  We met for coffee, conversation and for me to help her with her Etsy Shop.  At the end we prayed together.  She was vulnerable with God and with me.  It was a beautiful gift to hear the cry of her heart.   

All three were beautiful things.  All three were directed outwardly.  Yet, in a divine paradox of loving abundantly, while I was looking and giving out I was receiving inwardly.

While none of the challenging circumstances I find myself in have changed, something shifted in my heart.  Strength is beginning to flow.  Depression is retreating.  A small flicker of hope is beginning to burn.

The recipient of my cards sent me this message.  I wanted to share it.  It was a gift back to me.  I sent her some cards, she sent me a blueprint for freedom.

“I got your cards today my dearest friend. Yesterday, I went to bible study and we were reading in 2 Corinthians. It was about giving with a generous heart, and how everything was His anyway so why should we worry?

I raised my hand, “Yes that sounds amazing but I know the lengths Christ went through, I know what Job and Paul went through, what can you give when you have nothing left? What does God want from me?”

Before my pastor could answer I heard that still small voice that I had not heard for a long time answer, “Your broken heart.”

My pastor confirmed it by saying that our suffering is an offering, sometimes the sweetest one because it means that we trust Him.

A weight was lifted from me last night and I have peace. Thank you sister, your prayers have covered me, and I feel held for the first time in a long while.”

Tonight I’ll intentionally reach out to God.  I’ll give Him my broken heart and my contrite spirit.  And I too will be held. 

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