Monday, February 13, 2012

my note to your guilty feelings

I love getting notes from people who have read my book. I can't tell you how much it encourages me to hear that Weak and Loved has inspired or encouraged somebody else. You'll probably think this is pathetic, but I am saving these notes to encourage me next time I wonder if I should bother writing.

But then, there's this kind of note:
"I had no idea what you were really going through... I'm so sorry. I should have helped you more."

It's a very kind note, but it makes me sad too. So please, bear with me while I address a few words to the guilty feelings that some of you may have out there.

It was too foggy to keep score.

That year was lived in a fog for me. Everything was Aggie, and trial, and surviving.

I do remember receiving special kindnesses and help from some people.  We were concentrating on simply surviving, and God sent some willing hands that helped to sustain our lives and our faith. Now, on the other side of the trial, I remember only that we were incredibly well cared-for by our church family and our friends and family across the country.  Cards, emails, meals, a bake sale fundraiser, gifts for Aggie, babysitting for the other kids, prayers, hugs, words of encouragement- all of these things helped to sustain us.

If you were not one of those people, you are not on my bad list.  The air was too foggy for me to even find a pen to use for keeping score.

Please, do not feel like you must apologize to me.

Maybe you feel like you were an imperfect friend, and you were unaware or unwilling to step into our trial. Honestly, I was too caught up in my own pursuits to even realize that. I'm sure I have done the same thing to you, not only that year, but maybe even yesterday.

God's law stings, doesn't it? We do not love Him with our whole hearts. We do not love our neighbors as ourselves.

As I was talking about these things with my husband, he said,

 "I think your book helps illustrate some fundamental things about human nature- we are reluctant to receive help, and we are reluctant to give it.  

It is always true that we should be more loving. 
It is always true that we should allow ourselves to receive more love."

So maybe my story of being weak and loved has highlighted your own weaknesses and lack of love, just as going through the trial did for me.

Jesus is not surprised by our weaknesses. "He did not entrust Himself to any of them, because He knows what is in man." Sin. No shock to Him. And yet, though we are not trustworthy, though our "love" looks nothing like His for us, still He loved us to the point of death on the cross.

It is safe to say that out loud, friend. We are weak. Sinful.  And yet (grace and mercy!) we are loved by God in Jesus Christ.

Allelulia, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life! 

Soften our hearts with Your great love for us.  Free us from the constant pursuit of our own interests, cleanse us of our sins, and teach us to bear with one another in suffering. 

Help us live with open hands, and to show our needs to one another.  As we receive from other and from you, make our hands also willing to give, to pass on what we have to bless others.

 Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your holy name, Amen.

**weak and loved**

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  1. This is so good Emily. I needed to read this today.

  2. Glad it blessed you Ashley. Grace always soothes the sore spots, doesn't it? :)

  3. I'm almost half way through your book. I've been so busy this past week I haven't picked it up, but this post reminded me that I want to finish it! Bless you, Emily.


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