A girlfriend and I have weekly coffee on blurry-eyed Friday mornings, and we work well together, a slight quirkiness about us both, listening so intently to one another unless a good song comes on and makes us zone out and start singing. We both do it, so it’s funny. Ginny and I both have kids and it’s hard, and we need a break so we come, but we don’t always come ready to reveal the depths. Often we come to soak in friendship a little. Always we try not to be mushy, but usually we fail miserably.
A few Fridays ago was no exception. I was explaining how recently I’ve been through a season where I felt carried along. Being in the hospital with Titus was more traumatic than I had given it credit for. I didn’t know how hard it was at the time, because I fully believe that God had scooped me up like a sleeping child with her eyes barely peeking open. I saw the bumps, felt the roller coaster, the capsizing waves, and I hardly flinched.
I was being carried by God, with barely a prayer on my tongue or even the knowledge of left from right. One night I stayed awake all night long holding my limp Titus, and I hummed the songs I thought we could sing at his home-going. I may have been in shock. I planned my child’s funeral.
I’m explaining this to her as one who understands more than I would ever want her to. She lost her son, and now she has three gorgeous children with her on the daily, one whose needs are very very special.
I was explaining it to her, how I feel like God has just put me down, and I don’t like it. He’s put me down, taken my hand, and said, “Now walk with me,” and I’m watching myself pitch a fit like child. I would rather be carried, and I hear him whispering that He wants me to know Him, interact with Him, watch Him and follow.
Ginny’s reaction to this was so dramatic. Both her hands hit open-palmed on the table, and she shook her head down, saying: “If you only knew. If you only saw what I do everyday.” She went on to explain to me that when she brought her precious daughter home from the Ukraine and they had no idea the extent of her special needs, what they had to do was carry her everywhere.
Their daughter has learned to crawl and sit up strongly, and now she’s walking very well with a walker. I remember rejoicing that she was learning to take more and more foods, praying that she would receive the bites and move her mouth appropriately. Just last week, Ginny sent me a video of her daughter with a spoon in her own hand. She was feeding herself, and I wept to see it.
Sometimes I feel the swell of the waves, the ship about to sink. I feel pressure on my marriage, and community is hard work, and my children aren’t always likable. Life isn’t coasting how I want it to. It’s one of my most precious thoughts I have now to think of how He loves me: to take this image of our friends going after their daughter, bringing her home, and leading her in maturity. How they put her down and teach her to walk because they love her.
With tears rolling down both our faces, Ginny said, “All I want is for Lena to look at me, to interact with me.” And it clicked for us both, more like we’d been whacked up side the head. God just wants us to receive Him. He just wants us to look at His face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
*UPDATE* I wrote this post about two weeks ago. Watch what has happened since. It’s also on Ginny’s blog. Glory!
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Oh, I used to do tea with a girlfriend on Friday afternoons – I flaked out on her a few months ago precisely because I became afraid to “reveal the depths”, as you’ve so aptly put it, but we’ve resolved to start again soon. It will help, I think, if we sometimes approach it as you have – just to “soak in friendship”, nothing else.
For what it’s worth, I would rather be carried, too…I’m navigating the death of a loved one and want nothing more than to be carried.
Kara Nutt says
I had to share on Facebook! Wow!
I’ve said many times that God uses parenthood to teach us about His love for us. We don’t always understand it from the side of childhood, but when we also see from the perspective of parenthood things become so much clearer.
crying just a little in front of the sunrise here. and going ot reread now.
OH WOW! This is really profound and wonderful!
Jen @ Martymom's Musings says
Amber, this is so precious and beautiful…I know what it feels like to be carried and to be put down to walk with Him. You gave words to what I had been feeling for months.
Sometimes the messy moments are the most beautiful.
Thank you for writing this. I am so encouraged.
WOW! I needed every single word of this post. Every.single.word. thank you for sharing.
This one gave me chills. Thank you for sharing your own story to help us all in our walk, I love the interwebs!
Kerry @ Made For Real says
This is so special to me, so much meaning. Thank you for this today.
Thank you for sharing this story with us. God is AMAZING!
Powerful! Thank you
Robyn @ a bird in the Father's hand says
So beautiful. And today I resolve to be the daughter who looks at Him and holds His hand. I’ve been put down this year too. Not to return to the pit, but to be made stronger as He loves me. Oh how I want to love Him back. Love reciprocated. Thank You, Father for putting me down so I can see You and walk with You.
Simply beautiful. thank you.
Thank you for this…”He’s put me down, taken my hand, and said, ‘Now walk with Me,’ and I’m watching myself pitch a fit like child. I would rather be carried, and I hear Him whispering that He wants me to know Him, interact with Him, watch Him and follow.” Exactly what I’ve been feeling and what God’s telling me lately…and then the connection that your friend instantly made with her daughter was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this – God knew what I needed today, and now I know clearly and in a fresh perspective what He wants from me. If you ladies could, please pray for me that I will choose to “know Him, interact with Him, watch Him and follow” Him…and I’ll be praying the same for you blessed, beautiful daughters of God. <3
Emotions welling up in my eyes. So beautifully said. Thank you!
Shelly Miller says
Oh my, this is glorious Amber. I just love you and the way you filter life. I often leave your words feeling more alive. Thank you.
Shelly R says
These words “He’s put me down, taken my hand, and said, “Now walk with me,” and I’m watching myself pitch a fit like child.” Describe me exactly. I want to be carried. But He said its time, and this is me. Beautifully words! Thank you!
kd sullivan says
How lovely to remember what He wants…in the lessons of what we want as parents.
tara pohlkotte says
oh, Amber. this love. these words. breathless.
Jessica Y says
tearing me up in the best of ways.
What a blessing this was for me this morning, to be reminded to just focus on Jesus today and that’s enough 🙂 Thank you for the words of encouragement.
Delonna @Chickflickdiva says
Thank you for sharing your story. Just read that verse in my devotion yesterday. Staying focus on Jesus is key.
Much needed reminder to be real with yourself and those you love. They can handle it and so can our Lord!
Kristen Strong says
Oh what a glorious word this is for me today, Amber. Thank you. I will continue to lift up your darling Titus, and I’m praying too for Ginny and Lena. Love you so much!
I caught my 4 year old boy singing this song the other day…(apparently he does listen to me in the kitchen. )
What brought me to my knees were the lyrics he sang:
…The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glorious face…
And I saw His glorious face right here. Thank you! Glory indeed.
Beth Williams says
Boy can I relate. ..”I feel the swell of the waves, the ship about to sink. I feel pressure on my marriage. Life isn’t coasting how I want it to.” Lately I’ve felt the same way for about 1-2 months. My job is super stressful this semester and my aging dad was having major health issues. Fortunatly God intervened and helped my family figure out some of dad’s issues. Now the big one is that he wants assisted living or nursing home. That is a shocker to me, but I understand how hard it can be at 87 to manage life.
Prayers for you, your family and your firend’s family!
jimmie lee says
She is beautiful!
This is beautiful!
Such a very timely post… This time last week we were getting ready to deliver our baby who had passed away inutero. Our second loss too, having our first son pass away in 2006. Right now I definitely still feel carried but I know that soon enough I will be taught to walk again. I hope I can look into His face too. Thank you for explaining it so well. I’m sorry for your loss too and I know how wonderful it is to have dear friends share the journey with us
Susan G says
All I can say is wow…how our God loves us so deeply and so simply…
Donna Rose says
Right on! Thank you for sharing.
Jill Arrington says
Wow, what a wonderful testimony of God’s grace, yet in two different ways! I have experienced both. Jill
Linda Toney says
Me too! I want to be so close I can’t breathe.
Amber K says
So beautiful. Love your transparency. Encouraged. <3
amber, i read this in the morning than popped back again intending to comment and saw the video of lena walking. what a sweet victory for her! this post felt like a relative of one i wrote ‘look at me’ about struggles and how god lifts our chins like i do with my kids and says look at me. reading your words reminded me of it and re-encouraged me. thank you.
Thank you so much, Amber, for this gorgeous glimpse into your relationship with your friend, with God and He with you both. I was carried through my father’s death in May – and carried my family along with me in His arms. The walking is coming slowly, stumbling often, dragging occasionally, but looking forward to a run in the future. I think of your Titus often after having read your posts about your troubles. My son is Type 1 diabetic (diagnosis at age 6 – he’s 13 tomorrow!) and autistic (diagnosis age 2) and I sleptwalked through years of sorrow…but never was it as hard as what you have described. I praise and thank God for my blessings and for women like you who are brave enough to share your struggles with transparency and grace. Your family is in my prayers…Cynthia
Brooke Burger says
Oh, how beautiful–the wonderful friendship you have, the precious children you have described, and the way you have been carried by God…such simple and yet profound evidence of God’s great care for each of us.
I also have the privilege of being Mom to kids with special needs…and it’s amazing and exhausting…and it’s the best tangible example of inexplicable love that points me to the amazing love of God.
Thank you for sharing this!
Such a blessing to share with others, the raw emotions, feelings and thought process one experiences after the loss of a child. I can relate to being carried & even throwing tantrums, as I did not want to turn loose of God’s embrace. It has been almost 3 years since losing my son & still struggle with those feelings. Thank you for your insight, as relationships seem so difficult now. Is it me, or them? Most importantly, thank you for the ray of sunshine at the end & video of Lena’s progress. ……the other opened door. God Bless You.
Such a blessing to share with others, the raw emotions, feelings and thought process one experiences after the loss of a child. I can relate to being carried & even throwing tantrums, as I did not want to turn loose of God’s embrace. It has been almost 3 years since losing my son & I still struggle with those feelings. Thank you for your insight, as relationships seem so difficult now. Is it me, or them? Most importantly, thank you for the ray of sunshine at the end & video of Lena’s progress. ……the other opened door. God Bless You.
Amber, this is a gorgeous perspective giving post. Thank you, thank you for sharing it. What a beautiful reminder to LET the rest of the world go dim as we focus in on our God. So beautiful.
Ashley @ Draw Near says
Oh my goodness, Amber, the beauty and the pain here. The honesty and being known and the miracle of one foot in front of the other. All of it…I’m just blown away by you and what God is doing in you again and again. Bless you as you look at him, over and over as you look at him.
Tanya Marlow says
I have tears – this is ministering to me. This is my journey. I have not understood why God dropped me.
This helps – it really does. Thank you – for pushing through and persevering to see Him in dark places.