Unfading Beauty and Strength

Finding Beauty and Strength in Your ExtraOrdinary Ordinary Life

The Help You Need From the Neighbors You Never Knew

Have you ever wished you had someone to talk to, but you just didn’t know who? Have you ever started to pick up the phone to call a friend, but you got too scared at the last minute? Have you ever felt alone, like no one has ever been through what you’re going through?

I know I have. But I am here to tell you, You are not alone.

Everybody feels alone sometimes.

Jesus felt alone:

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My father if it is possible, may this cup being taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”, he asked Peter. “Watch and Pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26: 36-41
Image by Andrea Don from Pixabay

As women we often isolate ourselves or judge each other. But all of us need a place to share our stories, our struggles, and our wins. We need to be on the same team.

I want to get to know my neighbors just a little bit better. And while,yes, sometimes that means your literal neighbor, I really mean the people you meet and spend time with every day. The people who you work with, go to church with, have a mom’s group with, the women at your kids sports events or school events, or even the ones you meet in random places, sometimes that even means online.

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

As long as we are willing to listen, there will never be an end to good stories. We need simply to look: A stranger in line at the grocery store, The co-worker. The lady that sits in front of you at church. Everybody has a story.

My family and I attend church regularly, but I am a rebel and often do not go to Sunday school. Between being an introvert by nature, my husband singing in the choir leaving me partner less, and two stubborn, sometimes spirited children, this is often my time of solitude. (I need much solitude.)

One such morning, I really did not want to talk to anybody. I just wanted to be left alone. (Introverts unite!)

However, in spite of this, I somehow got into a deep conversation with not one, but two people. I felt God nudging me to dig a little deeper. I realized in those moments that in spite of having known these two woman for quite some time now, that I didn’t really know them at all.

Just like Princess Tiana, sometimes you just need to look at what’s right in front of you!

I may have missed my solitude that day, but I gained so much more. I had been contemplating how to find future interview stories to share and I had a revelation as I realized the stories were all around me, right in front of my face.

We are surrounded by so much that is extraordinary, but often we mistake it for ordinary.

One of the women I spoke with was facing an upcoming surgery and had been suffering from an undisclosed ailment for sometime. She seemed completely unphased, matter of fact, and calm about the whole situation.

The other woman I spoke with had two children, one with special needs, but she never seems to let it get her down. She just keeps on rolling with the punches. I learned some of the details of her daughter’s birth story and while every child is a miracle, this story was one of even greater extent, a story I hope to have the honor to share with you.

I have friends that have suffered miscarriages or a loss of a child shortly after birth. I have friends who have had a child live through cancer. I know women that have been through divorces as a result of affairs. I even know a couple of women who have lost their spouses at young ages, leaving them with young children to raise alone. And these are just the people I know personally, and some of them really not well, which is precisely my point.

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

These are the stories staring at me right in my face. Stories that need to be told. Nobody wishes to face hardship, but it is often hardships that can be used to help others. And the thing is, none of these people would likely begrudge telling their story to someone who needed it.

This is the essence of Unfading Beauty and Strength: Caring and sharing our lives. Stopping the hate talk and woman shaming.

Image by Gisela Merkuur from Pixabay

I am grateful for all the women above and so many more.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Hebrews 12:1

If you need someone to share your story, then I can help. If you are in the midst of one of the hardest chapters in your life, I can help.

I would love to pray for you. I would love your help building a community of women helping women. How amazing would it be to have a place where you could write in and say I need to talk to someone about this and we could connect you with just the someone you need?

I need your help! Contact me HERE, if you need someone to pray for you or if you can be the someone for a stranger.

Meet a couple of my “neighbors”. *names changed to protect the innocent

Meet my friend, Liza, about ten to fifteen years older then me, we struck up a friendship after a mission trip to Peru. We began to have weekly long walks together shortly after the birth of my first child. While we have since drifted apart, knowing her during that time, gave me somebody to talk to about work, parenting, and marriage. Not to mention, I was in a little better shape as we would walk for about an hour every week!

Meet my friend, Sallie. We struck up a friendship shortly after I attended a MOPS group at my church. In 2014, my husband lost his mother to pancreatic cancer. In our grief, nothing seemed just about this loss. A short time later (uncertain of specific dates), my friend, Sallie’s husband, lost his father. Still fresh from our grief, I was able to reach out to her and empathize with her and her husband. Though offer extended was not needed or accepted if Salle’s husband needed to talk, it was still a blessing just knowing that the offer was there.

Remember. Be kind. Be the neighbor somebody else needs. Be the reason that they will know God is Love.

Tell me a story about a time you were a neighbor or you received a neighbor’s kindness below!

P.S. If you have a favorite book character, historical figure, or famous person whose story you want to hear, comment below and I’ll add that to the list of stories to tell and research!

P.S.S. Thanks for reading! Sharing is Caring! Share with a friend who you think needs help (don’t we all?) or who you think could help build our community! Your kindness is always appreciated!

Resources from this post:

If you have a “Spirited” Child, this is a great book to check out!
If you are a mom of a preschooler, be sure to search for a MOPS group near you!

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